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Chain Reaction
Chain Reaction
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

The core of the Crusaders had been playing together for 20 years when they recorded this 1975 session, and they were at the peak of their popularity. You can call this music a form of fusion, but it's a group that always h...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Crusaders
Title: Chain Reaction
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca
Release Date: 8/12/1997
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Smooth Jazz, Funk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 076732164822, 076732691243

The core of the Crusaders had been playing together for 20 years when they recorded this 1975 session, and they were at the peak of their popularity. You can call this music a form of fusion, but it's a group that always had its roots in populist rhythm & blues, coming of age in the era when Horace Silver and Bobby Timmons were first mating roots music and modern jazz. The big-toned combination of Wilton Felder's tenor and Wayne Henderson's trombone gives added weight to this riff-based gumbo, with Larry Carlton's guitar adding detail to the Stax-Volt ambience that stokes this music. Felder was always the band's outstanding soloist, a flexible tenor player who could add touches of Coltrane to the legacy of Illinois Jacquet. --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

Crusaders Chain Reaction Album: Review by Joey Horswell
jhorswell | Ojai, CA United States | 09/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is a "must-get" for anyone who is a true Crusaders fan. Aficionados will likely recognize this as the last album that Larry Carlton made with the Crusaders as a full-time member of the group. While some jazz purists validate only the more traditional, straight-ahead jazz the Crusaders wrote and performed during the 60's, (under the moniker, "The Jazz Crusaders"), many of us appreciate even more, the innovation and experimentation that more characterized the Crusaders compositions throughout the 70's. The Crusaders were truly one of the first pioneers of fusion, (or "jazz-rock" as we called it back then), if not the very first. They intermixed elements common to jazz, funk, blues, soul, and rock in such a way as had never previously been done before. (And in a way that no one has been able to duplicate, since.)Wilton Felder and Wayne Henderson defined the classic blend of Trombone and Tenor Sax playing in unison, (or in octaves), which became the trademark of the Crusaders classic sound. The entire Chain Reaction album is enjoyable to listen to, with no filler songs or "B-side" flops. This entire album is solid. Cuts, such as "Hallucinate", feature Henderson and Felder paying in fourths, giving a dissonant color to the number. The lively title cut, "Chain Reaction", features great unison playing over a bouncy, "bop" figure. Larry Carlton shines throughout the album, playing his classic, blistering tri-tone runs through seemingly unnavigable chord changes; leaving us all wondering why he has permanently "left the building", and moved on to play only luke-warm, "Wave Station-soft jazz". Only his first solo album, "Room 335", echoed the Crusaders brand of fusion that typified those early years.No review would be complete without mentioning Joe Sample's incredibly relaxing, yet complex improvisation style. (I wish the Fender-Rhodes electric piano would come back in vogue), and Styxx Hopper's solid grooves drive the band along making it hard to not tap your toe. If you get the impression that I liked the album, you're right. I'm probably one of only a few people who actually own this album on original vinyl, (bought back in the late 70's), cassette, and CD formats. I've been listening to, and playing these songs on the saxophone for over two decades, and it just keeps getting better, and better.Chain Reaction is my favorite of all the Crusader albums.Enjoy."
Felder plays funky bass too
Gregory Pancratz | Minneapolis, MN United States | 12/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Before the addition of Pops Popswell, Wilton doubles as reed and bass player, and does nothing but impress on both counts. Incredible funk throughout the album."
Rhythm Joy
G. Lee | San Juan Capistrano, CA | 09/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have no hesitation in recommending this recording for lovers of the '70 experiments in rock/soul/jazz/fusion. The Crusaders formed their sound together when they were barely in their twenties, and by the time they recorded this wonderful stew of funk etudes, they were as one mind. Though the music may be "simple" (groove and uncomplicated melodies are the order of the day), that does not mean it lacks passion or excellence. This is some of happiest music I've ever heard; I loved it 30 years ago, I love it still."