Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
From the 1960s to the '80s, the Crusaders--pianist Joe Sample, saxophonist Wilton Felder, drummer Stix Hooper, and trombonist Wayne Henderson--were a triple threat, with their Texas-based blend of jazz, R&B, and soul. Befo... more »
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From the 1960s to the '80s, the Crusaders--pianist Joe Sample, saxophonist Wilton Felder, drummer Stix Hooper, and trombonist Wayne Henderson--were a triple threat, with their Texas-based blend of jazz, R&B, and soul. Before they broke up, they produced a string of hits, including "Street Life" with Randy Crawford. This CD marks their long-awaited reunion, with their producer Stewart Levine and trombonist Steve Baxter filling in for Henderson. The recording is a back-to-basics project featuring the group's Houston-honed swing. Imagine Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with an R&B edge and you'll get this ensemble's grand grooves. Legendary rocker Eric Clapton lends his acoustic and electric guitar licks to the title track and on the funky "Creepin'." Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin and Sounds of Blackness lay down their God-gifted vocals on the inspiring "A Healing Coming On" and "Sing the Song." Some Tex-Mex flavored Latin jazz is delivered on "Viva de Funk." This date shows that these life-long friends can swing in all idioms. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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Member CD Reviews
Tom A. (CTA4him) from ANDERSON, SC
Reviewed on 11/30/2014...
First recording after a long hiatus and they didn't have to shake off any rust. The 1st 2 cuts has Eric Clapton on acoustic and electric guitar. It's like they never left.
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 05/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This reunion CD comes on the heels of several other "Jazz Crusaders" reunions that included Wayne Henderson; so while it might be hard for fans to get a handle on "Will the real band please stand up?", "Rural Renewal" is an excellent set on its own terms. David Ritz who wrote the lyrics to Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" does the liner notes that detail the course of jazz from the 60s to the present & how the Crusaders/Jazz Crusaders fit within that era. Joe Sample wrote most of the songs and does a great job such as on the loose "Shotgun House Groove" that producer Stewart Levine allows the band members to improvise over the central riff with great result. On "The Territory," Wilton Felder's tenor sax settles into the groove and explodes into a delightful ride. Drummer Stix Howse penned "Greasy Spoon" that sets a funky beat with Sample's keyboards & Felder's sax in a luxurious duel. "Lazy Sundays" is breezy & laid back. Perhaps the most memorable tracks open the set with Eric Clapton guesting on both the energetic title track & the blues jam "Creepin'." A quote from Donnie McClurkin on the Oprah Winfrey show just after 9/11 lead to the lyric composition between Sample & Will Jennings on "A Healing Coming On." The Sounds of Blackness guest on the track, giving a moving gospel feel. "Rural Renewal" is an excellent set that marries jazz, blues & soul into an enchanting mix. Enjoy!"
A good one to add to the collection
J. Johnson | Manassas, VA | 10/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"in the mid '70's The Crusaders were my entry point into jazz. They were close enough to R&B and soul music that I could understand them-unlike the fusion Gods of the time and especially the "outside" jazz folks. Having four equally talented soloists reallly set them apart and the groove was deep and wide.
Fast forward to today. The Crusaders return with Rural Renewal. It's a different record from the classic sound. Without Wayne Henderson high in the mix it loses the brassiness found on records like Southern Knights and Scratch. Also for the biggest part the guitar tracks are laid down in the groove instead of screaming over the top of it. In particular I miss Larry Carlton and his ability to take over a song and take it to new places.
So do I hate the CD. NO-I THINK ITS REALLY GOOD. Sample and Felder are fun to listen to-they are such consumate pros. Clapton's playing is tasty and the Donnie McClurkin vocal on A Healing Coming On is just really nice. That's the problem-it's a really nice cd, when The Crusaders at their best are transcendent.
I recomend buying this one, or at a minimum downloading Rural Renewal, Creepin' Heartland, Healing, Sing the Song, Shotgun House Groove and Greasy Spoon."