|All Artists: Crusaders|
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 1/11/1990
Genres: Jazz, R&B
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Smooth Jazz, Funk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Forgotten 1978 Jazz-Funk Gem Gets A Superb Remaster on Unive
Mark Barry at Reckless Records, Lon | UK | 10/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE CRUSADERS line-up for "Images" was:
JOE SAMPLE - Keyboards
WILTON FELDER - Saxophones
BILLY ROGERS - Guitar
ROBERT "POPS " POPWELL - Bass
NESBERT "STIX" HOOPER - Drums & Percussion
Additional Guests were:
DEAN PARKS - Guitar (All Selections)
ROLAND BAUTISTA - Guitar (On "Fairy Tales", "Bayou Bottoms" and "Covert Action")
PAULINHO DaCOSTA - Percussion (All Selections)
"Images" was first issued in a single sleeve LP in July 1978 in the USA on Blue Thumb BA-6030 and on ABC Records ABCL 5250 in the UK. This CD reissue (June 2009 in the USA - September 2009 in the UK - Verve 0602517995710) is part of Universal's "Originals" series and is issued in a card digipak (no booklet unfortunately) at mid-price.
It breakdowns like this (39:46 minutes)
1. Fairy Tales (Joe Sample song)
2. Marcella's Dream (Nesbert "Stix" Hooper song)
3. Bayou Bottoms (Wilton Felder song)
4. Merry Go Round (Joe Sample song)
[Tracks 1 to 4 made up Side 1 of the original LP]
5. Cosmic Reign (Robert "Pops" Popwell song)
6. Covert Action (Wilton Felder song)
7. Snowflake (Joe Sample song)
[Tracks 5 to 7 made up Side 2 of the original LP]
Possessing not the greatest album sleeve in musical history (you could barely make out its name), "Images" was nonetheless a bit a of jazz-funk peach. Produced by "Stix" Hooper, Wilton Felder & Joe Sample for "Crusader Productions, Inc." and mastered by long-standing expert Bernie Grundman, it followed so much of their Seventies output - really well-produced instrumental funky tracks followed by mellow ones that filled both the floor and the heart at one and the same time.
Remastered from the original tapes by KEVIN REEVES at Universal Mastering in the States, it now sounds FABULOUS - really clear and defined - and virtually hiss-free.
With just a poor-sounding 1990 US CD to go on - and only "Snowflake" and "Fairy Tales" on the superbly remastered "Gold" 2CD set from 2007 (see separate review) - this 2009 reissue sees 5 of these 7 tracks only now get the sonic upgrade they've deserved for so long. The funk bliss that is "Bayou Bottoms" now sounds stupendous and had me throwing some very embarrassing shapes on our living room carpet. Other tracks like "Cosmic Reign" and "Merry Go Round" are so "Aja" too in their arrangements - and to be compared with Steely Dan's 1977 masterpiece is the highest compliment really.
After a whole decade and umpteen albums of their particular type of funk & jazz, the same team that handled "Images" would finally hit paydirt a year later in 1979 with the global smash of "Street Life" and make Randy Crawford a star.
"Images" is a forgotten Crusaders album and one that now sounds as fresh as it did over 31 years ago. I would have liked extra tracks for sure - and some history and appreciation in a booklet, but this CD delivers where it matters - in the sound department.
PS: For those interested in delving a little deeper - I've posted a full list to October 2009 of the 120+ titles in the "ORIGINALS" CD series in the 'Comment' section attached to this review"
Terrance from Newark NJ
Terrance Upchurch | 07/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This without a doubt is my favorite album by the Cruaders.The first album I ever bought by them was Street Life and then Free as the Wind.But When I heard Images,it did something to me.Every song from begining to end fed my spirit.I`ve had the original printing of the CD (by MCA records)for quite a number of years now, and is part of my treasured Crusaders collection.If you don`t have this CD,you better get it!"