Sweet funky Crusaders – one of the first records the group made after dropping the "Jazz" from their name, and a soulful electric set through and through! The group still have that tightly-crafted soul jazz sound that made their late 60s recordings so great – but they're also stretching out here in more of a 70s electric funk mode – letting the keyboards of Joe Sample really set the tone for most of the numbers, as Wilton Felder's basslines weave with the drums of Stix Hooper to create a set of really great tracks. The double-length album is overflowing with great numbers – and in addition to the contributions of the core quartet, the album also features guitar from Larry Carlton, David T Walker, and Arthur Adams – plus a bit of extra bass from Chuck Rainey! The hip sound is a bit like some of Hugh Masekela's best jazz-based work for Chisa – and titles include "Full Moon", "Sweet Revival", "Mud Hole", "It's Just Gotta Be That Way", "Three Children", "Mosadi", and "So Far Away". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has minimal edge wear.)
Scratch ... LP Blue Thumb/Chisa, 1974. Very Good+ ...
A great Crusaders album – and one that's a perfect bridge between their earlier soul jazz styles, and their tighter funkier electric one. The record was recorded live at the Roxy, and the group is augmented by Larry Carlton on guitar, who gives the tracks a nice razor edge at his best moments. All songs are pretty long – and the band is in extremely good form, jamming away with lots of funky vamping, and breaking out with some very soulful solos. Titles include "Scratch", "Hard Times", "So Far Away", and "Way Back Home". LP, Vinyl record album
(Original Blue Thumb/Chisa pressing. Cover has a cut corner, light wear.)
Great work from one of the funkiest periods in the career of the Jazz Crusaders – that point when they first dropped the "jazz" from their name, and started moving into groovier territory! The set's a bit electric, but never as much so as their later, bigger hits – just enough so that the basslines bump the tunes along strongly, and the keyboards start to sparkle in the mix too – but still leaving plenty of space for acoustic contributions on piano, trombone, and tenor. Arthur Adams joins the group for a bit of guitar, which is well-placed – and titles include the massive "Pass The Plate" medley, which runs for over 15 minutes – plus "Young Rabbits 71/72", "Goin' Down South", "Listen & You'll See", "Greasy Spoon", and "Treat Me Like Ya Treat Yaself". LP, Vinyl record album
Very nice heavy funk material, recorded by The Crusaders right at the pivotal time when they were moving from straigher soul jazz to a nice electric 70s groove! The record features some excellent original compositions by the band – like "Crossfire", "Unsung Heroes", "In The Middle Of The River", "Heavy Up", and "Night Theme". Very full-on playing, with a complexity not imagined on earlier records. LP, Vinyl record album
A really mixed bag of grooves from the Crusaders – but still an album that's quite tasty if you dig their work on the Chisa label! The record appears to be a greatest hits collection – with the "best" in the title – but it's more a summation of the styles they'd been digging on previous records, as some tracks feature a tight funky groove, others have a mellower electric one, and still others have a straight jazz approach. Highlights include the African-sounding "Time Has No Ending", the Sly Stone cover "Thank You Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Agin", and a nice reading of Wilton Felder's "Way Back Home". LP, Vinyl record album
(Original pressing. Cover has minimal wear.)
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