A document of an incredible shift in style for the Crusaders
– and one that helped them soar even higher in the jazz
funk stratosphere! By the time of these albums, the group had changed significantly from their youthful days as the Jazz Crusaders
– mostly a trio, with Joe Sample on keyboards, Wilton Felder on saxes, and Stix Hooper on drums – but often augmented by some of the best studio help they could find, and working at a level that was still razor-sharp, and incredibly soulful! So many other artists mixed jazz
and soul together in the 70s, but a rare few could do it this right – and still hold onto all the bite that the artists had in their earlier days. Production is tight, but never too slick – no 80s smooth jazz
modes here – and there's a sense of groove balanced with a sense of soloing that's really wonderful! All five albums are impeccable – to jazz
what Steely Dan was to mainstream rock at the time (and we mean that in the best way possible!) – and as you'll hear with some slight inclusion of vocals (most famously by Randy Crawford on Street Life), these guys also found a way to win whole new audiences to jazz
from the world of soul too. A great package – with all five albums in little tiny LP-styled covers!