Listening booth — The Crusaders live in Colchester, 1978

Today marks the first time I’m making a live bootleg available on GFS, but I think it’s worth the wait in this case. What we have here is a smooth, yet super-funky 1978 set by the Crusaders performing at North Essex Polytechnic in the United Kingdom. This show, the group’s last on their supporting tour of the Images album, was broadcast by the BBC and that’s what you’ll hear today.

By this point in the group’s history, it had been eight years since they changed their name from the Jazz Crusaders. That much will be obvious on first listen, as these songs draw much more from the wells of funk and R&B than jazz. It’s also a different sound than even the early Crusaders years showcased, as founding member and trombonist Wayne Henderson departed a few years prior to become a full-time producer.

The lineup for this show features the founding trio of Joe Sample (keyboards), Wilton Felder (saxophone), and Stix Hooper (drums), as well as Robert “Pops” Popwell (bass) and Billy Rogers (guitar). The grooves are tighter than a new pair of briefs and smoother than the tires on my old Camaro.

(These are all in .mp3 format by the way, so lossless format snobs need not bother. I’ve got nothin’ against .FLAC files, except they’re just so damn huge.)

Here’s the set list:

1. (radio introduction)
2. Chain Reaction
3. Sweet n’ Sour
4. I Felt the Love
5. Snowflake
6. Crossfire
7. There Are Many Stops Along the Way – from Joe Sample’s Rainbow Seeker LP
8. Put It Where You Want It
9. Spiral

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