Sunday, March 29
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Tag: The Crusaders

Sunday Jazz: RIP Joe Sample (1939-2014)

Sunday Jazz: RIP Joe Sample (1939-2014)

Music, Sunday Jazz
It's been far too long since my last Sunday Jazz installment, but I'm compelled to post now to mourn the loss of one of my all-time favorite musicians -- the great Joe Sample, who passed away yesterday at age 75. Sample's contributions to the music world are immeasurable, but primarily I will remember him both for his work with the Jazz Crusaders and for some of his great solo music. What once was contemporary jazz is now known (derisively by some) as smooth jazz. Writers far better than I will have much more profound thoughts to share on Sample's music, so I'll just share some of my favorite moments from his long career. First up is a fine Jazz Crusaders side, "Tortoise and the Hare," from the group's 1962 LP Lookin' Ahead. It's a prototypical slice of the particular brand of sou...
My favorite music: 1972

My favorite music: 1972

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1972. Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees -- Oh sure, I love Rumours as much as the next person. But there's something about this particular, pre-Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band that speaks to me. Bare Trees is a bit uneven in spots but I keep coming back to it just the same. That said, the original version of Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady" found on this record is far superior to the 1977 hit single version. Steely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill -- I don't care if Donald Fagen and Walter Becker want to disown this record, I love it and I know a ton of Dan fans love it. Like all classic Steely Dan records, the hits are only part o...
Listening booth — The Crusaders live in Colchester, 1978

Listening booth — The Crusaders live in Colchester, 1978

Listening Booth, Music
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 pr...