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Musician

Wilton Felder

Born:

{{m: Wilton Felder = 6670}} is well known to jazz fans as the saxophonist and composer who spent some thirty years playing, along with {{m: Joe Sample = 4033}}, {{m: Stix Hooper = 7731}}, and {{m: Wayne Henderson = 7577}} in the phenomenally successful Crusaders. The group’s combination of jazz, soul, r&b, and gospel influences created a sound that was rooted in jazz, but which was accessible to listeners raised on pop and rock music. Unlike many fusion bands, The Crusaders never lost their blues and soul roots, which was one key to their success. Another was the fact that each musician had a definite style on their instrument, and it was a pleasure to listen to each of them play

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Article: Profile

The Crusaders: A Retrospective

Read "The Crusaders: A Retrospective" reviewed by Jason Elias


With the esteemed jazz/funk/fusion band the Crusaders as a guide, one could trace the rise and fall of commercial jazz in all in many of its permutations. The core group that is the most recognized was founded in Texas and comprised Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (tenor sax and bass), Stix Hooper (drums) and Wayne Henderson ...

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Article: Play This!

Donald Byrd: The Emperor

Read "Donald Byrd: The Emperor" reviewed by Chris May


"The Emperor" is the killer track on Donald Byrd's 1972 masterpiece Ethiopian Knights (Blue Note), an album which took Miles Davis' contemporaneous electric experiments, stripped them of their wannabe rockstar aspirations and reframed them with a deep funk sensibility. Byrd, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, trombonist Thurman Green, vibes player Bobby Hutcherson and others bounce off plugged-in ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Donald Fagen: An Essential Top 10 Albums

Read "Donald Fagen: An Essential Top 10 Albums" reviewed by Peter Jones


Actually, the whole notion of a Donald Fagen Top Ten is tricky. Artists like Chet Baker made well over a hundred albums, whereas in half a century Fagen has only released 13 official studio albums, whether with Steely Dan or under his own name, along with a handful of live sets. The process of selecting the ...

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Article: Album Review

Chris Nordman Trio: High Wire

Read "High Wire" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Time was when people retired to Florida to bask in the sunshine, play some golf and tend their backyard gardens. That was then; this is now. Pianist and organist Chris Nordman, who has roamed the world for more than half a century as a working musician and now calls Florida home, has no plans to rest ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Steve Khan: A Rich Discography and A Priceless Left Hand

Read "Steve Khan: A Rich Discography and A Priceless Left Hand" reviewed by Jim Worsley


The life and times of guitarist extraordinaire Steve Khan stretch through a high volume of evolving chapters that fuse together like the passages of a finely crafted arrangement. An expansive conversation with Khan touched on a variety of memories. Still, this is perhaps the Reader's Digest version of the seventy-three years old musician and composer's remarkable ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May


For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

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Article: Year in Review

Chris May's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Chris May's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Chris May


The world may be going to hell in a handcart, but the year has been full of uplifting jazz. Here are ten of the best albums--the first seven newly recorded, the final three reissued or recently unearthed. Each one is the coyote's cojones. Yazz Ahmed Polyhymnia Ropeadope The eagerly ...

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Article: Album Review

Donald Byrd: Ethiopian Knights

Read "Ethiopian Knights" reviewed by Chris May


Donald Byrd (1932-2013) was a solid and dependable and prolifically recorded hard-bop trumpeter during the style's mid 1950s to mid 1960s heyday, though he was never an innovator, far less an auteur. He later went on to make a string of tedious disco-cum-jazz-funk albums which sold by the truckload. On the cusp of this ...

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Article: Live Review

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019" reviewed by John Kelman


Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27 -July 1, 2019 Forty years. Not a lifetime, perhaps, but a remarkably long time for any festival to not only continue to exist but, despite increasing challenges, to thrive. An even greater achievement when it's the Festival International de ...


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