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Wilton Felder

Wilton Felder is well known to jazz fans as the saxophonist and composer who spent some thirty years playing, along with Joe Sample, Stix Hooper, and Wayne Henderson 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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Marcus Miller: America's AmBASSadoor

Read "Marcus Miller: America's AmBASSadoor" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Marcus Miller is most often described as a jazz, funk, soul, fusion, and R&B bassist. As much as that is accurate, it is a description that falls well short of the mark. Miller is a high-end musical sponge who manages to incorporate today's cultures and rhythms into his compositions, layered within the framework of sound he ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Levitt Pavilion

Read "Karl Denson's Tiny Universe at Levitt Pavilion" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe Levitt Pavilion Denver, CO August 26, 2017 You don't hear much talk of “The Energy Crisis" anymore. That's because Karl Denson's Tiny Universe has been on the scene, lighting things up and generating gigawatts of energy with its frequent funk fusillades. Over the course of their two ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Dwight Sills: Creating His Own Space

Read "Dwight Sills: Creating His Own Space" reviewed by Liz Goodwin

After delivering three projects on other record labels, guitarist-composer-producer Dwight Sills decided it was time to start creating an outlet for himself on his fourth and most personal CD yet, Short Stories. Creating this outlet was not a new concept for the Houston, Texas resident. Most of the eight tunes on this eclectic and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard Johnson and Gravity: Testimony

Read "Testimony" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Those who see the tuba as a sluggish, unwieldy instrument capable only of rounding out a musical composition in the lower register may have to rethink that appraisal after listening to Testimony, in which multi-instrumentalist and tuba master Howard Johnson ushers no less than half a dozen tubas and rhythm through their paces in a session ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Legendary Crusaders Sax Man Wilton Felder Passes Away

Legendary Crusaders Sax Man Wilton Felder Passes Away

Houston and the world lost a giant today with the passing of Wilton Felder, saxophonist for the fabled Crusaders. Mr. Felder was 75. Word of his passing reached the internet via longtime collaborator Ray Parker, Jr.’s Facebook page around 2 p.m. today. Felder’s passing comes only a year after the death of his lifelong friend and ...

NEWS: FESTIVAL

Heartfelt Performances And “remembering Joe Sample” At The Berks Jazz Fest

Heartfelt Performances And “remembering Joe Sample” At The Berks Jazz Fest

By Sean McKenzie As I watched the amazing lineup of jazz royalty remembering the true legend, Joe Sample, I had never been so moved by such a fitting musical tribute. I remember it was only a little over a year ago that Wayne Henderson had been given his regal sendoff. And now, amongst other Sample fans, ...


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