For many years, I´m working very close with Pat Rains and Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Wayne Henderson. I did Radio Interviews in 1985 with Wilton and Joe at Radio 107. More to come in 2010!
The Crusaders Biography
Back in 1954, Houston pianist Joe Sample teamed up with high school friendstenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Stix Hooper to form theSwingsters. Within a short time, they were joined by trombonist WayneHenderson, flutist Hubert Laws, and bassist Henry Wilson and the groupbecame the Modern Jazz Sextet.
With the move of Sample, Felder, Hooper, andHenderson to Los Angeles in 1960, the band (a quintet with the bass spotconstantly changing) took on the name of the Jazz Crusaders. The followingyear they made their first recordings for Pacific Jazz and throughout the1960s the group was a popular attraction, mixing together R&B and Memphissoul elements with hard bop; its trombone/tenor frontline became atrademark.
By 1971, when all of the musicians were also busy with their ownprojects, it was decided to call the group simply the Crusaders so it wouldnot be restricted to only playing jazz. After a few excellent albums duringthe early part of the decade (with guitarist Larry Carlton a strong asset),in 1975, the band's sound radically changed when Henderson departed tobecome a full-time producer.
1979's "Street Life" was a hit. Hooper'sdecision to leave in 1983, left only Joe and Wilton. Then there was a shortperiode with Wayne and Wilton going as the Jazz Crusaders. Now they areback: Joe and Wilton made Rural Renewal with Stix Hooper and Live in Japan.In 2003 Wilton, Joe and Stix Hooper had big comeback as the Crusaders. Waynestill tours and redords a "The Jazz Crusaders. It`s was like the Beatles,they never play again together…But Joe is keeping the quality alive and kicking…But Joe, Wilton and Wayne talking about a big get together for 2010!