When Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (saxophone) and Wayne Henderson (trombone) moved from Houston, Texas, to Los Angeles to begin their collective recording career, they called their band The Jazz Crusaders. Their focus was acoustic bebop tinged with R&B and soul music. In 1971, they dropped the word "Jazz" from their name, dove into jazz-funk and became world-famous as The Crusaders. The group as it was disbanded in the 1990s, but now it's touring again with "Jazz" back in its name.
So why did the band drop the word in the first place? That's one of the questions Jazz24's Abe Beeson asks The Jazz Crusaders in this studio session. As Beeson's questions are answered by Sample and Felder, it quickly becomes apparent that these men have known each other for many, many years and still take great delight in each other's company. There's a lot of comfortable good humor in the interview and a lot of experience and heart in the music they play. The Jazz Crusaders are back at last, with solid rhythm support from drummer Doug Belote and Sample's son Nicklas on bass.
For more photos from the session with The Jazz Crusaders, click here.