Crusaders - 2nd Crusade (CD)

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Given the critical and commercial success of 1 and their rebirth as the "Crusaders," the band decided to follow up the previous LP's double length with another one! There are 13 tunes here, all extrapolating the band's previously held notions of soul-jazz and hard bop as they emerged into the new funky '70s. Textures were a little different this time out as keyboardist Joe Sample expanded his palette to include not only the Fender Rhodes but also his first (subtle) forays into synthesizer, while Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder keep the crisp horn charts popping throughout. Stix Hooper was, at the time, the best soul-jazz drummer in the business with the possible exception of Idris Muhammad. The newly acquired, three-piece guitar choir led by Larry Carlton is everywhere in evidence here, but the real change is in the place of the bass in this mix. Chuck Rainey, who lent his fat warm electric bass tone to the previous outing, has been replaced by Felder's crisper, more rhythmic approach to the instrument. For the most part, the tunes are shorter here and rely far more heavily on groove aesthetics rather than jazz syncopations. There is plenty of singing soul here as evidenced by the opener, Sample's "Don't Let It Get You Down," which has a house-party feel and plenty of handclapping to keep the flow of the tune both easy and steady. The minor to major key strut of Henderson's "Take It or Leave It" is one of his first forays out of the striated harmonic charts he'd always written and into something so straight and direct it's jarring — but killer nonetheless. Felder's "Look Beyond the Hill" could have been an instrumental dub version of something from the first Steely Dan album and has real resemblance in tone, texture, and tune to "Dirty Work." But the real surprise here is Stix Hooper's "Journey From Within." It's an Eastern-tinged modal groove with Carlton's guitar stinging in the middle around Sample's acoustic piano and Felder's loping bassline that becomes the pulse of the track. When the horns begin to move off the melody into solo territory, it becomes one of the first "out-jazz" funk tunes! The two longest cuts on the set are "A Message From the Inner City" and "A Search for Soul" are both searching tunes that rely on lean, mean backbeats and breaks and both mess about with dynamic tension in unique ways. And while it's true that no single track stands out, ‘2nd Crusade’ is just as consistent and enduring as its predecessor and may be more suited to the dancefloor. But make no mistake: this is a jazz record with greasy funk at its core, not a jazzy funk record.
Copy Control
Number of Items
Media Type
2nd Crusade
Country of Origin
South Africa
Blue Thumb
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Don't Let It Get You Down
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Take It Or Leave It
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Gotta Get It On
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Where There's A Will There's A Way
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Look Beyond The Hill
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Journey From Within
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Ain't Gon' Change A Thang
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Message From The Inner City
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Search For A Soul
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] No Place To Hide
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Tomorrow Where Are You
  12. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] Tough Talk
  13. [ Disc 01 Track 13 ] Do You Remember When
Release Date
7 February 2008
Audio Format
PCM Audio
Studio / Live
Video Disabled
  1. Crusaders
Date Released
2007-11-01 00:00:00
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