Crusaders - Groove Crusade - Best Of The Crusaders (CD)

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Groove Crusade is a smoking little sampling of the Crusaders recordings from 1970-1979. The 11 tunes included on Groove Crusade focus on the Crusaders at the peak of their popularity during the '70s. It showcases their deft, sophisticated, and inclusive musical approach as well as their collective creative imagination. Groove Crusade is sequenced by feel, not by chronological order, and it's a stunner from start to finish. The first Crusaders album, 1 netted the band precious radio air play on stations that had previously eluded them; but more than that, it got them air play on burgeoning FM rock & roll and progressive AM soul stations. Pianist Joe Sample's "Put It Where You Want It," and "Don't Let It Get You Down," are excellent examples of a seamless yet down-home slippery, relaxed, emotional kind of jazzy funk. These tracks are the lead-off cuts to 1 and 1971's 2nd Crusade. With guitarist Larry Carlton added to the fold they were unstoppable. Dig into saxophonist Wilton Felder's more elaborate "Way Back Home," which comes from the Hollywood LP and pushes the groove a little bit harder. The legendary "Street Life," from the 1979 album of the same name was written by Sample and Will Jennings, and sung by soul vocalist Randy Crawford. It was a smash hit during the disco era, but there's so much happening in the mix that it can't be called strictly disco. The title tracks from Chain Reaction and Scratch (the latter is the band's first live album with the new lineup) are both here and they're killer, as are subsequent selections from albums that chart the band's evolution into funkier territory — without ever losing their emotional impact: just check Felder's "Creole" (from Chain Reaction) and trombonist Wayne Henderson's title composition for Scratch as proof. Thankfully, drummer Stix Hooper's wonderful "Greasy Spoon" from Southern Comfort is included here, too. There are a pair of tracks from Free as the Wind — the band's first complete immersion in funk from 1976 — the title written by Sample, and Hooper's nasty "I Felt the Love." Recordings not represented here are 1975's brilliant studio offering Those Southern Knights, 1976's Live: Midnight Triangle, and 1978's Images; but that's fine because the point gets made — it's all about feel, remember?. The disc closes on the original 12-minute studio reading of Carole King's beautiful "So Far Away." It brings the song's deep soul up and out from the heart and take it into the world — without a word being uttered. Groove Crusade may have been assembled by Universal as just another quick, cheap, and dirty compilation. But it doesn't sound like one. In fact, with the remastered sound and excellent selection of material, Groove Crusade is more than just a great listen; it may be the definitive introduction to the Crusaders in the '70s.
JazzGreatest HitsMusic
Copy Control
Number of Items
Media Type
Groove Crusade - Best Of The Crusaders
Country of Origin
South Africa
Audio CD
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Put It Where You Want It
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Don't Let It Get You Down
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Way Back Home
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Street Life - Randy Crawford, The Crusaders
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Chain Reaction
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Scratch [Live]
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Creole
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Greasy Spoon
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] I Felt the Love
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Free as the Wind
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] So Far Away
Release Date
9 March 2008
South Africa
Audio Format
PCM Audio
Studio / Live
Video Disabled
  1. Crusaders
Date Released
2007-11-01 00:00:00
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