This remarkably versatile group was formed in Houston, Texas, as the Swingsters. During the 50s, Wilton Felder (31 August 1940, Houston, Texas, USA; reeds), Wayne Henderson (b. 24 September 1939, Houston, Texas, USA; trombone), Joe Sample (b. 1 February 1939, Houston, Texas, USA; keyboards) and Nesbert Stix Hooper (b. 15 August 1938, Houston, Texas, USA; drums), forged a reputation as an R&B group before moving to California. Known as the Jazz Crusaders, they were signed by the Pacific Jazz label for whom they recorded a series of melodious albums. In 1970, the quartet truncated their name to the Crusaders in deference to an emergent soul/funk perspective. In truth the group exaggerated facets already prevalent in their work, rather than embark on something new. A 1972 hit, Put It Where You Want It, established a tight, precise interplay and an undeniably rhythmic pulse. The song was later recorded by the Average White Band, the kind of...
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