The Crusaders: Joe Sample, Larry Carlton, Nesbert Hooper Jr., Wayne Henderson , Wilton Felder.
Personnel: The Crusaders (vocals); Randy Crawford, Bill Withers (vocals); David T. Walker, Dean Parks, Bobby Finnerty, Freddy Robinson , Larry Carlton, Roland Bautista , Arthur Adams , B.B. King, Billy Rogers (guitar); Wilton Felder (saxophone, tenor saxophone, electric bass); Jerome Richardson (alto saxophone); Robert Bryant, Jr., Bill Green (tenor saxophone); Robert Bryant, Oscar Brashear (trumpet); Wayne Henderson (trombone); Maurice Spears (bass trombone); Joe Sample (piano, keyboards); Chuck Rainey, James Jamerson, Max Bennett (electric bass); Stix Hooper (drums, percussion); Efraim Logreira, Paulinho Da Costa, Ralph MacDonald (percussion).
Photographers: Mike Prior; Alan Messer; Barry Feinstein.
The Crusaders began their career in the 1950s as the Modern Jazz Sextet, changed their name to the Jazz Crusaders and recorded throughout the '60s, then changed their name to the Crusaders in the 1970s and continued to record through the '70s and '80s. The two-disc set GOLD overlooks this long history by focusing on the group's '70s output and their most popular fusion, jazz-funk, and crossover music.
That said, only a completist (and fans of the group's early work) would complain. GOLD is smartly assembled, and jam-packed with the solid grooves and the technical chops that made the Crusaders one of the top names in accessible fusion from the period. The musical signatures of pianist Joe Sample, saxophonist Wilton Felder, drummer Stix Hooper, and company are all over this fun and generous (the running time tops out at almost 160 minutes) compilation.