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Estival Jazz 1987
The Jazz Crusaders are a fusion group that grew from the challenging, exploratory sounds of John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. Over their peak period (from the 60s to the 80s) their sound shifted and expanded, from hard bop with a soul and R&B slant to electric jazz and jazz-funk. Here, we join them in 1987 at the Estival Jazz event in Italy. By this point they had already tasted international fame through their 1979 hit “Street Life” alongside Randy Crawford (used as the soundtrack for Tarantino’s film Jackie Brown), and were veterans of their craft, versatile masters of harnessing groove.
“Street Life” is one of the tracks they play during this concert, with Reichii Guillory singing Crawford’s part, along with several compositions from pianist and unofficial bandleader Joe Sample, as well as the band’s co-founder Wilton Felder. The show is a demonstration of just how far-reaching their repertoire was, with pieces drifting between jazz forms with ease. The musicians push each other from start to finish and Sample is eminent behind the keys. A real gem and an opportunity to rediscover a group that played it all.