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Rooster_Ties

Jazz Crusaders - do I need any of their *live* albums? — if I’ve got the Mosaic of their studio output.

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I like the Jazz Crusaders by and large, but I have to admit I think the Mosaic was actually my first ever purchase of anything under that name (and I’m not really interested in any “Crusaders”).

But I’ve never explored any of their live output. If I was just going to pick up one of two, which ones are best? Or do I need any of them at all? — if I’ve already got the studio box.

I have to admit the box is probably slightly more than I would have bought, if I’d been picking them up one by one over the years. It’s all good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a bit of a sameness to it all too.

But how’s the live stuff? More of the same? Or am I missing out on something?

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The live stuff is more of the same, maybe, but they send out a strong vibe and the audience sends it back, So if that matters to you, yeah, check it out. If not, hold whatah got.

That band was never not going to play for an audience, if you know what I mean. It was a Texas band, so they will play for the people.

The two Lighthouse albums on PJ would be where I'd start, if you're going to start at all.

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Thanks Jim. I’m eyeing a used copy of Festival Album (from 1966, also on PJ), the expanded CD issue — but it’s used, and close to $20, I thought I’d get some other opinions first.

I’m streaming it now, and I keep going back and forth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Festival_Album

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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that one's not bad, but try Lighthouse '68. That one's got a really good vibe to it.

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I'm a big Jazz Crusaders fan and I'm pretty sure I own everything they put out under that name as well as all of their live recordings under both names up until '74. (I own all of The Crusaders up to '74 as well) I think they're all excellent and they're all good listens. Just going from memory, I don't think any of them really stand out in my mind from their other (excellent) work but you shouldn't miss "Scratch" issued under The Crusaders name. You really can't go wrong with any of them. 

Edited by mikelz777

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I have the Festival Album and Lighthouse '68 on LP and much prefer them to their studio stuff of the time, FWIW.  All the Jazz Crusaders live albums have bonus material on CD, adds up to another 2 albums or so IIRC.  I find the live stuff to be both more energetic and more expansive.

Edited by danasgoodstuff

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Wilton Felder, he just played.

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Looking at Tyrone Washington on this one!

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They took their time laying this groove down. (Live at the Roxy.)

 

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Aren't there at least three Lighthouse albums? I like '69 best, but it never had CD release. They were never that different live (or maybe this reflects the choices of the producer), but what is interesting to me is that they were going in two directions at once towards the end of the "jazz" period. Both more "post-boppish" (check out the tunes written by Buster Williams) but there were also the more groove-based material; a precursor of the 70:s "Crusaders" (sans "jazz") era, but with a more "raw" attitude. 

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I have the Mosaic box, which I’ve been listening to lately and, although enjoyable, has a sameness quality to it. Based on Jim’s first post, it doesn’t sound like anything I need to add. 

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8 hours ago, Daniel A said:

Aren't there at least three Lighthouse albums? I like '69 best, but it never had CD release. They were never that different live (or maybe this reflects the choices of the producer), but what is interesting to me is that they were going in two directions at once towards the end of the "jazz" period. Both more "post-boppish" (check out the tunes written by Buster Williams) but there were also the more groove-based material; a precursor of the 70:s "Crusaders" (sans "jazz") era, but with a more "raw" attitude. 

This is what I have for live albums:

The Jazz Crusaders at the Lighthouse (8/62)

The Jazz Crusaders Live at the Lighthouse '66 (1/66)

The Jazz Crusaders - The Festival Album (7/66, 10/66, 7/68)

The Jazz Crusaders - At the Lighthouse '68 (11/67 - Why isn't this Lighthouse '67?)

The Crusaders - Scratch ('74)

Edited by mikelz777
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I've personally found the live Crusaders albums from the 1960s fun, and higher-energy than the studio albums.  Not essential but enjoyable, high-quality "jazz for the people".

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Second Jim's recommendation of Lighthouse '68.  Includes one of the better jazz-goes-Beatles 60s moments IMO with their rendition of "Eleanor Rigby."

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 They’re all good, but I vote for the first one (the one with ‘Congolese Sermon’ and “Appointment in Ghana’). It was their third album, and I think it was the one that said we’re here to stay. 

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was pretty stoked when they came to the club, Joe, Wilton, Wayne, nick sample on bass im pretty sure it was, a different drummer.  i made sure to sit behind joe.  this was 2013

Edited by chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez

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The Montreaux show is a fun view with excellent surround mix.

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Difficult to choose between those live dates imo. Jazz Crusaders were always a group that excelled in consistency, both in the studio and onstage. When I ordered the Mosaic I was only familiar with 'Freedom Sound' and maybe expected a few dreary spots here and there. To my surprise, there were none.

But with regard to the 'sameness' of the material, I can relate to that. I never understood why the Jazz Crusaders+ albums ('Chile Con Soul' and 'Jazz Waltz') were not included. Nothing shockingly off the charts there, but still, they present a different angle. Rather than adding an extra live-album, I would go for one of these.

Edited by Mark13

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Chile Con Soul is really nice!

R-4941893-1380106044-4419.jpeg.jpg

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I have been re-listening to everything not in the Mosaic box set over the last few days. 

The five live albums are all worth listening to, IMO. The groove and tight ensembles are as in the studio, but all with a bit more intensity and longer solos. Wilton Felder caught my attention more than in the studio albums with his personal mixture of soul sax stylings and Coltranisms.

Then there was Talk That Talk with an unidentified big band on 3/4 of the tracks which sound like a Hollywood big band version of the band - a lttle too polished. Am I correct in assuming that Wayne Henderson and Joe Sample wrote the arrangements? To my knowledge this never was on CD.

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 Chile Con Soul, as I wrote above, is very nice, to me it is one of the better Latin Jazz albums of the time.

Then there was Jazz Waltz with Les McCann. In my ears this is a true collaboration, and the use of two keyboarders gives the group a rich sound - McCann was good at playing with a second keyboarder, as one can hear on his albums with Groove Holmes. No unsatisfactory compromises here.This was issued on CD in Japan.

R-3210506-1498869238-7762.jpeg.jpg

 

Edited by mikeweil

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Just had a look on discogs and saw that Lighthouse '69 never was on CD, right?

R-1782022-1516993206-9126.jpeg.jpg

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5 hours ago, mikeweil said:

Just had a look on discogs and saw that Lighthouse '69 never was on CD, right?

R-1782022-1516993206-9126.jpeg.jpg

I’ve certainly never come across it on CD. My copy is a King LP furnished by Mr Tanno. This recording is actually one of my favourites by the Jazz Crusaders.

Talking of the Jazz Crusaders - I came across an Applause version of ‘Powerhouse’ today (gory red cover)” Never seen that issue before.

Edited by sidewinder

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I've got "Powerhouse" on an Applause CD with the red cover. Sound quality is bad. The Pacific Jazz vinyl sounds better, though perhaps not really hi-fi. 

Lighthouse '69 is a favorite of mine. I believe there is a post somewhere here (maybe from Kevin B) where Michael Cuscuna is quoted, to the effect that he had prepared the album for CD release with bonus material, but just couldn't go ahead because of the collapse of the CD market and generally poor sales of Pacific Jazz reissues. 

These two albums ('69 and Powerhouse) were the first two Jazz Crusaders albums I heard and are still the two I return to the most. But as Mike mentioned above, the Chile Con Soul album is also really enjoyable. 

Edited by Daniel A

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