The Jazz Crusaders – Chile Con Soul (1965)

The Jazz Crusaders - Chile Con Soul (1965)
Artist: The Jazz Crusaders
Album: Chile Con Soul
Genre: Soul-Jazz, Hard Bop
Origin: USA
Released: 1965
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
Aqua Dulce (Sweetwater) 05:25
Soul Bourgeoisie 07:44
Ontem A Note 04:19
Tough Talk 02:38
Tacos 04:08
Latin Bit 04:08
The Breeze And I 05:08
Dulzura 04:37

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The Jazz Crusaders are among the most underrated jazz combos to have evolved from the post-bop movement. The original quartet blended its undeniably strong R&B and soul music influences into equally unique and rhythmically charged jazz progressions that likewise hark back to the bop mastery roots of Miles Davis or Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers — from whom the Jazz Crusaders boldly acknowledge their own name. By the mid-’60s, the combo had expanded to feature the formidable talents of co-founders Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (tenor sax), and Nesbert “Stix” Hooper (drums) along with longtime membersWayne Henderson (trombone) and Hubert Laws (flute). With the addition of the legendary Al McKibbon (bass) earlier in the decade, the band’s sound began to shift. Chile con Soul (1965) is one of the best examples of the Jazz Crusaders at one of the many musical pinnacles in their 30-plus year existence. As one might anticipate, this long-player features some heavily Latin-flavored material. The LP’s eight sides are further authenticated by percussionists Carlos Vidal (who played with Charlie Barnet’s band as far back as the late ’40s), Mongo Santamaria, and Cal Tjader veteran Carmelo Garcia. From the soulful strut of Sample’s opening “Agua Dulce (Sweetwater)” or Laws’ midtempo counterpart, “Tacos,” Chile con Soul provides a funky façade that complements the fiery “Latin Bit” and syncopated frenzy of “Dulzura.” Of particular note is the chugging cadence on this arrangement of “The Breeze and I,” which pulsates and grooves behind some alternately pungent and slinky solos that trade freely between Felder, Henderson, and especially the unencumbered ethereal runs from Laws. Any level of jazz enthusiast will find much worth revisiting on Chile con Soul. The 2003 CD reissue boasts a tremendous audio upgrade from all previous versions and is among the first titles from the group’s Pacific Jazz titles to be released domestically. Earnest enthusiasts and collectors interested in locating additional offerings from the Jazz Crusaders during this era are encouraged to find the Japanese import versions of many of their other titles.
Review by Lindsay Planer

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