Tuesday, 20 October 2009

“Images” by THE CRUSADERS. A Review of Their 1978 LP now reissued on a 2009 Verve “Originals” CD Remaster.


The Crusaders are part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


                       http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00LQKMC6I



THE CRUSADERS line-up for "Images" was:
JOE SAMPLE - Keyboards
WILTON FELDER - Saxophones
BILLY ROGERS - Guitar
ROBERT "POPS " POPWELL - Bass
NESBERT "STIX" HOOPER - Drums & Percussion

Additional Guests were:
DEAN PARKS - Guitar (All Selections)
ROLAND BAUTISTA - Guitar (On "Fairy Tales", "Bayou Bottoms" and "Covert Action")
PAULINHO DaCOSTA - Percussion (All Selections)

"Images" was first issued in a single sleeve LP in July 1978 in the USA on Blue Thumb BA-6030 and on ABC Records ABCL 5250 in the UK. This CD reissue (June 2009 in the USA - September 2009 in the UK - Verve 0602517995710) is part of Universal's "Originals" series and is issued in a card digipak (no booklet unfortunately) at mid-price.

It breakdowns like this (39:46 minutes)

1. Fairy Tales (Joe Sample song)
2. Marcella's Dream (Nesbert "Stix" Hooper song)
3. Bayou Bottoms (Wilton Felder song)
4. Merry Go Round (Joe sample song)
[Tracks 1 to 4 made up Side 1 of the original LP]
5. Cosmic Reign (Robert "Pops" Popwell song)
6. Covert Action (Wilton Felder song)
7. Snowflake (Joe Sample song)
[Tracks 5 to 7 made up Side 2 of the original LP]

Possessing not the greatest album sleeve in history, "Images" was nonetheless a bit a of jazz-funk peach. Produced by "Stix" Hooper, Wilton Felder & Joe Sample for "Crusader Productions, Inc." and mastered by long-standing expert Bernie Grundman, it followed so much of their Seventies output - really well-produced instrumental funky tracks followed by mellow ones that filled both the floor and the heart at one and the same time.

Remastered from the original tapes by KEVIN REEVES at Universal Mastering in the States, it now sounds FABULOUS - really clear and defined - and virtually hiss-free.

With juts a poor-sounding 1990 US CD to go on - and only "Snowflake" and "Fairy Tales" on the superior sounding "Gold" 2CD set from 2007 (see separate review) - that means that 5 of these 7 tracks are only now getting the sonic upgrade they've deserved for so long. The funk bliss that is "Bayou Bottoms" now sounds stupendous and had me throwing some very embarrassing shapes on our living room carpet. Other tracks like "Cosmic Reign" and “Merry Go Round” are so "Aja" in their arrangements too - and to be compared with Steely Dan's 1977 masterpiece is the highest compliment really.

After a whole decade and umpteen albums of their particular type of funk & jazz, the same team that handled "Images" would finally hit paydirt a year later in 1979 with the global smash of "Street Life" and make Randy Crawford a star.

"Images" is a forgotten Crusaders album and one that now sounds as fresh as it did over 31 years ago - recommended.

PS: For those interested in delving a little deeper - I've posted a full list to October 2009 of the 120+ titles in the "ORIGINALS" CD series below

**** Universal's "ORIGINALS" CD Series ****
Reissue CDs in Gatefold Digipaks of Classic Albums covering the 1950's through to the 1990's
They cover many labels - Verve, Mercury, Fontana, A&M, Chisa, Blue Thumb, Kudu, ABC, Philips, Impulse etc
These titles started in 2007 and are on-going into 2009
This List is in Artist and Title Alphabetical Order (with Release Date)

Laurindo Almeida – see STAN GETZ
1. New Orleans Nights - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1950)
2. Satchmo At Pasadena - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1951)
Louis Armstrong – see also ELLA FITZGERALD
3. A Tear To A Smile - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1975)
4. Change Up The Groove - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1974)
5. He's Coming - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1971)
6. Lifeline - ROY AYERS (1977)
7. Ubiquity - ROY AYERS (1971)
8. Vibrations - ROY AYERS (1977)
9. Virgo Red - ROY AYERS (1973)
10. You Send Me - ROY AYERS (1978)
11. Chapter One: Latin America - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
12. Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata - GATO BARBIERI (1974)
13. Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
14. Ruby. Ruby - GATO BARBIERI (1977)
15. Tropico - GATO BARBIERI (1978)
16. Basie Land - COUNT BASIE (1963)
17. On My Way & Shoutin' Again - COUNT BASIE (1963)
18. Intimacy - WALTER BEASLEY (21 October 2008)
19. Just Kickin' It - WALTER BEASLEY (1989)
20. Walter Beasley - WALTER BEASLEY (1987)
Louis Belson – see STAN GETZ
21. I Got A Woman And Some Blues - GEORGE BENSON (1970’s material, 1984)
22. Shape Of Things To Come - GEORGE BENSON (1969)
23. Soul Finger - ART BLAKEY and the JAZZ MESSENGERS (1965)
24. Bobo Motion - WILLIE BOBO (1967)
25. The Brazilian Scene - LUIZ BONFA (1965)
26. Braziliana - LUIZ BONFA and MARIA TOLEDO (1965)
27. Return Of The Brecker Brothers - THE BRECKER BROTHERS [Randy and Michael] (1992)
28. Just Between us - NORMAN BROWN (1992)
29. Jazz Samba – CHARLIE BYRD (1962)
30. Occasional Rain - TERRY CALLIER (1972)
31. What Color Is Love - TERRY CALLIER (1973)
Paul Chambers – see OLIVER NELSON
32. Children Of Forever - STANLEY CLARKE (1973)
Rudy Collins – see DIZZY GILLESPIE
33. A Love Supreme - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
34. Ascension - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
35. Crescent - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
36. Impressions - JOHN COLTRANE (1961)
37. John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman - JOHN COLTRANE and JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
38. The John Coltrane Quartet Plays... - JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET (1965)
39. Kulu Se Mama - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
40. Live At Birdland - JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
41. Meditations – JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
42. New Thing At Newport - JOHN COLTRANE and ARCHIE SHEPP (1965)
John Coltrane - see also DUKE ELLINGTON
Gal Costa – see ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
43. Images - THE CRUSADERS (1978)
44. Old Socks, New Shoes...New Socks, Old Shoes - THE CRUSADERS (1970)
45. Pass The Plate - THE CRUSADERS (1971)
The Crusaders - see also JOE SAMPLE and DAVID T. WALKER
46. Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud - MILES DAVIS (1957)
Paul Desmond Quartet - see GERRY MULLIGAN
Eric Dolphy – See OLIVER NELSON
47. A Dream Fulfilled – WILL DOWNING (1991)
48. Come Together As One – WILL DOWNING (1989)
49. Faces In Reflection – GEORGE DUKE (1974)
50. I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry - GEORGE DUKE (1975)
Harry Edison – see STAN GETZ
51. Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins - DUKE ELLINGTON and COLEMAN HAWKINS (1962)
52. Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - DUKE ELLINGTON and JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
53. Plays The Theme From V.I.P. & Others – BILL EVANS (1963)
Bill Evans – see also OLIVER NELSON
54. Out Of The Cool - GIL EVANS ORCHESTRA (1961)
55. Octet - MAYNARD FERGUSON (1955)
56. Ella In Hamburg (Live) - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
57. Ella In Hollywood - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
58. Porgy & Bess - ELLA FITZGERALD and LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1957)
59. At The Shrine – STAN GETZ (1954)
60. Big Band Bossa Nova - STAN GETZ and GARY McFARLAND (1962)
61. Dynasty – STAN GETZ (1971)
62. Getz/Gilberto – STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (also features Astrud Gilberto) (1963)
63. Getz/Gilberto No.2 – STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (1964)
64. In Stockholm (Live) - STAN GETZ (1956)
65. Jazz Samba Encore! – STAN GETZ (1963)
66. Sweet Rain - STAN GETZ (1967)
67. Stan Getz With Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida – STAN GETZ and LAURINDO ALMEIDA (1963)
68. Jazz Giants '58 - STAN GETZ, GERRY MULLIGAN, HARRY EDISON, LOUIS BELSON and The OSCAR PETERSON TRIO (1958)
69. Swing Is Here - TERRY GIBBS (1960)
70. A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness - ASTRUD GILBERTO and WALTER WANDERLEY (1966)
71. The Astrud Gilberto Album - ASTRUD GILBERTO (1965)
72. Look To The Rainbow - ASTRUD GILBERTO and GIL EVANS (1966)
Astrud Gilberto – see also STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO
Joao Gilberto – see also STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBETO
73. The Cool World - DIZZY GILLESPIE (1964)
74. Dizzy Gillespie Goes Hollywood – DIZZY GILLESPIE (1963)
75. Dizzy On The French Riviera - DIZZY GILLESPIE with CHRIS WHITE, RUDY COLLINS, LALO SCHIFRIN and LEO WRIGHT (1962)
76. I Just Dropped By To Say Hello - JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
Johnny Hartman – see also JOHN COLTRANE
Coleman Hawkins – see DUKE ELLINGTON
Roy Haynes – see OLIVER NELSON
77. Used To Be Duke - JOHNNY HODGES and his ORCHESTRA (1954)
78. Lady Sings The Blues - BILLIE HOLIDAY (1956)
79. The Artistry Of Freddie Hubbard – FREDDIE HUBBARD (1962)
Freddie Hubbard – see also OLIVER NELSON
80. At The Museum Of Modern Art – MILT JACKSON (1970s)
81. Treasure Island - KEITH JARRETT (1974)
Jazz Messengers – see ART BLAKEY
82. Rio Revisited - ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM and GAL COSTA (1989)
Antonio Carlos Jobim – see also Elis Regina
83. Quincy Jones Explores The Music Of Henry Mancini - QUINCY JONES (1964)
84. The Quintessence - QUINCY JONES ORCHESTRA (1962)
85. You've Got It Bad Girl - QUINCY JONES (1973)
86. Live At The Apollo – B.B. KING (1990)
87. Arabesque - JOHN KLEMMER (1977)
88. Barefoot Ballet - JOHN KLEMMER (1976)
89. Goin' Latin - RAMSEY LEWIS (1966)
90. The In Crowd - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1965)
91. Live At The Bohemian Caverns - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1962)
92. Home Is Where The Music Is - HUGH MASEKELA (2LP set on 1CD) (1972)
Gary McFarland – see STAN GETZ
93. Down Here On The Ground - WES MONTGOMERY (1967)
94. Goin' Out Of My Head - WES MONTGOMERY (1965)
95. Blues In Time - GERRY MULLIGAN and PAUL DESMOND QUARTET (1957)
96. Lonesome Boulevard – GERRY MULLIGAN (1990)
Gerry Mulligan – see also STAN GETZ
97. The Blues And The Obscure Truth - OLIVER NELSON [featuring PAUL CHAMBERS, ERIC DOLPHY, BILL EVANS, ROY HAYNES and FREDDIE HUBBARD] (1961)
98. In A Romantic Mood - OSCAR PETERSON (1955)
99. Oscar Peterson Plays The Jerome Kern Songbook - OSCAR PETERSON (1952)
100. Oscar Peterson and Nelson Riddle - OSCAR PETERSON and NELSON RIDDLE (1963)
101. Oscar Peterson Trio + One - OSCAR PETERSON TRIO and CLARK TERRY (1964)
Oscar Peterson Trio - see also STAN GETZ, SONNY STITT
102. Blues In the Closet – BUD POWELL TRIO (1956)
103. Come Into Knowledge - RAMP (1977)
104. Elis & Tom - ELIS REGINA and ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM (1974)
See also ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
Nelson Riddle – see OSCAR PETERSON
105. Quiet As It's Kept - MAX ROACH (1960)
106. On Impulse! - SONNY ROLLINS (1965)
107. Swing Street Café - JOE SAMPLE and DAVID T. WALKER (1981) [Keyboardist and Guitarist with The Crusaders]
108. Piano, Strings And Bossa Nova - LALO SCHIFRIN (1962)
Lalo Schifrin – see also DIZZY GILLESPIE
109. Everybody's Somebody's Fool - LITTLE JIMMY SCOTT (1950s Material)
Archie Shepp - see JOHN COLTRANE
110. Let It Be Me (Live) - NINA SIMONE (1987)
111. Hobo Flats - JIMMY SMITH (1963)
112. Live At The Village Gate - JIMMY SMITH TRIO (1963)
113. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? - JIMMY SMITH (1964)
114. Sonny Stitt Sits In With The Oscar Peterson Trio - SONNY STITT and OSCAR PETERSON (1957)
Clark Terry - see OSCAR PETERSON
115. ...Plays The Contemporary Music Of Mexico And Brazil - CAL TJADER (1962)
Maria Toledo – see LUIZ BONFA
David T Walker - see JOE SAMPLE
116. At Mister Kelly’s – SARAH VAUGHAN and HER TRIO (1957)
Walter Wanderley – see ASTRUD GILBERTO and WALTER WANDERLEY
117. All The King's Horses - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1972)
118. A Secret Place - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1976)
119. Feels So Good - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1975)
120. Inner City Blues - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1971)
121. Reed Seed - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1978)
122. Soul Box - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1973)
Chris White – see DIZZY GILLESPIE
Leo Wright – see DIZZY GILLESPIE

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc