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Rural Renewal


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Audio CD, March 4, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00008ADQJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,716 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rural Renewal
2. Creepin'
3. Heartland
4. A Healing Comin' On
5. Sing The Song
6. Shotgun House Groove
7. The Territory
8. Greasy Spoon
9. Viva De Funk
10. Lazy Sundays
11. Goin' Home

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

From the 1960s to the '80s, the Crusaders--pianist Joe Sample, saxophonist Wilton Felder, drummer Stix Hooper, and trombonist Wayne Henderson--were a triple threat, with their Texas-based blend of jazz, R&B, and soul. Before they broke up, they produced a string of hits, including "Street Life" with Randy Crawford. This CD marks their long-awaited reunion, with their producer Stewart Levine and trombonist Steve Baxter filling in for Henderson. The recording is a back-to-basics project featuring the group's Houston-honed swing. Imagine Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with an R&B edge and you'll get this ensemble's grand grooves. Legendary rocker Eric Clapton lends his acoustic and electric guitar licks to the title track and on the funky "Creepin'." Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin and Sounds of Blackness lay down their God-gifted vocals on the inspiring "A Healing Coming On" and "Sing the Song." Some Tex-Mex flavored Latin jazz is delivered on "Viva de Funk." This date shows that these life-long friends can swing in all idioms. --Eugene Holley Jr.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
It is like spending time with an old friend.
John E. Carlson
One of the things that make this CD so great is the core group of musicians; Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper.
piperglenn
"Rural Renewal" is recommended for any new fan that is into Soul Jazz, Crossover Jazz, or Fusion.
W. Noshie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on May 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I know virtually nothing about the Crusaders. Their kind of music--ultra-sophisticated, roots-based jazz-funk--has fallen outside my musical experience.
My loss.
Let me come straight out and say it. This is one of the most accomplished and satisfying discs I have ever encountered. There's this deep groove coming from some authentic place--Texas, I learned, since I became interested in this group. This is not the kind of music that can be mass produced, predicted, or even successfully copied. It has its own inherent, uncompromising authenticity and authority.
How can it be so precise without being slick? So soulful without being cliché? So sophisticated yet completely natural? I'll tell you. A lifetime of commitment combined with pure genius and musical telepathy set loose, UNLEASHED, given free rein.
Fundamentally, a project like this gains nothing by heavy-duty analysis, so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead. Trust me on this: Just buy it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John E. Carlson on March 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was surprised to discover the Crusaders are back together on this CD - Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, & Stix Hooper. I have followed this band since the early 1970s.
If you are a Crusaders fan you definitely should buy this CD. It is like spending time with an old friend. They have a great beat and are always pushing their style to new levels.
If I could give more that 5 stars I would.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This reunion CD comes on the heels of several other "Jazz Crusaders" reunions that included Wayne Henderson; so while it might be hard for fans to get a handle on "Will the real band please stand up?", "Rural Renewal" is an excellent set on its own terms. David Ritz who wrote the lyrics to Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" does the liner notes that detail the course of jazz from the 60s to the present & how the Crusaders/Jazz Crusaders fit within that era. Joe Sample wrote most of the songs and does a great job such as on the loose "Shotgun House Groove" that producer Stewart Levine allows the band members to improvise over the central riff with great result. On "The Territory," Wilton Felder's tenor sax settles into the groove and explodes into a delightful ride. Drummer Stix Howse penned "Greasy Spoon" that sets a funky beat with Sample's keyboards & Felder's sax in a luxurious duel. "Lazy Sundays" is breezy & laid back. Perhaps the most memorable tracks open the set with Eric Clapton guesting on both the energetic title track & the blues jam "Creepin'." A quote from Donnie McClurkin on the Oprah Winfrey show just after 9/11 lead to the lyric composition between Sample & Will Jennings on "A Healing Coming On." The Sounds of Blackness guest on the track, giving a moving gospel feel. "Rural Renewal" is an excellent set that marries jazz, blues & soul into an enchanting mix. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Larry McNeil on April 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm picky with what I put on my iPod, even if it has 20Gigs... My favorites were Creepin', Heartland and The Territory, and the rest of the CD is pretty good too.

My all-time favorite Crusaders pieces are "A Message from the Inner City," and "A Search for Soul." Both are from the most underrated album of all time, "The 2nd Crusade," reach all the way back to 1972 for this gem. Some of their stuff has an unjust reputation for being Jazz Lite, but the two above are the real deal...

Anyway, the Rural Renewal stuff has echoes of the above, which is cool. Thanks Crusaders, this is definitely worth the price of admission, from a dedicated fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I wasn't sure what I was going to hear on this album, which is a reunion of sorts. What I heard was very pleasing. Whether the tune calls for swing or funk, the Crusaders deliver very tight, very clean performances. That means in the groove, on the key, with great handoffs between players. I guess I'd summarize it as "the original type of Crusaders music performed by guys with 20 years more polish."
If you're expecting to hear a "new" album from the Crusaders of 15-20 years ago, you'll be a bit disappointed, as at least one reviewer seems to have been. Time, and these musicians, have not stood still. They've gotten better, and this album is a fine one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of the Crusaders since I first saw them in 1976 and have purchased and memorized all of their recordings. The last few recordings they released have had some enjoyable moments and nice touches (except for Ghetto Blaster - yikes!), but I missed the down-home, Texas blues and grooves they created on their early-to-mid career recordings.

Well, I'm VERY happy to say that after listening to Urban Renewal a few times my missin' has gone away. This release is full of that unmistakable early Crusaders sound. Thanks Joe, Stix and Wilton for getting together one more time and returning to your roots.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By piperglenn on March 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are very few musicians/groups whose new recordings I'll buy sight unseen. But when I found out The Crusaders reunited, I immediately pre-ordered this CD. I'm happy to say this recording completely lived up to my expectations. The music is so good it makes you hope traffic slows you down so you can listen a little longer.
One of the things that make this CD so great is the core group of musicians; Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper. On their own they are great, especially Joe Sample. In fact, if you like this recording, I highly recomend his CD, "Sample This." Wilton Felder has a very unique sound on the tenor sax and his solos are goose-bump inspiring. Stix Hooper lays down just the right beat to keep the groove percolating. Now, put these guys together and you can't help but have a jazz/soul fest the likes of which no one else can match.
Another nice touch to this CD is the liner notes. They explain a little about the history of the group, how it formed, dissapated, then, came back together for this recording.
This is great, toe-tapping, feel-good music. I can't recomend it highly enough.
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