Album #429 – Street Life

Album #429

Before doing some research on The Crusaders, I thought they were another punk band. As I read more and more, I found out they were actually a jazz funk band that finally hit it big with their album Street Life. The title track was a top 40 hit and became even bigger when featured in the Tarantino classic Jackie Brown. Featuring Randy Crawford on vocals, Street Life is an amazing fusion of jazz and funk and combines with disco to create one stand out track from that era. The rest of this album is filled with instrumentals. The sound is similar to jazz fusion artist Bob James and is a precursor to smooth jazz, which would become the dominant form of jazz in the 80’s and 90’s. The core of The Crusaders are saxophone player/bass legend Wilton Felder and keyboardist Joe Sample. Both have served as session musicians for some of rock’s greatest. But, once again, the behind the scenes people make the album. Another notable fact surrounding this album is that it features one of the last appearances on record of  James Jamerson, whose bass lines provided the foundation for some of Motown’s biggest hits. Other highlights include: Rodeo Drive (High Steppin’), Carnival of the Night and The Hustler. Overall, I give Street Life, 4 out of 5.

Next: (GI) by The Germs

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