Kick the Jazz

Kick the Jazz

by The Jazz Crusaders


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Kick the Jazz

When Wayne Henderson left the Crusaders in 1975, he moved on to a successful solo recording career, and became an in-demand producer as well. In the 1990s, he snagged the "Jazz Crusaders" name (the Crusaders' original moniker) for a reunion project with drummer Stix Hooper and saxophonist Wilton Felder. Since that time, Henderson's been out there on tour, under the Jazz Crusaders moniker, with whatever band he happens to have under his control at the time. To make matters worse, the Crusaders name has been resurrected a couple of times by Joe Sample with Felder and Hooper. Ach! Kick the Jazz is subtitled "Jazz in the Hip-Hop Generation." According to the liner notes, Henderson claims that he's inventing something called "Jazziphop," a true fusion of the two styles -- apparently he's never heard Guru's Jazzmatazz albums or some of Madlib's joints. As for the music? Fans of the Crusaders' trademark electric groove will find some of that here, along with some really awful rapping by E. Dooney and some fine nu-soul vocalizing by Brenda Pierce. While Henderson, saxophonists Paul Russo and Brother Man Electronic, and various keyboard players find ways to gel the melodies and grooves here and there, the drums -- on all but one of these cuts -- are programmed beats that have no sense of flow at all. They feel static, and given the lack of samples to muck things up and fill in those beats, they stick out like anchors in the sand. The set's best cut is a laid-back funky soul groover with Pierce handling all the vocals and real live drummer Tony Moore playing the kit against the keyboards with a live bassline played by Larry Kimpel. Elsewhere, the slippery-spine rapping of E. Dooney sounds like L.A. smooth gangsta-lite; check the contrast between his limp rhymes and Pierce's sung vocals on "Brighter Day." She also shines on the album's closer, "Goin' Tribal," which really manages to pack some heat in its arrangement -- despite its cheesy drum programs. Henderson is indeed trying to inject something new into jazz.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/13/2008
Label: Wmgw
UPC: 0891542002412
catalogNumber: 24

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jazz Crusaders   Primary Artist
Wayne Henderson   Trombone,Background Vocals
Paul Russo   Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Herman Jackson   Keyboards
Larry Kimpel   Bass
Greg Moore   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Brenda Kay Pierce   Vocals,Background Vocals
Brian Price   Guitar
Billy Steinway   Keyboards
Brother Man Electronic   Tenor Saxophone
Jerry Buckman   Synthesizer,Conga
E. Dooney   Rap
Tony Moore   Drums

Technical Credits

Wayne Henderson   Composer,Producer
Brenda Kay Pierce   Composer
Niqo   Composer
Jerry Buckman   Composer,Engineer,drum programming
Earnest Pruett   Composer,Engineer
Poncho Williams   Art Direction

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