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A long time ago I use to have a CD of a band, I believe west coast, that was considered in the same light as the Jazz Messengers. They did one Hard Bop album then I believe they went off to be known as a funk or fusion band. I think they were a 5-piece band, notably had a trombone player. Very little known group and for the life of me I can't remember the name. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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Jazz Crusaders...later became the Crusaders

first albums were on Pacific Jazz/World Pacific (a West Coast Jazz label) and later recorded for major labels like MCA.

but maybe this isn't the band you're thinking of as I wouldn't consider them "little known" but maybe that's just our age difference.
 

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The Crusaders perform in my favorite concert film, Soul Power, which features great James Brown performances at a concert in Zaire (The Congo) in 1974. I highly recommend it. I think you can watch it on YouTube and rent from Amazon.
 

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Well, I think the Crusaders were extremely well known, but as you note not really so much as a straight hardbop group.

It's kind of like saying "Fats Waller was a little-known organist." Well, his organ playing is little known but he himself is well known.

Semantix, maybe.
 

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The Jazz Crusaders were not as well-known as the Crusaders even though they’re basically the same band. It’s the earlier jazz crusaders that sound more like the blue note and Art Blakey stuff.
 
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