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Crown Heights Affair

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Like Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang before them, Crown Heights Affair artfully bridged the gap between funk and disco, guaranteeing their records new life via sampling by successive generations of rappers and Disco Jockeys.

Crown Heights Affair are a Soul, Funk, Jazz Fusion group, originally named New Day Express, the group formed in Brooklyn, NY, in 1967. Originally comprising lead vocalist Philip Thomas, guitarist William “Bubba” Anderson, bassist Arnold “Muki” Wilson, keyboardist Stan Johnson, and drummer Raymond “Sugar Ray” Rock. Crown Heights Affair’s roster soon expanded to include saxophonist Darryl Gibbs, trumpeter James Baynard, and trombonist Julius Dilligard, Jr., and in 1973 they signed to RCA, releasing their self-titled debut LP the following year. While a hit in New York, the first single, “Super Rod,” failed to earn attention across the rest of the country, and when the follow-ups “Leave the Kids Alone” and “Special Kind of Woman” met the same fate, the group was left without a label. At that point Johnson, Gibbs, Baynard, and Dilligard all resigned from Crown Heights Affair, with Howie Young joining on keyboards, Tyrone Demmons coming in on trumpet, and siblings Bertram and Raymond Reid playing saxophone and trombone, respectively.

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