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The Modern Jazz Sextet


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(1954 – 1960)

There are two groups with the same name:

Back in 1954, Houston pianist Joe Sample teamed up with high school friends tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Stix Hooper to form the Swingsters. Within a short time, they were joined by trombonist Wayne Henderson, flutist Hubert Laws, and bassist Henry Wilson and the group became The Modern Jazz Sextet. With the move of Sample, Felder, Hooper, and Henderson to Los Angeles in 1960, the band (a quintet with the bass spot constantly changing) took on the name of The Jazz Crusaders. In 1971 the band changed its name to The Crusaders.

A session done by old bandmates. Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Sonny Stitt on alto sax, John Lewis on piano, Skeeter Best on guitar, Percy Heath on bass, and Charlie Persip on drums. Stitt and Lewis had played in Gillespie’s band 10 years before, and it was their first time playing with him since those days. Recorded January 12, 1956 at Fine Sound, New York City.


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