Axiom Funk with Eddie Hazel - Pray My Soul (1995)
Jams From the Heart (1994), JDC - EP
Rest in P (1994), P-Vine
At Home (With Family) (2006), Eddie Hazel
Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is a pioneering American soul and funk band. Formed in the early 1960s, they had the most visibility from 1967 to 1973 when the band had 9 singles reach Billboard's pop and/or rhythm and blues Hot 100 lists, such as "Do Your Thing" (#11 Pop, #12 R&B), "Till You Get Enough" (#12 R&B, #67 Pop), and "Love Land" (R&B #23, Pop #16). They are best known for their biggest hit on Warner Bros. Records, 1970's "Express Yourself" (#3 R&B, #12 Pop) that is often sampled by rappers, such as N.W.A.
Charles Wright was born in 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, before moving to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, playing guitar and singing in several doo-wop groups including the Turks, the Twilighters, the Shields and the Gallahads. He also briefly worked as an [[A&R]] for In 1962, he formed his own band Charles Wright & the Wright Sounds . Over the course of the next six years, Wright would add more players to his group and these were the players who would eventually become known as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, at least by 1968.
* Charles Wright - guitar, piano
* Al McKay - guitar
* Benorce Blackmon - guitar (replaced Al McKay)
* Gabe Flemings - piano, trumpet
* Melvin Dunlap - bass
* James Gadson - drums
* Big John Rayford - saxophone
* Bill Cannon - saxophone
* Ray Jackson - trombone
(As The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)
* Hot Heat & Sweet Groove. Warner Bros. Records 1741 (1967)
* Together. Warner Bros. Records 1761 (1968)
* In The Jungle, Babe. Warner Bros. Records 1801
(As Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band)
* Express Yourself. Warner Bros. Records 1864 (1970)
* You’re So Beautiful. Warner Bros. Records 1904 (1971
(As Charles Wright)
* Rhythm & Poetry. Warner Bros. Records BS-2620 (1972)
* Doin What Comes Naturally. ABC/Dunhill DSD-50162 (1973)
* Ninety Day Cycle People. ABC/Dunhill DSD-50187 (1974)
* Lil' Encouragement. ABC/Dunhill (1975)
The Crusaders were formed in 1960 in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
The group comprised of:
Joe Sample (b. Joseph Leslie 'Joe' Sample, 1st February 1939, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - keyboards)
Wilton Felder (b. Wilton Lewis Felder, 31st August 1940, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - tenor sax)
Stix Hooper (b. Nesbert 'Stix' Hooper, 15th August 1938, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - drums)
Robert 'Pops' Popwell (b. Robert Popwell, 29th December 1950, Daytona, Florida, U.S.A. - bass guitar)
Wayne Henderson (b. 24th September 1939, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - trombone)
The Crusaders hail from Houston in Texas. Since 1961, the group (under various names) have released more than forty albums, 19 of which were recorded under the name 'The Jazz Crusaders' (in betweeen 1961 and 1970). In 1954, keyboards player, Joe Sample teamed up with high-school friends, tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Stix Hooper to, originally, form the Swingsters. The group first played together in high school before relocating to Los Angeles in the early '60's. As the Swingsters, they were joined by trombonist Wayne Henderson, flautist Hubert Laws, and bassist Henry Wilson and the group became the Modern Jazz Sextet. The group then changed their name to the Jazz Crusaders.
The Jazz Crusaders signed with the Pacific Jazz label, where they remained for a decade, before simplifying their name to the Crusaders in 1971. Their Early Pacific Jazz albums included 'Freedom Sound', 'Lookin Ahead', 'At The Lighthouse' and 'Tough Talk'. The Crusaders first album was entitled 'Pass The Plate' for the Chisa imprint, which was followed by a label change, to Blue Thumb/ABC, and a second album release, confusingly entitled 'Crusaders 1'. In 1972, they released '2nd Crusade', followed by 'Hollywood' (in 1973), 'Unsung Heroes' (in 1973) and 'Scratch' (in 1974). By 1974, they had incorporated the electric bass and electric guitar into their music. Bass guitarist 'Pops' Popwell and guitarist Larry Carlton joined the band, and featured on the group's albums throughout the latter part of the 1970's. They developed a more crossover, jazz-funk style of appeal, and the group's recordings started to appear on the Billboard pop charts.
Joe Sample performed various extra curricular performances for many Soul artists, along with some soft Rock artists including Joni Mitchell ('Free Man In Paris'). Further albums, 'Southern Comfort' (in 1974), 'Chain Reaction' (in 1975, including 'I Felt The Love'), and 'Those Southern Knights' (in 1976, including 'Spiral' and 'Keep That Same Old Feeling') were released before Wayne Henderson left the group to pursue solo recordings and production activities. The Crusaders recorded two more ABC albums, 'Free As The Wind' (1977) and 'Images' (1978) before the label merged with MCA. Pops Powell then left the group, and the Crusaders began to introduce vocals into their recordings.
The height of the group's commercial success came with 1979's 'Street Life', which peaked at number 18 on the pop album charts, and the title track from the album made the Top 10 on the R & B chart and number 36 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The song featured the vocals of Randy Crawford, whose album 'Now We May Begin' the group produced and played on in 1980. Also in 1980 they employed the vocal skills of Bill Withers on 'Soul Shadows' for their new album 'Rhapsody & Blues'. In 1981, 'I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today' featuring the vocals of Joe Cocker, reached the U.K. Top 75. In 1982 the Crusaders produced 'Don't Take Your Love To Hollywood' for Kelly Marie. Another founding member, Stix Hooper, left the group in 1983 and three more albums were recorded in the mid-1980's. Stix Hoopper was replaced with drummer Ndugu, and returned with the album 'Ghetto Blaster' in 1984, (including 'Night Ladies' - U.K. Top 75).
In the meantime Will and Joe both recorded solo albums. Ndugu performed on a final Crusaders album for MCA, 'The Good And Bad Times', which was released in 1986, and included 'The Way It Goes' featuring Nancy Wilson. In 1988, the group released 'Life In THe Modern World', that featured vocal and writing contributions from Ivan Lins ('Life In The Modern World' and 'Some People Never Learn') and Lamont Dozier ('Let Me Prove Myself Tonight'). In the 1990's, the group, for the most part, had disbanded. Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder did, however, have a reunion as the Crusaders. In 2003, founding members Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper revived The Crusaders and released 'Rural Renewal'. Ray Parker Jr. and Eric Clapton played guitar on the album. Also in 2003, a Wayne Henderson-led Jazz Crusaders released 'Soul Axess'. The Jazz Crusaders have released six albums since 1995. Joe Sample is still pursuing a successful solo career, and is recording again with Randy Crawford (two albums in 2006 and 2008 respectively).
as the Jazz Crusaders:
Nicknamed the "Female Preacher," Lyn Collins was discovered in the early '70s along with her relatives Bootsy and Catfish Collins by James Brown, who was making the transition to the hardest funk phase of his career. Lyn Collins was born June 12, 1948, in Abilene, TX, where she grew up; she began singing in her teens, waxing a tune called "Unlucky in Love" at age 14, and married a man who served both as her manager and as the local promoter for the James Brown Revue. Collins sent Brown a demo tape and he responded by essentially putting her on standby in 1970, when Marva Whitney left the Revue. Former vocalist Vicki Anderson elected to rejoin, however, so Brown instead invited Collins to come to Georgia for a recording session in early 1971, which produced the single "Wheel of Life." By the end of that year, Anderson was ready to leave again, and Collins officially joined the James Brown Revue. In 1972, Brown's People Records label released Collins' self-penned single "Think (About It)"; produced by Brown, it became her first and biggest hit, made her the most commercially successful female singer in Brown's camp, and was later sampled for the main vocal hook in the party rap classic "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. Collins' first full-length album, also titled Think (About It), was released later in the year. Collins continued to record singles for Brown through 1973, also fulfilling her heavy touring commitments as a member of the Revue. Collins' second album, Check It Out if You Don't Know Me by Now, was released in 1975. She eventually became a backup session vocalist, also appearing on the soundtracks of the film Dr. Detroit and the TV series Fame. Around the late '80s/early '90s, Collins attempted a comeback as a dance-club diva, recording the house single "Shout" for Belgium's ARS label, and a self-penned track called "Break Your Heart" for an Italian label. In 1993, Collins' profile was given a boost by female dancehall reggae singer Patra, who invited Collins to perform on her hit remake of "Think (About It)"; partly due to the resulting interest, her two official albums were reissued in England and Holland. In addition, Collins' work has appeared on Polydor compilations like James Brown's Funky People and James Brown's Original Funky Divas, as well as the bootleg singles comp Female Preacher; she continued to tour and perform, most notably at the European Jazz/Funk Festival (in both 1998 and 1999) and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Shortly after returning from a European tour in February of 2005, Lyn Collins passed away on March 13 at the age of 56.
1972 - Think (About It)
1973 - Female Preacher
1975 - Check Me Out If You Don't Know Me By Now
2005 - Mama Feelgood
A wildly flamboyant funk diva with few equals even three decades after her debut, Betty Davis combined the gritty emotional realism of Tina Turner, the futurist fashion sense of David Bowie, and the trendsetting flair of Miles Davis, her husband for a year. It's easy to imagine the snickers when a 23-year-old model married a famous musician twice her age, but Davis was no gold digger; she turned Miles on to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone (providing the spark that led to his musical reinvention on In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew), then proved her own talents with a trio of sizzling mid-'70s solo LPs.
Born Betty Mabry in North Carolina, Davis grew up in Pittsburgh and had decamped to New York by the early '60s, where she gained entrance into hipster musical circles courtesy of the clubs she frequented -- and one she worked at, the Cellar. She first recorded around that time, and also put out a 1964 single for Don Costa's DCP imprint. Her first major writing credit, "Uptown" by the Chambers Brothers, came in 1967, before she'd turned 20. One year later, she met Miles Davis in New York, and they were married by the end of summer 1968. Though their marriage didn't survive the end of the decade, Betty Davis was tremendously influential to Miles, introducing him to psychedelic rock and even influencing his wardrobe. Miles' 1968 LP Filles de Kilimanjaro featured her on the cover, and he wrote the final track ("Mademoiselle Mabry") for her.
Miles divorced her in 1969, explaining later in his autobiography that she was "too young and wild" for him. (He also suspected her of an affair with Jimi Hendrix, an allegation she denies.) By the beginning of the '70s, Betty Davis began work on a set of songs and tapped a host of great musicians to bring them to fruition: Greg Errico and Larry Graham from Sly Stone's band, Michael Carabello from Santana, the Pointer Sisters, and members of the Tower of Power horn section. Her self-titled debut album finally appeared in 1973, and though it made no commercial impact at all, it was an innovative collection with plenty of blistering songs. Even more so than a soul shouter like Tina Turner, Davis was a singer for the feminist era, a take-no-prisoners sexual predator who screamed, yelled, grunted, purred, and cooed her way through extroverted material like "Anti Love Song," "Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him," and "He Was a Big Freak." Religious groups protested many of her concert appearances (several were canceled), and radio outlets understandably refused to play her extreme work.
Davis hardly let up with her second and third albums, 1974's They Say I'm Different and 1975's Nasty Gal, but they too made little impact. Though she would have made an excellent disco diva, Betty Davis largely disappeared from the music scene afterward. An aborted 1979 session has been released on multiple occasions, once as Crashin' from Passion and also as Hangin' Out in Hollywood. Early in the 21st century, Light in the Attic Records reissued Davis' three released studio albums, and also issued for the first time her 1976 unreleased recording, Crashin' from Passion, as Is It Love or Desire?
Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984) was an American singer. Phillips was known for her R&B vocals, but she was a versatile singer, also performing pop, country, jazz, blues and soul music.
Born Esther Mae Jones in Galveston, Texas, when she was an adolescent, her parents divorced, and she was forced to divide her time between her father in Houston and her mother in the Watts area of Los Angeles. Because she was brought up singing in church, she was hesitant to enter a talent contest at a local blues club, but her sister insisted and she complied. A mature singer at age fourteen, she won the amateur talent contest in 1949 at the Barrelhouse Club owned by Johnny Otis. Otis was so impressed that he recorded her for Modern Records and added her to his traveling revue, the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, billed as 'Little Esther Phillips' (she reportedly took the surname from a gas station sign).
Her first hit record was "Double Crossing Blues", recorded in 1950 for Savoy Records. After several hit records with Savoy, including her duet with Mel Walker on "Mistrusting Blues", which went to number one that year, as did "Cupid Boogie". Other Phillips records that made it onto the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in 1950 include "Misery" (number 9), "Deceivin' Blues" (number 4), "Wedding Boogie" (number 6), and "Faraway Blues" (number 6). Few female artists, R&B or otherwise, had ever enjoyed such success in their debut year. Phillips left Otis and the Savoy label at the end of 1950 and signed with Federal Records.
But just as quickly as the hits had started, they stopped. Although she recorded more than thirty sides for Federal, only one, "Ring-a-Ding-Doo", charted; the song made it to number 8 in 1952. Not working with Otis was part of her problem; the other part was her drug usage. By the middle of the decade Phillips was chronically addicted to drugs.
In 1954, she returned to Houston to live with her father to recuperate. Short on money, she worked in small nightclubs around the South, punctuated by periodic hospital stays in Lexington, Kentucky, stemming from her addiction. In 1962, Kenny Rogers re-discovered her while singing at a Houston club and got her signed to his brother Lelan’s Lenox label.
Phillips ultimately got well enough to launch a comeback in 1962. Now billed as Esther Phillips instead of Little Esther, she recorded a country tune, "Release Me," with producer Bob Gans. This went to number 1 R&B and number 8 on the pop listings. After several other minor R&B hits on Lenox, she was signed by Atlantic Records. Her cover of The Beatles' song "And I Love Him" nearly made the R&B Top Ten in 1965 and the Beatles flew her to the UK for her first overseas performances.]
She had other hits in the 1960s on the label, but no more chart toppers, and she waged a battle with heroin dependency. With her addiction worsening, Phillips checked into a rehab facility. While undergoing treatment, she cut some sides for Roulette in 1969, mostly produced by Lelan Rogers. On her release, she moved back to Los Angeles and re-signed with the Atlantic label. A late 1969 gig at Freddie Jett's Pied Piper club produced the album Burnin'. She performed with the Johnny Otis Show at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1970.
One of her biggest post-1950s triumphs was in 1972 with her first album for Kudu Records. The song penned by Gil Scott-Heron, "Home Is Where the Hatred Is," - an account of drug use — was lead track on From a Whisper to a Scream which went on to be nominated for a Grammy Award. When Phillips lost to Aretha Franklin, the latter presented the trophy to Phillips, saying she should have won it instead.
Taylor continued to cut albums with her until in 1975, she scored her biggest hit single since "Release Me" with a disco-style update of Dinah Washington's "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes". It reached a high of a Top 20 chart appearance in the U.S., and Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. On November 8, 1975 she performed the song on an episode of NBC's Saturday Night hosted by Candice Bergen. The accompanying album of the same name became her biggest seller yet, with arranger Joe Beck on guitar, Michael Brecker on tenor sax, David Sanborn on alto sax, and Randy Brecker on trumpet to Steve Khan on guitar and Don Grolnick on keyboards.
She continued to record and perform throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, completing a total of seven albums on Kudu and four with Mercury Records, for whom she signed in 1977. In 1983, she charted for the final time on a tiny independent label, Winning with "Turn Me Out," which reached #85 R&B. She completed recording her final album a few months before her death, but it was not until 1986 that the label (Muse) released the record.
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California in 1984, at the age of 48 from liver and kidney failure due to drug use. Her funeral services were conducted by Johnny Otis
1951 Hollerin' and Screaming
1963 Release Me
1965 And I Love Him!
1966 Esther Phillips Sings
1966 The Country Side of Esther
1970 Burnin' [live]
1972 From A Whisper To A Scream
1972 Alone Again (Naturally)
1973 Black-Eyed Blues
1975 What a Diff'rence a Day Makes
1976 Capricorn Princess
1976 Confessin' the Blues
1976 For All We Know
1976 Gold Blues
1977 Live At The Rising Sun Club
1977 You've Come a Long Way, Baby
1978 All About Esther
1978 Esther Phillips
1979 Here's Esther Are You Ready
1981 Good Black Is Hard to Crack
1990 Better Beware
1992 A Way to Say Goodbye
Another of the many Dayton funk bands that emerged in the '70s, Sun didn't enjoy as much success as their counterparts. The band recorded prolifically for Capitol from 1976 to 1984, but just couldn't score a major hit. The closest they came was "Sun Is Here," which made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in 1978. They made one last try with Air City in 1984, but it flopped.