The Crusaders

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The music on this four-CD box set is mostly excellent, and this is not a bad sampler of the recordings of the (Jazz) Crusaders, but there are some problems. The 1961-70 group is covered much too quickly in the first disc, and the last two discs jump around chronologically throughout the '70s. The lack of recording dates is rather inexcusable, and the odd programming makes it difficult to trace the popular band's evolution. On the other hand, the extensive liner notes by Quincy Troupe are refreshingly honest, and many of the high points of the group's existence (including "The Young Rabbits," "Freedom Sound," "Eleanor Rigby," "Put It Where You Want It," their classic rendition of "So Far Away," and "Street Life") are included. Worth picking up by beginners, although veteran collectors will prefer to get the more complete original sets instead.

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