Wayne Henderson's trombone teamed up with Wilton Felder's tenor in the Jazz Crusaders to give the group its own trademark sound. A fine hard bop soloist who later in his career chose to become an R&B producer instead, Henderson first played regularly with Felder, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper in Houston in the mid-'50s. By the time they moved to Los Angeles and started recording in 1961, they were known as the Jazz Crusaders. After many records for Pacific Jazz, the group in 1971 changed its name to the Crusaders. With Henderson's decision to quit the band in 1975, the Crusaders lost a great deal of their originality. In the mid-'90s, Henderson and Felder had a nostalgic reunion with an enlarged group for a recording on the Par label. Henderson died of heart failure in Culver City, California in April 2014; he was 74 years old.
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