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The Wilton Felder Interview…..

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As I have traversed the musical landscape of the late sixties and early seventies it was the confluence of MoTown, Hollywood and a plethora of studio work that lent itself to creating versatile and compelling musicians and bands in Southern California.

Some like my guest today didn't start out in LA but wound up there. He was born in Houston, TX. and was from a family of seventeen, 15 of which were sisters. He began playing tenor saxophone with boyhood friends Joe Sample, Stix Hooper and Wayne Henderson. Collectively this group took the blues based saturation of Texas and melded that with the gospel and soul from the church. They took this gut-bucket approach on the road originally as the nighthawks but eventually wound up in the aforementioned sunny California where they became the outfit known as the jazz crusaders. By 1970 the group was the first to pivot from soul jazz to a more fusion based sound with driving marching band horns and lots of improvisational funk.

My guest had at that point started playing the bass and became  the most in demand session player of that time. Donald Byrd, Joni Mitchell, Sam Neely, Marvin Gaye, PG-E, Steely Dan, Seals and Crofts, Michael Omartian, and Grant Green. One of the most unheralded players of the last half century and my 4th crusader Wilton Felder, welcome to the JFS.....

 

Wilton Felder [Download]

 

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Peace,

JF