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Wayne Henderson/Ronnie Laws/Wilton Felder: Three Kings

Three of contemporary jazz’s preeminent horn players-saxophonists Ronnie Laws and Wilton Felder and trombonist Wayne Henderson-are spotlighted on the compilation Three Kings: The Legacy Continues, Vol. 1 (True Life). Henderson and Felder are members of the Jazz Crusaders, and the album includes such Jazz Crusaders tunes as the lickety-split “Young Rabbits,” the fun (and self-explanatory) “Just Because It’s Jazz (Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Dance)” and “We’re Gonna Rock Your Socks Off,” which doesn’t really rock, but does set Henderson’s trombone over a pulsating groove. Laws and Earth Wind & Fire vocalist Philip Bailey team for the ballad “Lonesome Journey,” while Bobby Womack provides gritty yet tender vocals on “Forever,” his collaboration with Felder. Laws’ “Still Always There” is a high-energy funk jam, while the slower-paced Felder composition “Rainbow Visions” possesses a graceful swing, and Patryce Banks from Graham Central Station provides vocals on the grooving “Life in the City.”

Originally Published