Felder in 1978
|Birth name||Wilton Lewis Felder|
|Born||August 31, 1940|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Died||September 27, 2015 (aged 75)|
Whittier, California, U.S.
|Associated acts||The Crusaders|
Felder was born in Houston, Texas and studied music at Texas Southern University. Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper founded their group while in high school in Houston. The Jazz Crusaders evolved from a straight-ahead jazz combo into a pioneering jazz-rock fusion group, with a definite soul music influence. Felder worked with the original group for over thirty years, and continued to work in its later versions, which often featured other founding members.
Felder also worked as a West Coast studio musician, mostly playing electric bass, for various soul and R&B musicians, and was one of the in-house bass players for Motown Records, when the record label opened operations in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. He played on recordings by The Jackson 5 such as "I Want You Back" and "The Love You Save", as well as for Marvin Gaye and Grant Green. He also played bass for soft rock groups like Seals and Crofts. Also of note were his contributions to the John Cale album Paris 1919, Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic (1974), and Billy Joel's Piano Man and Streetlife Serenade albums. He was one of three bass players on Randy Newman's Sail Away (1972) and Joan Baez' Diamonds & Rust. Felder also anchored albums from Joni Mitchell and Michael Franks.
His album Secrets, which prominently featured Bobby Womack on vocals, reached No. 77 in the UK Albums Chart in 1985. The album featured the minor hit, "(No Matter How High I Get) I'll Still be Looking Up to You", sung by Womack and Alltrinna Grayson.
- Bullitt (Pacific Jazz, 1969)
- We All Have a Star (MCA, 1978)
- Inherit the Wind (MCA, 1980)
- Gentle Fire (MCA, 1983)
- Secrets (MCA, 1985)
- Love Is a Rush (MCA, 1987)
- Nocturnal Moods (PAR, 1991)
- Forever, Always (PAR, 1992)
- Lets Spend Some Time (BCS, 2005)
With The (Jazz) Crusaders
- Freedom Sound (Pacific Jazz, 1961)
- Lookin' Ahead (Pacific Jazz, 1962)
- The Jazz Crusaders at the Lighthouse (Pacific Jazz, 1962)
- Tough Talk (Pacific Jazz, 1963)
- Heat Wave (Pacific Jazz, 1963)
- Jazz Waltz (Pacific Jazz, 1963) with Les McCann
- Stretchin' Out (Pacific Jazz, 1964)
- The Thing (Pacific Jazz, 1965)
- Chile Con Soul (Pacific Jazz, 1965)
- Live at the Lighthouse '66 (Pacific Jazz, 1966)
- Talk That Talk (Pacific Jazz, 1966)
- The Festival Album (Pacific Jazz, 1966)
- Uh Huh (Pacific Jazz, 1967)
- Lighthouse '68 (Pacific Jazz, 1968)
- Powerhouse (Pacific Jazz, 1969)
- Lighthouse '69 (Pacific Jazz, 1969)
- Street Life (1979), played sax and bass
With John Cale
- Paris 1919 (Reprise, 1972)
With Michael Franks
With Dizzy Gillespie
With Grant Green
- Welcome Home (World Pacific Jazz, 1968)
With Milt Jackson
- Memphis Jackson (Impulse!, 1969)
With John Klemmer
With Charles Kynard
- Reelin' with the Feelin' (Prestige, 1969)
With Carmen McRae
- Can't Hide Love (Blue Note, 1976)
With Joni Mitchell
- For the Roses (Asylum, 1972)
- Court and Spark (Asylum, 1974)
- The Hissing of Summer Lawns (Asylum, 1975)
With Shuggie Otis
With Jean-Luc Ponty
- King Kong: Jean-Luc Ponty Plays the Music of Frank Zappa (World Pacific/Liberty, 1970)
With Seals & Crofts
- Summer Breeze (Warner Brothers, 1972)
- Diamond Girl (Warner Brothers, 1973)
- I'll Play for You (Warner Brothers, 1975)
- Get Closer (Warner Brothers, 1976)
- Sudan Village (Warner Brothers, 1976)
With Jimmy Smith
- Root Down (Verve, 1972)
With Steely Dan
- Pretzel Logic (ABC Records, 1974)
With Gerald Wilson
- California Soul (Pacific Jazz, 1968)
With Hugh Masekela
- Reconstruction (Chisa, 1970)
- Slotnik, Daniel E. (October 3, 2015). "Wilton Felder, Saxophonist for the Crusaders, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Williams, Richard (October 8, 2015). "Wilton Felder obituary". The Independent. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 197. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Colker, David. "Wilton Felder, musician who played on many pop hits, dies at 75". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Smith, William Michael (September 27, 2015). "Legendary Crusaders Sax Man Wilton Felder Passes Away". Houston Press. Retrieved September 27, 2015.