BiographyHank Crawford's delectable saxophone mix of jazz and blues with smooth-toned R&B has had a massive impact on today's Crossover Jazz scene. Crawford cut his teeth in Memphis with Muddy Waters, Bobby Blue Bland, and Ike Turner before going to university to study music. Crawford started turning heads when he joined Ray Charles in 1956. His soul-drenched baritone and alto sax playing had found the perfect showcase and he became Charles' musical director until 1963. Starting in 1959, and up through the '70s, Crawford released a string of Soul Jazz albums on Atlantic and CTI that heavily influenced David Sanborn and Grover Washington Jr.'s radio-ready styles. In the line of research, the Listen.com editors recently checked out Crawford with organist Jimmy McGriff at an uptown nightclub. He brought the house down.
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