Musician - Jazz
Wheatley High School
BiographyWilton Lewis Felder (born August 31, 1940, Houston, Texas) is both a saxophone and bass player, and is best known as a founding member of The Crusaders, initially called the Jazz Crusaders. Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper founded the 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 continues to work in its current versions, which often feature 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 up operations in Los Angeles, California, in the early 1970s. He played on recordings by the Jackson 5 like "I Want You Back" and "The Love You Save," and for Marvin Gaye. He has also played bass for soft rock groups like America and Seals and Crofts. Also of note was his contribution to the John Cale album, Paris 1919, 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 solo album, Secrets, which prominently featured Bobby Womack on vocals, reached #77 in the UK Albums Chart in 1985. This 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.
As to equipment, Felder plays a King Super 20 tenor sax with a metal 105/0 Berg Larsen mouthpiece. He has also used Yamaha saxes. On Bass, it's a Fender Precision. He also played Aria bass guitars at one time, as well.