Bennie Ross Crawford, Jr. otherwise known as ‘Hank’ and born in 1934 was a saxophonist, songwriter, and arranger. His work had its fingerprints all over the jazz and soul world and their many subgenres for many well known labels such as Atlantic and CTI. He even had a stint as Ray Charles’ musical director.

One of his earliest known recordings is from 1952 where he appears in a band that also housed Ike Turner and Ben Branch that was backing B.B. King. He went on to Tennessee State University where he majored in music theory and composition and was a member of the Tennessee State Jazz Collegians. While in school he also had a rock’n’roll quartet where the nickname ‘Hank’ was earned due to his uncanny resemblance in both looks and sound to a local sax legend Hank O’Day.

It was with this band that Crawford met Ray Charles and was hired as a baritone saxophonist. He soon switched to alto and was then promoted to musical director. In 1963 he left to form his own septet and was picked up by Atlantic Records. From there he moved on to CTI and Milestone and a successful jazz career beginning in the 1970s. He also worked with Lou Rawls, Etta James, and others doing musical arrangement.

He is known in the saxophone world for his uniquely pleasing tone.
This album, Tico Rico, is a 1977 recording for Kudu (CTI) and features John Faddis, David Matthews, Randy Brecker, and others. You will be taken all over the map with this album; however, the ride will always be a smooth one. The title track, A1, is a funky disco-esque romp with a bass line made for bumping and listeners will definitely recognise the opening of the B side.

Dedicated to that awesome jazz drummer, you will find Tico Rico in the Frank Reeser section (located on shelf C3) and should definitely be part of your evening’s soundtrack whether you are looking for a relaxing drink after work, a deep listen, or a funkified night.
Be sure to compliment Mr. Crawford’s Tico Rico with an Electric Peel off of our brand new, super delightful gin menu and get that authentic An Sibin experience.