The collaboration between vocalist Randy Crawford and pianist Joe Sample has always been tantamount to being one of the best musical pairings in contemporary jazz. The chemistry between these two artists possesses chemistry that breeds musical charisma and perfection. The intuitive mystical magic of Randy’s voice coupled with the melodic structure of Joe’s piano is artistic in approach, while providing jazz connoisseurs with a perspective seldom seen by today’s standards. The level of excellence between these two dynamic individuals makes their latest CD entitled Feeling Good a captivating response to anything that has been done in jazz in recent years.
Feeling Good is an album that reaches out and grabs your ear from the very first track. The electricity between Randy Crawford and Joe Sample makes for a sensitive collaboration between two lyrical giants. Although both artists have had commercial difficulty finding a voice by today’s radio standard, Randy and Joe have nonetheless been two of the most consistent interpreters of artistic impressionism. On top of that, they have a special relationship that exceeds 30 years as collaborators and partners. In that amount of time, they have become friends and either performed or written together on a number of projects. One hit in particular entitled "Street Life" was recorded while Joe was still a member of The Crusaders climbed the charts as an international hit and made Crawford a household name. The song was also included on the movie soundtrack Sharkey’s Machine. With the recording of Feeling Good, Randy and Joe have re-invented a formula that has always placed the two at the top of their craft.
Upon closer examination, Feeling Good pursues the work of some of America’s most respected black female singers. They included the contributions of Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn, Nancy Wilson, Dakota Staton and Nina Simone, all of which provide an inner view of a few of jazz’s most celebrated vocalists. Also included in the mix are re-makes of Crawford classics as well as a track entitled "Love Town" by Peter Gabriel taken from the movie soundtrack ‘Philadelphia.’ Collectively, the thirteen tracks contained on Feeling Good sheds a renewed sense of enlightenment on music seldom heard and has long since been forgotten. For added measure, some of music’s most renowned musicians are in attendance as well to include bassist Christian McBride, guitarists Ray Parker, Jr., Dean Parks and Anthony Wilson. Bringing up the rhythm section, the talents of drummer Steve Gadd and percussionist Luis Quintero are provided.
This CD provides a platform for Joe Sample’s expressive musical vision, while also allowing Randy Crawford’s free wheeling vocals to explode as though the two are a matched set of creative imagery. One of the more seductive tracks is "See Line Woman," a song that invokes a sense of folk spiritualism that is etched in gospel music. Two of Crawford’s musical classics entitled "Rio De Janeiro Blue" and "Last Night At Danceland" have been strategically rearranged with a distinctively different feel and texture. All in all, Feeling Good is a CD that stands the test of quantitative musical analysis and possesses an energized flow and perspective on contemporary vocal jazz at its finest. The message from Feeling Good is simple, this album is one of the best arrivals during the first quarter of 2007.