Randy Crawford and Joe Sample display their versatility and musical legacy in the new duet CD release, Feeling Good (PRA Records), due to hit stores February 20, 2007.
Crawford and Sample couldn’t be more simpatico. After all, their relationship dates back 30 years. And as they say, timing is everything. Luckily for the listener, success and time brought both artists together again for this fabulous rendering when Sample asked Crawford to join him for the duet.
Joe Sample formed a group with Houston school friends in 1954, which was known as the Jazz Crusaders after moving to Los Angeles in 1960. The group consisted of Sample on piano, Wayne Henderson (trombone), Wilton Felder (tenor), Stix Hooper (drums) and a succession of bassists. One of the best all time jazz ensembles, the Jazz Crusaders (later know as just "Crusaders) forged the way for contemporary jazz. In fact, it was Sample who asked Crawford to appear on the Crusader’s record, writing "Street Life" for Crawford to sing.
Randy Crawford, the Macon, Georgia cutie, was already established with the mid-western club circuit as a teenager. By 21, Crawford had worked with Quincy Jones, Cannonball Adderely and was regularly touring with George Benson. But it was Sample’s "Street Life" that launched Crawford’s worldwide success in 1979 where she gained major popularity outside the U.S., especially London.
It is the collective experience and timing of the spectacular two that draw the listener into the spell they create on this CD. What’s refreshing about the tracks on Feeling Good is the songs are not ones that have been fried to a crisp by every musician under the sun. Some are obscure, some are reinvented, and others are old friends.
In addition to the sensitivity and delicious selection of songs on the CD, add the perfect accompaniment of Steve Gadd and Christian McBride, and the genius of Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt, and what you have is perfection. Look for it in stores soon. As part of your collection, you'll play it over and over, and over again.