Randy Crawford and Joe Sample - Feeling Good (2007)

Randy Crawford and Joe Sample
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In a day where the music industry seems to have lost direction and integrity, thank goodness for our veteran artists. While "most" mainstream artists are riding the successful wave of material that are unlikely to stand the test of time, veteran artists are literally "running for covers," (pun intended) releasing album after album of new versions of classic pop and soul music. Sadly, in most cases the covers albums being released by some of our most beloved legends are projects that turn out to be something less than desired. But, when you reunite Crawford and Sample, two musical geniuses who both bring thirty years of impeccable artistry to the table, the end result is more than just an album of covers. Randy Crawford & Joe Sample are Feeling Good and sounding spectacular.

In a day where the music industry seems to have lost direction and integrity, thank goodness for our veteran artists. While "most" mainstream artists are riding the successful wave of material that are unlikely to stand the test of time, veteran artists are literally "running for covers," (pun intended) releasing album after album of new versions of classic pop and soul music. Sadly, in most cases the covers albums being released by some of our most beloved legends are projects that turn out to be something less than desired. But, when you reunite Crawford and Sample, two musical geniuses who both bring thirty years of impeccable artistry to the table, the end result is more than just an album of covers. Randy Crawford & Joe Sample are Feeling Good and sounding spectacular.

Feeling Good contains thirteen tracks that cover the musical genres of R & B, jazz, and blues, layered with an almost gospel touch thanks to Randy Crawford, whose astonishing vocals are more emotional and soulful than ever. As always, Joe Sample's piano playing is sharp and continually on point. While each track stands on its own, the highlights are "End of the Line," a sensuous remake with a strong Bosa Nova appeal. On Billie Holiday's unfamiliar "Tell Me More and More and Then Some," the vocal and musical arrangements breathe a romantic vibe that is rarely captured by today's artists. The amazing rendition of Leo Sayer's 70's hit "When I Need You," is reminiscent of Sample's and Crawford's ability to create such classics as "Street Life" when they were a part of the Crusaders. On the classic "Street Life," you believed in every vocal and instrumental arrangement because of the dynamic musical chemistry The Crusaders shared. A very smart "Love Town" which contains samples from Annie Lennox's "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This," proves this duo is more in sync musically than ever before.

Feeling Good is another quality production from Tommy LiPuma and Joe Sample. Crawford's vocals are simply outstanding and Sample's musicianship is spellbinding. The combination of excellent choice of material, strong vocal and musical performances, and the intangible quality of strong artist chemistry all make Feeling Good clearly one of the year's best releases. Highly recommended

By Steven Riggs

 
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