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May 2007

Randy Crawford & Joe Sample
Feeling Good
Universal

If you’re a fan of the tandem of vocalist Randy Crawford and pianist Joe Sample, who collaborated most memorably over 25 years ago on the Crusaders’ iconic “Street Life,” you may be disappointed that they didn’t include that tune on this all-new recording. Apparently that didn’t concern NASA astronauts on a December space shuttle mission, as Mission Control used the title track to wake the astronauts up during their 12-day mission.

Those down on Earth will no doubt enjoy this classy recording, produced by Tommy LiPuma and featuring drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Christian McBride, that offers standards and fresh takes on a few of Crawford’s hits from the 1980s. The most memorable of those is “Rio de Janeiro Blue,” a warm concoction made even fluffier here with its tropical-lite breeze. Crawford and Sample also collaborate on Billie Holiday’s “Tell Me More and More and Then Some,” Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” and Peter Gabriel’s bluesy “Lovetown.” Sample seems happy to stay in the background and hand the spotlight to the capable Crawford, although he does manage to step out for solos.

Perfect for dinner parties and wine-tasting rooms, Feeling Good should do well on the Upper West Side.

Originally published in May 2007
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