LIVE (WITH STEVE GADD & NICKLAS SAMPLE) - RANDY CRAWFORD & JOE SAMPLE
LABEL: PRA RECORDS
TRACK LISTING: Everyday I Have the Blues, Feeling Good, Tell Me More and More and Then Some, Rainy Night In Georgia, This Bitter Earth, Me Myself & I, No Regrets, One Day I'll Fly Away, Almaz, Street Life, Last Night At Danceland
IMPRESSIONS: There are certain singers who spend an entire concert trying to impress you; pulling out little tricks designed to impress an audience. Look what a fantastic singer I am. Aren't I so damn impressive? And then there are other singers who impress by not trying to impress. By simply interpreting a song superbly with little trace of ego because that's the only way they know how to do it. This is Randy Crawford whose live album released last year is one of the most pleasurable listens you're likely to hear lately. Crawford is simply a masterful interpreter of song whose also got a fantastic instrument with which to do it. This (admittedly short "leaving-them-wanting-more" 50 minutes) concert recording finds Crawford never putting a foot wrong. The song choices (many from her last couple albums together with Joe Sample) are without exception well-chosen. Crawford tackles Nina Simone's "Feeling Good", Brook Benton's "Rainy Night In Georgia", Dinah Washington's "This Bitter Earth" and Edith Piaf's "No Regrets" and owns them all (as well as serving up her own hits "One Day I'll Fly Away" and the sublime "Street Life"). The virtuoso piano playing by Joe Sample does the rare thing of managing to sympathetically serve the song and the vocalist while still sounding interesting and full of star-power. The excellent drumming by Steve Gadd is also a stand-out. Together with Nicklas Sample on bass, this is one tight trio. But, when all is said and done, it all comes back to Ms. Veronica Crawford from Macon, Georgia who puts on an impeccable, delectable show.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: All of 'em.
FACT SHEET: LIVE (WITH STEVE GADD & NICKLAS SAMPLE) is Randy Crawford's 17th album and her third with Joe Sample. The concert was recorded in Dusseldorf, Germany because Crawford is big in Europe while her native country basically ignores her. Shame on you, America!