Randy (born Veronica Crawford) is a brilliant American soul singer who had a UK top five hit (Street life) as un-credited vocalist with the Crusaders in 1973, then had two UK top five hits (One day I'll fly away, Almaz) in the eighties as a solo singer. Randy never achieved this level of success in her homeland. Apart from those three major hits, Randy had two other UK top twenty hits (You might need somebody, Rainy night in Georgia) and several minor hits, three of which (Imagine, Secret combination, One hello) are included here. Most of the songs here are originals but, with her outstanding voice, Randy is a great interpreter of other people's songs, as this collection shows. This collection truly is the very best of Randy Crawford, one of the finest soul singers there has ever been.
Bob James H was released in 1980 on his Tappan Zee imprint during his great run that began with Touchdown in 1978. Its immediate predecessor is the One on One duet album with Earl Klugh. James recorded it in the same way he'd been making records since joining CTI in the early 1970s: with a large, all-star studio group paired with a couple of top-flight soloists. The former group included trumpeter Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, and Eddie Daniels; the latter features Grover Washington, Jr., Hiram Bullock, Airto Moreira, and Buddy Williams. Of course, hovering over everything is James' trademark piano, full of lovely if rote grooves and fills. The music revolves around breezy, easy themes and colorations, where the new contemporary (later, "smooth") jazz met lithe cinematic-style orchestral themes with some neat and tidy funk overtones. "Brighton by the Sea," with a tough soprano solo by Washington is a great example. Airto's hand percussion plays counterpoint to Williams drums, Gary King's deep, fretless, funk bassline holds the groove and Grover moves right into it, and then soars above it.