Randy Crawford

Miss Randy Crawford/Raw Silk

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In 2005, the Wounded Bird label reissued six of Randy Crawford's seven earliest albums -- 1981's Secret Combination remained in print on its own at the time -- via two-for-one discs. 1977's Miss Randy Crawford and 1979's Raw Silk are combined here with no-frills packaging. The former, produced by Bob Montgomery, carries a pronounced Southern touch throughout (even when compared to her 1976 debut) and, save for its disco-era string arrangements and some studio flourishes, could pass as an early-'70s release. Raw Silk, one of Crawford's best albums, is relatively contemporary, graced with electric piano lines shared by Don Grusin and Leon Pendarvis. The up-tempo numbers are just as strong as the quiet storms -- an oft-neglected notion, given that many R&B fans instantly associate Crawford's solo work with her smooth ballads.

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