The special sound of Crawford's voice will always be linked to international hits like One Day I'll Fly Away and Street Life. She recorded this last song with the Crusaders, the band that had Joe Sample behind the piano. The reunion of these two special artists at the festival and the preceding Buhrmann Midsummer Jazz Gala will prove to be a pleasant surprise to many visitors.
Pianist Joe Sample, who was born in Houston, was a real jazz man before he made a name for himself with the Crusaders. His roots lie in hard bop: he was one of the founders of the Jazz Crusaders, who played in the tradition of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The Jazz Crusaders were renowned for their strong front-line featuring tenor sax and trombone. The acoustic piano remained Sample's first love until the band made the definitive change to jazz funk in the seventies. Sample started playing keyboards and the adjective 'jazz' was deleted. However, Sample never turned his back on jazz completely.
Later he worked on a beautiful solo career and made some fine trio albums that were a far cry from the Crusaders' populist oeuvre. Just like almost any American singer Randy Crawford learnt how to use her voice in choir of the local church. At fifteen, accompanied by her father, she started performing in local clubs. She was sure to start a career in music and at twenty-one she toured with George Benson. Thanks to her solo debut Everything Must Change in 1976 her name became known, but it was her sweltering contribution to the Crusaders' album Street Life that nobody will ever forget. Her own commercial breakthrough followed in 1981, when her fourth album Now We May Begin was released. The ballad One Day I'll Fly Away also became a number 1 hit in Holland and Great Britain.