Two early classics from the great Randy Crawford! Raw Silk is a really wonderful little album from Randy – a lot jazzier than previous work, and done in a style that has Randy's vocals backed by small electric combo work on most cuts! Players on the set are a great batch of top-shelf fusion players – and include Don Grusin, William D Smith, Leon Pendarvis, and John Tropea
– all playing in different combos from track to track, but keeping things nicely together to match Randy's increasingly soulful vocals. The sound's a real hint at the greatness Randy would hit with The Crusaders – but in a mellower mode – and titles include "Endlessly", "Declaration Of Love", "Blue Mood", "Love Is Like A Newborn Child", "Nobody", and "Just To Keep You Satisfied". Now We May Begin is a great album cut by Randy during the height of her career! She'd just broken big with her vocals on "Street Life" by the Crusaders – and although that track's not on here, the Crusaders team of Wilton Felder, Stix Hooper, and Joe Sample produced the album, and have given it a very similar sound to that track. There's a few weak moments where Randy's singing in a mellower style that lets her voice wobble a bit too much – but the stronger tracks have a good jazz funk groove, and these include "Blue Flame", "Last Night At Danceland", and "My Heart Is Not As Young As It Used To Be".