When we think of the musicial term, R&B, we often seem to not remember exactly some of the ingenues and creators that exactly have made the forms of music that inspire us. In the case of R&B female vocalists, we think of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Mariah Carey. Sadly, nowhere on that list would we put Patti Austin. She has been in this game as a R&B amd Jazz crossover for almost 40 years. Yet, we still don't give our peers any acceptance in the world for showcasing the craft. Her music ranges quite nicely from the soul of Aretha Franklin, with a dash of elegance of Roberta Flack. It is just an amazing voice to master.
The Very Best Of Patti Austin is a collection of her penned tunes from 1969-1986. The collection flows very nicely within Patti Austin's voice, ranging how she has changed with the times, and still scored her way to the top of the charts. There are just so many of her charted waters to flow by, it is just unstoppable. The hits parade also ranges nicely with songs like Say You Love Me, her first song on the Billboard charts The Family Tree, and also Honey Of The Bees. Simply put, her work with Quincy Jones is also featured quite rapidly on this collection, included within her hits Baby Come To Me with James Ingram, and Razzamatazz. These songs still definitely show that even with those modern R&B vibes changing, the style is still the same.
Although Patti Austin hasn't scored a hit in years, she still brings out the talent. I think that it is just a new amazing voice I've recently discovered, and this collection proves it. For all those wannabes like Ashanti, and Milli Vanilli likes', including Jennifer Lopez, they don't know what real music is. It is all manufactured and unnatural. I think that you should give this collection a try, and hear Patti Austin's voice full circle.
Before the "neggies" start a-flying, let me state that I am a HUGE Patti Austin fan, owning ten albums featuring the talented songstress. Austin has been a star in my book since the first time I heard her as a singer of commercial jingles decades ago. However, her skills have yet to be appreciated by the masses because of her eclectic choices, well represented on this compilation of "singles."
Most singers of note are known for a particular genre; that is, they are known as being a performer of either pop, jazz, R & B, or of any other musical genre. Austin can do it all, thus she doesn't have one particular NICHE. Because of that fact, she has yet to be "discovered" by a mainstream audience and that limits her familiarity.
That said, the disc showcases songs associated with the singer from 1969 to 1986. The first is a rarity: "The Family Tree," a song that Austin recorded when she was just a teen. It is more of an "old school" R & B tune that has a uniqueness that distinguishes it from the others.
Three cuts ("Say You Love Me," "We're in Love "and" Body Language") are culled from albums that Austin recorded on the CTI and are more in the light jazz vein.
It was her pairings with mentor and godfather Quincy Jones that really brought Austin some attention. She was more than just a "session singer" and really shines in the characteristic big production values associated with "Q" on "Love, I Never Had It So Good" and "Razzmatazz."
Austin then moved on to "Q's" own label and had some of her greatest commercial successes represented by "Do You Love Me?", "Every Home Should Have One," "Baby, Come to Me" and "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" (duets with James Ingram).
From the remaining selections the best are "It's Gonna Be Special," "Rhythm of the Street," "Shoot the Moon," and "The Heat of Heat," the latter tune remembered by fans of the soap opera "The Young and the Restless."
As far as the packaging is concerned, no one does it better than Rhino and the liner notes features smile-inducing commentary by the singer about each cut, as well as a discography of the albums featuring each song and great photos of the singer.
Though "The Very Best of Patti Austin" is a good album, a better representation of the singer's vocal gifts can be found in "For Ella," a spectacular tribute to the late Fitzgerald.
on July 1, 2002
This is Patti's long overdue popular tracks collection mostly from her time with Qwest records in the 80's. Yet, an artist of her musical magnitude deserves to have a double c.d. collection of her other tunes with GRP records in the 90's. The Family Tree gives insight to Patti's strong soulful vocals in the late 60's while her rendition of Isaac Hayes' Body Language smolders for the early 80's.Razzamatazz, Do You Love Me?, Baby Come To Me, Honey For The Bees, Heat Of Heat are my alltime favorites for Austin demonstrated that she could move with the times. She would (and still can) jam in the pop, r&b, and dance genres in the 80's to give other artists of that time a run for their money. Also, her version of Alison Moyet's Honey For The Bees is more of a smoother funkified version. Austin's re-recording of Meatloaf's Getting Away With Murder is a surprise (especially if anyone has heard Meatloaf's version). Patti's wins thumbs up without a doubt ! This is a great keeper since her 1984 self titled lp is completely out of print from the c.d world and her 1985 Gettin' Away With Murder c.d. is a rare import to find these days...
on April 24, 2006
I love Patti Austin, and I am glad I own this cd, I love "Baby Come To Me" and "Rhythm of the street" I love the entire cd, but those are my 2 favorite songs.............I hope they release some DVD's of this beautiful woman's concerts and music videos, as soon as possible or in the near future, all of the other reviewers and true fans of hers should know that she still tours extensively and she has a beautiful website called:PattiAustin.Com.........Visit it somtime, beautiful pictures and updates, you'll love it.........I love this woman and I would love to get her the exposure an recognition she deserves. She deserves recognition and the respect like Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer,Chaka Khan, Diana Ross,Martha Washington,Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, and many other beautiful divas........I love her so much, please go out and get this cd today,you'll be glad you did.
on November 4, 2001
I have to start out by admitting that I'm simply crazy about Patti. She simply can do no wrong as a singer. Sometimes the music and production aren't fully sympathetic to her talents, but she always sings with conviction, beauty, and sensitivity. Although she only had one top 40 pop hit, you're probably very familiar with her voice from the countless commercials she's recorded over the years. This CD finally covers all of Patti's music over the first 17 years of her career (1969 to 1986). During these years, she had chart singles on United Artists, CTI, A&M, and Quest, so leave it to Rhino to be able to work out the logistics to get all these singles on one CD. The CD opens with Patti's first chart single, "The Family Tree", from 1969. Its tough tone and Patti's strained vocals make this different from any other single on this CD. It then moves on to three singles she recorded for Creed Taylor's CTI label. These songs have a jazzy, more laidback sound, but they didn't make much of a commercial impact. Finally, Patti hit paydirt when she hooked up with her old friend Quincy Jones on his Qwest label. Her debut on his label, "Every Home Should Have One", is still one of my favorite albums of its time. That album spawned the title single (a catchy, tongue-in-cheek love song to a shy guy with everything but a girl - every home should have one, she tells him) and her only #1, "Baby Come To Me", her duet with James Ingram that hit due to its inclusion in "General Hospital" in 1982. Unfortunately, Patti never hit the pop top 40 again after this #1 hit, but her records over the next few years continued to score on the R&B charts. Her versions of "Honey For The Bees" (written and first recorded by British pop-soul singer Alison Moyet) and "The Heat Of Heat" (a single written and produced by the then-unknown team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis) are especially noteworthy. As usual, Rhino provides plenty of great info in the booklet. Patti offers her commentary on each song, and there is a track-by-track listing of all the songs, musicians, and chart positions. Add a beautiful picture of Patti on the cover and you've got a real winner. If you like her vocals on "Baby Come To Me", then by all means try this out. It's truly a shame this classy and talented singer isn't a bigger star.
"Patti Austin has been making records for over 30 years. In a business filled with boy bands, one-hit wonders, and flavors of the month, 30-plus careers don't happen all that often. Long careers filled with consistent Top 100 Hits hardly happen at all." ~ Shawn Amos ~
True enough, Patti Austin has a solid and unswerving recording career and she's one of the most in-demand songbirds of all-time. I've been an admirer of her music and her vocal style since I started to appreciate smooth jazz. Some of her most remarkable hit singles are highlighted in this compilation. The original recordings were produced by some of the most influential names in the jazz scene namely: Creed Taylor, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones, Russ Titelman, Johnny Mandel and Tommy LiPuma, among others.
Two of my personal favorites are the duets with James Ingram - "Baby, Come To Me" and the theme from one of my favorite movies of all-time, "Best Friends," which stars Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn, "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" This great song received an Oscar nomination.
"If we can try with everyday
To make it better as it grows
With any luck then I suppose
The music never ends."
Listening to the grooviest tracks "Razzamatazz," "Love, I Never Had It So Good" and "Do You Love Me?" makes you want to wear your dancing shoes and show off your dancing skills and swing the night away.
Ms. Austin does not only sing the melodies and lyrics of songs for the sake of singing, she sings with dedication and élan that reflect her creativity and her graceful voice. Her fans know the fact that she's not only a great songbird but also a talented composer in her own right. She composed two of the loveliest songs ever recorded and my all-time favorites, "Say You Love Me" and "We're In Love." (sub rosa: I listened to these songs repeatedly before listening to the rest of the tracks, can't get enough of their charms).
There's a special kind of magic in the air listening to this memorable songs that takes me back to yesterdays. Do you feel the same way?
Keep the music playing always and ever!
on December 26, 2001
...the perfect voice has a perfect CD that I'm sure folks are gonna regret that they almost slept on. It's too good for words.
The duets. The Classic Austin tunes. My favorites with Temperton and the Dude and all that satin making she does. Every home should have not one, but two. Save the other one in your private
CD stash no one but you gets to, dig?
on September 7, 2003
I really enjoyed this CD, however, some of her songs that I think are really great don't appear on the CD, such as 'Change Your Attitude', 'Starstruck', and 'Hot in the Flames of Love'. When I first heard 'It's Gonna Be Special' I thought it was Chaka Khan, another one of my favorite girls. I would recommend this CD to all Patti Austin fans.
on March 7, 2003
MORE MORE MORE! Songs like "Family Tree" need to be experienced by people who might not otherwise go out and buy this CD. So please, Radio Stations, play this album! Then we can all "shake it and break it" 'cause Patti, this song sure has made it!
on June 17, 2007
For the uninitiated, this collection may be a good place to start becoming familiar with and appreciating Patti Austin - I would have readily given it 5 stars if only more of Patti's work had been included. As it is, it is a good collection, but not stellar - something an artist of Patti's caliber truly deserved. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the recording, nor of the selection of the songs that are included, but there should have been so much more, in my opinion. Patti is an outstanding singer and her ability to effectively cover any musical genre is especially noteworthy, so where is "Talkin' 'Bout My Baby", "People In Love (Do the Strangest Things)", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", "Carry On" "How Can I Be Sure", just to name a few? This should have been a two disc collection, at minimum - or better yet, why not give Patti her due and get a really comprehensive boxed set on the street? Again, if you are new to Patti's work, this CD is a good place to start - just realize that there is much more out there by this very talented and versatile artist, and this recording only scratches the surface of what she has to offer.