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PATTI AUSTIN: STREET OF DREAMS (WATER MUSIC RECORDS)
As a teenager, she went to see Judy Garland perform and what she witnessed that evening stayed with her for life. “She ripped my heart out. I wanted to interpret a lyric like that, to present who I was at the moment of the lyric.” I have to say, what an extraordinary artist Patti Austin is and this shines through here as she pays homage to her mentor Dinah Washington. Singing hand picked items, Patti covers R&B, jazz and all in between in this re-issue of a 2009 release. Yes, Ms Austin doesn’t spare the punches here and it’s glorious to be a part of this journey. Born in Harlem, New York, her god parents were Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington. At the tender age of four, Patti debuted at the Apollo Theatre, and one year later had secured a recording deal with RCA. Moving forward to the late sixties, she earned a living as a jingle singer and session vocalist, linking her with a whole array of A-liners like Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Into the seventies and Michael Jackson, where she shared his “It’s The Falling In Love” track on the “Off The Wall” album. Between 1970 and 1991 Patti enjoyed numerous hits and worked with the best in the business including Quincy, Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross, George Benson and James Ingram. So, she’s lived the life and paid her dues many times over. As far as I can see, her most recent appearance for the world to see was in the award winning film “20 Feet From Stardom”, that fabulous insight into session singers which is an absolute must for anyone. The heart and soul of this CD is based around a handful of tracks, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “’Till There Was You”, possibly “The Look Of Love” and “I Only Have Eyes For You”, with “For Once In My Life” not far behind. Patti effortlessly moves from one style to another – check out “Calling You”, hauntingly beautiful against “Look What You’ve Done To Me”. Thoroughly enjoyed my time here, so why don’t you join me?

Rating: 9


About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.
  
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