Flashback Friday – Patti Austin – The Real Me

Patti Austin - The Real Me

“All alone, the party’s over, old man winter was a gracious host;
But you keep praying for snow to hide the clover;
Spring can really hang you up the most!”

– Patti Austin

I was chatting with a friend yesterday and learned something interested about a favorite album. Vocalist Patti Austin recorded her album, The Real Me, when she was about 40. Now that’s quite a birthday present. Her previous album, Gettin’ Away With Murder yielded the hits “The Heat of Heat“, “Gettin’ Away with Murder“, and “Honey for the Bees.” I also loved the ballad “Summer is the Coldest Time of Year.” On her final Qwest Records album, she took a different approach. She was tired of trying to appeal to the masses so she sang the music that appealed to her heart. The result was a vibrant album of beautifully crafted standards that have stood the test of time.
The lyrics above are from “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most“, a sad but powerful song which was only released on the CD version of the album. It was made popular by both Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter. There is also the breezy “Lazy Afternoon” and the honky-tonk tune “Across the Alley From The Alamo.” Patti swings on “I Can Cook Too” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” I remember wanting to know meaning of the word plebeian after hearing her sing “Cry Me A River.” Her multi-layered vocals shine through on “Mood Indigo” and “Stockholm Sweetnin’.” She smolders on “Love Letters“, the poignant “How Long Has This Been Going On“, the sultry “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes“, and on her duet with David Pack on “True Love.” She also does gospel tinged “Someone Is Standing Outside” which was orginally done by Thelma Houston.
Patti is backed by a host of wonderful musicians and vocalists including David Benoit, Howard Hewitt, Luther Vandross, Earl Klugh, Tata Vega, and Michael McDonald. The album is consistently brilliant and definitely a welcome addition to your collection. Enjoy your music.

2 Responses to “Flashback Friday – Patti Austin – The Real Me

  1. e j says:

    i give you a hug for this one. i mean, really…the fact that you mentioned Summer Is The Coldest Time Of The Year and then Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most gives you trememdous props.
    Think I’ll listen to Patti. Of course, this after this weekend’s done. *wink*

  2. One of the most original and engaging voices. Period. Luv huh.

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