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pattiaustincroppedSound Advice
Artist: Patti Austin
Label: Shanachie Entertainment Corp.
Reviewed: May, 2011

Sound Advice is the latest studio album from the great female jazz vocalist, Patti Austin. For Austin fans, it won’t come as any surprise that Sound Advice with, again, leave them begging for more as she delivers a great selection of classics (and a couple of Austin originals) as only she can sing them.

Ms. Austin sings with a renewed passion, inspiration and conviction in her voice that lets the listener know that she loves life and is living it more completely than she has in years. I was raised having cut my teeth on a church pew. Listening to certain cuts gives me the distinct feeling that I have flashed back to one of the country churches of my youth and listening to soulful church singing again – even with Ms. Austin’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want. I don’t know how that happens but it just does.

My two favorites from this project, however, are Patti’s treatment of Don McLean’s Vincent and the Bill Withers beauty, Lean On Me. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to those to cuts but it’s been a lot. Don’t get me wrong: the whole CD is great. I just seem to zero in on those two gems.

Well, okay, there’s a third cut that’s got me pretty stoked and that’s Patti’s brilliant interpretation of the Bob Dylan crossover classic, Gotta Serve Somebody. Normally, as I am with the Rolling Stones, I feel that nobody better touch my “Zimmy” favorites but after listening to Ms. Austin smoothly belt it out, she’s received special dispensation from me to sing whatever Dylan and Stones songs she so desires.

When you pick up or download your copy of Sound Advice, you may as well go ahead and hit the repeat button on your player because you’re going to be listening to this countless times – in the car, in the office – even while you’re going to sleep at night. It’s the best sound advice I can give you (Sorry. I couldn’t resist!).