Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Avant Gershwin (Dig)
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
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This Is A Grammy Winner for "Best Jazz Vocal Album" - 50th A
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 02/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""When you look at the body of work from the Gershwins, it is kind of frightening. It is like they were sent by God to drop off a package and send them back in another two hundred years to do something magnificent. We just scratched the surface of their body of work, and isn't that fascinating?" ~ Patti Austin, All About Jazz ~
Recorded live and released in March of 2007, "Avant Gershwin," won the "Best Vocal Jazz Album" at the recent 50th Annual Grammy Awards. Congratulations to Patti Austin and everyone involved in this great CD for a well-deserved recognition. I am a long-time fan of George and Ira Gershwin's music and lyrics and who could do more than justice to their ingenious works than a fine jazz singer and also one of my all-time favorites, Patti Austin? I've been a long-time fan since the early eighties and have collected some of her best recordings most notably her collaborations with George Benson, James Ingram, Bob James and Quincy Jones.
This is a great tribute to the exceptional songwriting and composing talents of the Gershwin Brothers. Some of their well-loved gems are featured in this CD starting off with "Overture/Gershwin Medley," a Grammy-nominated-track for the "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist," down to "Lady Be Good." For someone who has been singing since age five, Patti Austin made her renditions more special with her wealth of experience in jazz singing and scatting. She brings freshness of style to these time-tested standards thereby making this album as one of the best Gershwin tributes ever recorded. The beautiful chart arrangements by Michael Abene and excellent musicianship of WDR Big Band (same band who backed her on for Ella) are contributing factors that made this album worthy of a Grammy nomination and the much-coveted award. Each song is taken to a higher level of appreciation for she has the ability to turn a timeless standard into a remarkably impressive gem of a song with a new twist. I'm sure the Gershwins in Heaven must be beaming with joy!
My choice cuts include a medley of "Love Walked In/Love Is Sweeping The Country" and a less-famous and seldom-recorded song but is surely a beauty, "Who Cares?" I first heard it from Kate Smith on one of my late father's collection of records. Tony Bennett also recorded it with Ralph Sharon Trio on Essential George Gershwin and ditto with Michael Feinstein on Nice Work If You Can Get It: Songs by the Gershwins. Her smooth take on "Summertime," one of the songs from "Porgy And Bess Medley," is simply gorgeous.
This Grammy-winning CD in its entirety is a sheer beauty and pure perfection. I wholeheartedly recommend it for a lovely listening experience."
Could have been better.
Krusty Fan | Miami | 06/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Given that it's Patti Austin it's not unfair to expect a lot. Unfortunately, she misses the mark here. As expected there is nothing technically wrong with the album, it's just that the arrangements are lackluster, and the song pairings don't really work.
Incredible voice though."
Austin may have just found her niche!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 06/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A performer for over thirty years, Patti Austin has done it all: pop, R & B, a little gospel, standards, and even a highly sought after jingle singer. It wasn't until 2002's Grammy-worthy "For Ella" that it appeared that the singer was now getting recognition for her singular vocal style as she paid tribute on that album to one of jazz's greats, Ella Fitzgerald.
Now, five years later, Austin takes on the music of the Ira and George Gershwin, who along with Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, were possibly the greatest songwriters of all time, not just the twentieth century. Backed by a full band and recorded live last year in Germany, Austin lets it all out as she interprets songs that will stand the test of time long after the current chart-toppers have turned to dust.
Austin's vocal instrument is so flexible that she is able to be poignant yet sassy, seductive yet saintly, trashy yet classy, and provocative yet conservative.
She can do it all and really pours it on thick with the opening twelve-minute long "Gershwin Medley" and the equally impressive "Porgy and Bess Medley." Even the remaining songs are lustrous and provide a venue for one of the great songstresses of the last and this century.
Austin is just hitting her prime and, besides her singing, she has a new look, having shed some pounds and getting a makeover.
When one looks at the singer, glamorously decked out and coiffed on the back cover, one can only exclaim, "D**N! She looks just as good as she sounds.""