PATTI AUSTIN avant gershwin (Rendezvous Entertainment)
PATTI AUSTIN SIGNED HER FIRST recording contract with RCA Records at age 5 in 1954. Since then, the nine-time Grammy nominee has seen all there is to see in the music business. Best known through her string of pop and R&B hits on Quincy Jones's Qwest Records from the late 1970s through the 1980s, she was at the same time a well-respected jazz singer and highly regarded for her live performances in general, avant gershwin continues in that tradition, with Austin's always-unique approach making this set of standards as fresh as ever.
Producer Michael Abene (who has worked with Maynard Ferguson and Mercer Ellington, among others) highlights Austin's impossibly sharp phrasing and intonation on the album. Recorded in 2006 during two audience-attended sessions with WDR Big Band Koln, avant is both relaxed and...