With apologies to Dianne Reeves, Patti Austin has always quite simply been the best jack-of-all-genre singers on the planet, crossing effortlessly from jazz to pop and R&B with a voice that's so sweet, rich, and lovely, it can't help but warm the heart. On the heels of her 1988 masterpiece The Real Me, her GRP debut packs a wallop of festive up tempo tunes, lite funk pop, torchy message songs, passionate ballads, and breezy tenderness -- all delivered with a truly Austin-tatious flair. Austin surrounds herself with some of pop jazz's best here, with GRP's 1990 roster well represented: Dave Grusin (whose production is flawless), Don Grusin (with whom she co-wrote the happy "Ooh Wee (The Carnival)"), Deborah Henson-Conant (whose harp adds punch to "In My Dreams"), Lee Ritenour, and Nelson Rangell (whose alto soars on the title cut). But as tantalizing as the music is, it is Austin who gives the collection wings with a powerful voice whose mood she so artfully modulates depending on the feel of the individual tune. Soft and tender on her own composition "In My Life," easy and lilting for "In My Dreams," and full of genuine excitement for "Through the Test of Time" and "Ooh Wee." An added bonus is the Oscar nominated "The Girl Who Used to Be Me," which gives Austin a chance to show her range, even if the tune is a bit schmaltzy.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran