The veteran sweet-voiced singer's fourth GRP album is perhaps her most musically diverse, covering an ambitious range of material. While each successive album she's recorded over that period has given the versatile entertainer an opportunity to showcase different elements of her artistry, this album gives her the chance to highlight her skills as a vocal stylist and interpreter with few peers.
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)")…
With a voice that is capable of convincingly interpreting virtually any style of material, Patti Austin is one of the most astoundingly gifted singers of her generation. Here Patti caresses twelve timeless melodies with great sensitivity and emotional depth, taking the listener on a warmly romantic journey. Intimate Patti Austin is the first in Mosaic Contemporary’s Intimate Series, presenting the "best of the best" ballad interpretations from an artist's entire recorded output for several labels. From her wonderful version of the classic Stylistics hit “Stop, Look, Listen” to the first recording of the now standard Ivan Lins/Alan & Marilyn Bergman gem “The Island”, this collection takes the listener through the many passionate feelings of love found, lost, and renewed…
Street of Dreams was designed as a project for Patti Austin to sing her favorite songs, regardless of genre. True, there are a couple of later songs here, usually including two co-written by Vaneese Thomas, but the heart of the album is in interpretations of "The Look of Love," "Street of Dreams," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "'Till There Was You," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "For Once in My Life," and "IGY (What a Beautiful World)." Although the arrangements can get a little too clean and synthesized (much of the album sounds as if it was recorded with DX-7s), Austin is in terrific form throughout, breathing life into songs that have been recorded numerous times. It's a fine latter-day effort from a fine singer.
Patti Austin, though best-known for the quiet-storm duet "Baby Come to Me" with James Ingram, is one of those rare artists capable of working in a multitude of different genres. While this is a testament to her ability as a lyrical interpreter, it sometimes results in uneven albums. In and Out of Love just about avoids that trap, although there are a couple of moments when she seems to be trying too hard to show all that she can do in the course of one record.
The fourth album cut for the label wasn't much different from the previous three. It was a patchwork quilt: a little fusion, a little quasi-jazz, some urban contemporary material, and even a standard or two. She sang them all with ease and grace, although things were so smooth that they were almost comatose at times. would later go on to score much bigger hits working with , who at least injected enough hooks and tricks into his urban contemporary stuff to grab someone's attention.
Patti’s debut for CTI, END OF A RAINBOW was conceived after she played demos of songs she’d written (but originally never planned to record) for arranger Bill Eaton who in turn played them for his production partner percussionist Ralph MacDonald. After MacDonald let Creed Taylor hear some of the songs, Patti began recording what would become her much-acclaimed debut set for the label which featured eight original Austin compositions including the U.S. R&B charted single, “Say You Love Me” and “Sweet Sadie The Savior” (also recorded by Blood, Sweat & Tears). The 1976 LP (with some of New York’s top session players) became a U.S. Top 40 jazz charted album and is included in its entirety on this SoulMusic Records’ compilation drawn from Patti’s four years with CTI.