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Patti Austin: Avant-Gershwin

A half-decade has passed since Patti Austin channeled all that gorgeous, gutsy power of hers into the grand, Grammy-nominated For Ella. Since then, the Quincy Jones-sculpted songstress has been busy touring the world, co-creating the dynamic bebop-meets-Fitzgerald venture “BeboperElla” and appearing on two of last year’s most satisfying discs-adding fresh support to the vintage Ray Charles vocals at the heart of Ray Sings, Basie Swings, and contributing a sublime “Let It Rain” to George Benson and Al Jarreau’s Givin’ It Up. Now, at long last, Austin, less than two years shy of her 60th birthday and sounding finer than ever, has returned to the studio for this multi-hued meander through the Gershwin songbook.

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