Friday, June 12, 2009

Patti Austin at the Playboy Jazz Festival

Daood interviews the great Patty Austin who will be at the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 13th-14th.

DAOOD: My very special guest has made 17 albums, won a Grammy for best jazz vocal album "Avant Gershwin", has performed duets with James Ingram, George Benson, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, and Johnny Mathis. She is the god daughter of Quincy Jones and the legendary vocalist Diana Washington. Yes, it is none other than the legendary vocalist Patti Austin.

PATTI AUSTIN: That would be 20 albums, try to keep up with us.

DAOOD: Yes Ma'am. 20 albums ok.

PATTI AUSTIN: That was 5 years ago, we had 17. We're working, we work every day in New York where I am from. (We both laughed)

DAOOD: What do you love most about the Playboy Jazz Festival?

PATTI AUSTIN: The thing I love best about the Playboy Jazz Festival is, for me, the word "jazz" does not define the music, it defines an attitude so we're going to jazz the crowd up with my hits as they say. Although I don't do medleys, the new stuff we're working on that's going to come out on a project more pop orientated that I'm working on. We're going to do a couple straight ahead jazz things kind of modern jazz pieces and probably not Avant Gershwin. I know we're going to have at least 6 maybe 7 or 8 background singers, an 8 piece band.

PATTI AUSTIN: We're going to rock the cast at The Grove - 17,000 people you've got to make it rock. Mostly it'll be large and we want to get people up on their feet and grooving and rock' in out with Bowl Soul.

DAOOD: From the many hits that you've had will "Razzamatazz" be included?

PATTI AUSTIN: We only do "Razzamatazz" and "Test of Time". We are going to throw in some other songs that people always ask for me to do like "Carnival" and "Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams", surprises and new stuff. "Lean on me".

I'm not going to tell you about the encore but everybody knows it, and everybody loves it. I will say this, I already recorded it and it's on a compilation album. You could figure it out. I will also perform "Baby Come to Me", "How Do You Keep He Music Playing" and you know I might get sexy, sexy and throw in "The Heat of Heat" for everybody. I always get asked to sing that because I seldom sing that anymore. That is...pretty much going to be the show and a couple of tunes that I love and never recorded; wished I had, and we do it in the show and people love them I got to tell you. I've been opening my show with a tune called "Loving Is Really My Game" (Originally performed by Belita Woods of the group Brainstorm) is from my all time favorite dance songs. That's how I open up the show. It's so funny the audience doesn't know what the hell I'm going to do because I do so many different kinds of music. We are going to have a great, great time. It's a tremendous time coming to the Playboy Jazz Festival. If you've never been there before you must come this year. It will churn you up, fire you up for the rest of this year. I promise you.

DAOOD: I plan on attending, this will be my first time, but going back to the opening song “Loving is Really My Game" that is funny you should open up with that song because when I'm on the treadmill that's usually the song I'm listening to. That's a great song!

PATTI AUSTIN: That's a great song with great arrangements! Doesn't that song just fire you up? That's why I've been doing [that song] for years.

DAOOD: Yes, it does fire me up and everyone I know loves that song. My final question is, what are your keys to success?

PATTI AUSTIN: My primary key to success is surrounding myself with deeply intelligent, soulful, honest people who do not allow me to go astray. The world that is all about being astray, which is the entertainment business. If you are a performer you're a ham, an egotist; you are constantly in a state of levitation, and you need everybody and everything around you to ground you. Otherwise you get carried away with the nonsense. I have a tremendous group of people that keep me on the ground. I did a show the other day, this guy was saying to me: "I can't believe you walked in here alone." Part of the reason I'm still here 54 years later, is I have no freakin' entourage . Entourage is there to stroke you. I'm not on this planet to be stroked. We're on this planet to be learning, so you can't do that if everybody around you tells you, "You are so cool; you're all that and a bag of chips," no, you're not. You have two ears and one mouth, listen more than you talk.

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