Thursday, November 15, 2007

Patti Austin- It Might Be You

Or maybe not.

I share Bob Dylan's infatuation with Alicia Keys. It's not (just) that she's pretty; she's the obvious people's choice to inherit the traditional R&B crown. Even so, I bought As I Am with minimal expectations. I'm not a big fan of the first single, even though I look forward to her next tour when I can sing along to the bit at 3:27 in the video. After a spinning it a couple times, As I Am sounds like a near miss. With a few minor tweaks it could have been in the same league as good-but-not-great albums by Stevie and Aretha. She'll get there. And while I'm sure Keys would object to the assertion, I believe she's already surpassed the fine career of Patti Austin. Big ballads like "It Might Be You" are even better when delivered by Keys. But if she hasn't already absorbed this recording, Keys would do well to study Austin's caustic spoken word routines on 1992's Live. Austin is a remarkably gifted comedian.

My friend Corky recently posted a stunning set of photos of Billy Joe Shaver.

Kansas City Click: Eric Bachman picks and grins at the Record Bar tonight.

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