Classics: Patti Austin & James Ingram – Baby Come To Me (Qwest Records)
The daughter of a Jazz musician, Patti Austin secured her first recording deal with RCA at the early age of… 4! With Dinah Washington and Quincy Jones choosin’ her as their goddaughter, she first became both a session and commercial jingle singer.
Although she delivered her first recording back in 1965, Austin would have to wait until the beginning of the 80’s to get major recognition. This while contributing to Quincy Jones‘ 1981 ‘The Dude’ album. Takin’ the lead vocals on the memorable ‘Betcha Wouldn’t Heart Me’ (co-written by Stevie Wonder) and ‘Razzmatazz’. An album followed by the Quincy Jones Presents Patti Austin‘s Every Home Should Have One’…
There, Patti Austin would score one of her biggest successes ever. Meanwhile sharing the duties with James Ingram on the smooth and mellow Rod Temperton penned ‘Baby Come To Me’. Surrounded by a whole bunch of luminaries. From Michael McDonald in the background vocals to Greg Phillinganes. But also Steve Lukather and David Foster. Not to mention Paulinho Da Costa and Louis Johnson…
– A native of Harlem, NYC, Patti Austin saw the day in a music environment with thanks to her dad who was a Jazz trombonist. But also to Dinah Washington and Quincy Jones who referred to themselves as her godparents.
She delivered her first public performance at the Apollo Theater at the early age of 4. Then she got a contract with RCA the year after. And, in 1965, she dropped her debut-single – ‘A Most Unusual Boy’ – under the direction of Bert DeCoteaux on Coral Records. Then, 11 years later Creed Taylor went to sign her on his CTI Records label. There, she released 4 albums before signing a deal with Quincy Jones‘ Qwest Records label. 1981 seeing her contributing to Jones‘ ‘The Dude’ album on both ‘Razzmatazz’ and ‘Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me’. But also comin’ up with ‘Every Home Should Have One’. An album which featured the chart topping ‘Baby Come To Me’ where she shared the duties with James Ingram.
By 1984, Patti Austin ventured into the Hi-Energy territories. This with ‘It’s Gonna Be Special’ which received a remixing treatment courtesy of John Jellybean Benitez. One of the highlights from her eponymous album along with ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ which Narada Michael Walden produced for her. Meanwhile the latter would hire her the year after to sing the lead on ‘Gime, Gimme, Gimme’.
Austin’s 1985 album, ‘Gettin’ Away With Murder’ sort of confirmed her inclination back then for Poppier vibes. As one could realize it when havin’ a listen to its title track. Meanwhile ‘The Real Me’, a collection of US standards marked the end of her contract with Qwest. She scored a Top 5 Dance hit with the Hex Hector remixed ‘Reach’, from her 1994 ‘That Secret Place’ album on GRP Records. And how to not think of her collab with Masters At Work back in 2001 on the blowing ‘Like A Butterfly (You Send Me)’ somehow echoing to ‘Razzmatazz’?
– A native of Akron, OH, James Ingram moved to L.A., CA, aged 19, in search of a musical career. There, he would get his first date as a keyboardist playing for the late Leon Haywood. He soon after formed his own band (Revelation Funk) before coming to the attention of Quincy Jones via a demo tape. The latter hiring him on his 1981 ‘The Dude’ album where he landed 3 songs. But also on Patti Austin‘s ‘Every Home Should Have One’ album. The twosome delivering the memorable ‘Baby Come To Me’ as a duet.
This would be the start of a fruitful collab, with the Dude signin’ him on his own Qwest label via Warner. Jones and Ingram eventually writing together ‘P.Y.T.’ as a part of Michael Jackson‘s 1982 ‘Thriller’ album.
Ingram delivered his debut-album – ‘It’s Your Night’ – the year after. Eventually sharing the duties (this time) with Michael McDonald on ‘Yah Mo B There’. His follow-up – ‘Never Felt So Good’ – saw the light in 1986, generating a moderate success. An album which he co-produced with Keith Diamond, himself remembered for his collaborations with Billy Ocean and Starpoint among others.
He then made a quick foray into New Jack Swing in 1989 with the Teddy Riley produced ‘It’s Real’ (from the album of the name). Eventually contributing to ‘The Secret Garden’ as a part of the Quincy Jones‘ ‘Back On The Block’ album that same year. And he also eventually ventured into soulful/House territories along with Louie Vega and Kenny Dope on the 2001 released ‘Lean On Me’. This with Jocelyn Brown and Patti Austin providing the backing vocals…