Classics: MAW feat. Patti Austin – Like A Butterfly (You Send It) (Main Mix) (MAW Records)
On the heels of their 1996 Nuyorican Soul album, Louie Vega and Kenny Dope came to collaborate with an extra bunch of luminaries. Crafting the uplifting ‘Our Time Is Coming’ for Roy Ayers. But also bringin’ both James Ingram and Patti Austin to unsuspected territories. Respectively with ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘Like A Butterfly (You Send Me)’ to name a few.
A quick listen to these few productions suffices to understand where their music is comin’ from. Findin’ its influences in the NYC (R&B) urban sound, such as developped by Frankie Crocker on WBLS by the end of the 70’s/early 80’s. With the Gene Perez bass driven jazzy ‘Like A Butterfly’ sort of takin’ on where Quincy Jones and Patti Austin‘s ‘Razzmatazz’ left back in 1981.
‘Like A Butterfly’ is a pretty good illustration of a vibe that has no equivalent in the world. The one of the Big Apple bringin’ the legacy of its elders to the newer generations. And the beat goes on!
– 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’…