From the DP Archive: More Patti Austin! (Strictly Jazz, September 1994)

Patti Austin
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April is Jazz Appreciation Month! In honor of which, every day during this month I will dig into the archives from my years as a jazz journalist (1987-1994), and post a random jazzy article here in A MUSIC LISTENER’S JOURNAL. Enjoy!

TODAY’S POST: another interview with the amazing vocalist Patti Austin, on the release of That Secret Place, her eleventh solo album, in 1994. (click on image until readable) Patti Austin

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From the DP Archive: Interview with Patti Austin (JazzTimes, December 1988)

Patti Austin
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April is Jazz Appreciation Month! In honor of which, every day during this month I will dig into the archives from my years as a jazz journalist (1987-1994), and post a random jazzy article here in A MUSIC LISTENER’S JOURNAL. Enjoy!

TODAY’S POST: an interview with the amazing vocalist Patti Austin on the release of her 1988 album The Real Me. (click on image until readable) Patti Austin

today’s songinmyhead: “Free and Single” (The Brothers Johnson)

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So a couple of hours ago, I was just minding my business… when Treasure Blue, one of my Facebook friends, posted this:

“A woman’s favorite song will say more about her and who she is, than her mouth ever will.”

Because I’m a smartass, and because Treasure Blue is my friend, I posted the name of the first smartass song that popped into my mind: “Free and Single by the Brothers Johnson.”

Now that song came out in 1976, and was on their debut album, Look Out For #1, which I’m holding in my hand right now. Those brothas could play some fon-keh guitar and bass–wowwowwow!! Then again, they were discovered by Quincy Jones, so what would you expect but quality and talent? The album had these tracks, several of which became hits:

SIDE ONE:
I’ll Be Good to You
Thunder Thumbs and Lightnin’ Licks
Get the Funk Out Ma Face
Tomorrow
Free and Single

SIDE TWO:
Come Together
Land of Ladies
Dancin’ and Prancin’
The Devil

I loved all the songs on the album. But I had *extra* love for Free and Single.

This song got my respect because it was so damn brutal. Those lyrics told it like it was. It was a man’s anthem which warned women that this dude was enjoying his bachelorhood–and you don’t wanna get in the way of a dude who tells you he’s enjoying his bachelorhood! Any smart woman who paid attention to that sucka could get a tuition-free pee h dee in relationships. Yes indeed. I admired the bravery and the honesty of those lyrics.

Since you asked, here are the lyrics, taken from the album sleeve. Of course I’ve memorized them (ha ha), but I just now pulled out the album sleeve and noticed that my smart ass made corrections to the printed lyrics right on the sleeve! But you know me–I can’t help myself. I was born an editor!

FREE AND SINGLE
Ya ya ya ya ya
Ya ya ya ya ya
Ya ya ya ya ya ya!

I’m a man full of fun
I can’t stop, must book, I gotta run
Cause there’s thing I gotta do
I can’t do ’em all staying with you

Now if you want me, you got to get me
But I promise you that you’ll miss me
I know you can’t hold on
Cause this bull is much too strong

Ya ya ya ya ya
Ya ya ya ya ya
Ya ya ya ya ya ya!

I got to keep movin’ around
I can’t let nothin’ tie me down
Cause’ once you got a love Jones
You’ve got to be at home Jones

There’s no way that I can do it
I can’t seem to satisfy you
If you want me all the time girl
I can’t promise I’ll be true

Ya ya ya ya ya
Ya ya ya ya ya
Ya ya ya ya ya ya!

There’s people I got to see
I got to be alone to be me
You can’t stop the rain, baby
You can’t heal the heart when it’s painin’

So I’d rather not be
What you want to see
I don’t want to see you cry
When I give someone else a try

There’s no way that I can do it
I can’t seem to satisfy you
If you want me all the time girl
I can’t promise I’ll be true
I can’t promise I’ll be true
I might change
I might change
Rearrange, on you
I said, I might change
I might change
Rearrange, like I always do
I might keep you one day
The next I won’t have ya
I might keep you one day
The next day I’ll have me a new one
Well that’s the way I am
And the way I’ll be
If you want to stay
Come on and see me
But, I might change
I might change
I might change or rearrange
I might change your brain
I might change your brain
I might change your brain
Rearrange
All your marbles
Hey!

Lyrics ©1976, George Johnson and Louis Johnson

Okay, now that you know the lyrics, let’s hear you sing along:

Bros Johnson jacket

(click to enlarge) My “Look Out For #1” album cover and inner sleeve with the lyrics. Whoever the hell wrote on that sleeve will be SPANKED!

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a message like that? Or delivered one yourself? Do tell in the Comments section below!