Today’s traffic jam is personal for me in a way, as it comes from L.A.’s own Patrice Rushen, who just happens to be close family friend — and whom my godfather has known and played with for years.
The Grammy-winning artist, producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist is best known as a fantastic keyboardist and vocalist. Rushen’s entire background is in music. She earned a degree in music from USC. At 17 won a competition that allowed her to play at the Monterey Jazz Festival. That’s takes some serious professional-level playing.
Her 1982 album, Straight From the Heart, gave us her Grammy-nominated hit Forget Me Nots which has been sampled by everyone from Will Smith to George Michael. Rushen is also the first woman who’s served as the musical director for the Grammys from 2004 to 2006.
Remind Me is a personal favorite of mine. The eighth song on the album, it showcases not only her vocal ability, but just how great of a keyboardist she is. And when I say she’s a multi-instrumentalist, I don’t just mean a couple of instruments. In addition to lead and backing vocals, she’s on arrangements, keyboards, and percussion. And that’s all just on this one track. This is all in addition to playing acoustic piano, clarinet, guitar while also doing vocals and synthesizers.
If you’re like me and enjoy letting the music absorb you, you’ll be taken on a chill journey right when her keyboard solo starts at 3:30. It’s like a smooth cocktail of early ‘80s jazz-funk and R&B.
You really can’t go wrong listening to this song to start your day. Like most of my personal favorites, it makes for great driving music. If you’re used to sitting in traffic like I used to be, you’ll definitely need something great and relaxing like Remind Me.