Remembering Al Jarreau [1940 - 2017]

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2017 10:22am | Post a Comment

Rest in peace to multi-million selling pop/jazz vocalist Al Jarreau who died yesterday in an LA area hospital from unknown causes. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin born vocalist/musician, who just a coupe of weeks ago had suddenly stopped his ongoing tour citing "exhaustion" as the reason, was 76 years of age. A seven-time Grammy winner, Jarreau held the distinction of being the only vocalist in music history to earn Grammy Awards in three different categories: jazz, pop, and R&B. Jarreau won his first Grammy for "best jazz vocal performance" back in 1978. Jarreau's first Grammy award was credited to his 1977 Warner Bros released album Look to the Rainbow.

Fast forward forty years to last night's 59th Grammys, as news of Jarreau's passing was fresh on peoples' minds, and the artist was  given a shout out on stage by vocal quintet Pentatonix before bursting into an abbreviated acapella version of The Jackson 5's hit "ABC."  In another related sad coincidence at last night's Grammys show the late great hip-hop artist Phife Dawg, who was lovingly saluted during the extended A Tribe Called Quest ensemble's live performance, was among the many artists to have collaborated with Al Jarreau over the years. The ATCQ emcee had worked with Jarreau back in 2001 on the track "In My Music" (audio clip below). 

A prolific artist whose discography boasts over two dozen albums in his own name (including live albums and collections) plus several recording projects with others, Jarreau is perhaps best known for his hit "We're In This Love Together."  That song is from his 1981 Warner album Breakin' Away which was his biggest commercial hit and the album responsible for Jarreau winning the 1982 Grammy  Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performace. Note that in recent years this popular album was reissued as the Breakin' Away Expanded CD with bonus tracks.

As well as Breakin' Away's hit single "We're In This Love Together" the other song that Jarreau is best known for on a mainstream level is his theme song for the 80's television show “Moonlighting,” for which he wrote the lyrics [Lee Holdridge wrote the music]. Music videos for both of these best known Jarrreau songs appear below.  Among the many Jarreau albums you can find at Amoeba Music include We Got / Glow (Friday), Al Jarreau: Live in London (Friday Music), Jarreau, (Friday Music), Al Jarreau & The Metropole Orkest (Concord), This Time (Warner Bros), Love Songs (Rhino), Live At Montreux 1993 (Eagle Records), and Givin' It Up, the 2006 collaborative album he recorded with George Benson for Concord Jazz.

Al Jarreau - We're In This Love Together (Official Video)

Al Jarreau "Moonlighting"

Al Jarreau "Since I fell for You"

Al Jarreau with George Benson "Live In Concert 2007"

Al Jarreau feat Phife Dawg "In My Music (Dodge Remixes)" [audio only]

Relevant Tags

Al Jarreau (2), George Benson (2), Grammys (5), Phife Dawg (4)