Al Jarreau | Best of 76-14

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Al Jarreau | #aljarreau
(Alwyn Lopez Jarreau)
[1940-2017], Milwaukee, WI, United States

Biography


Alwin “Al” Lopez Jarreau is an American jazz singer.

When he was student, Al Jarreau sang with a group called the Indigos. Once graduated in 1962, he moonlighted with a jazz trio headed by George Duke.

In 1967, he joined forces with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez. The duo became the star attraction at a small Sausalito night club called Gatsby’s. This success contributed to Jarreau’s decision to make professional singing his life and full-time career.

In 1968, Jarreau made jazz his primary occupation. In 1969, Jarreau and Martinez headed south, where Jarreau appeared in such Los Angeles hot spots as Dino’s, The Troubadour, and Bitter End West. Television exposure came from Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, and David Frost. He expanded his nightclub appearances performing at The Improv between the acts of such rising-star comics as Bette Midler, Jimmie Walker, and John Belushi. During this period, he became involved with the United Church of Religious Science and the Church of Scientology, but he is no longer affiliated with Scientology. Also, roughly at the same time, he began writing his own lyrics, finding that his Christian spirituality began to influence his work.

In 1975, Jarreau was working with pianist Tom Canning when he was spotted by Warner Bros. Records. He sang on the first season of Saturday Night Live episode 13, 1975, hosted by Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein, Everybody Loves Raymond). Soon thereafter released his critically acclaimed debut album, We Got By, which catapulted him to international fame and garnered him a German Grammy Award. A second German Grammy would follow with the release of his second album, Glow.

One of Jarreau’s most commercially successful albums is Breakin’ Away (1981), which includes the hit song “We’re in This Love Together”. In 1984, his single “After All” reached 69 on the US Hot 100 chart and number 26 on the R&B chart. It was especially popular in the Philippines. His last big hit was the Grammy-nominated theme to the 1980s American television show Moonlighting, for which he wrote the lyrics. Among other things, he is well known for his extensive use of scat singing, and vocal percussion. He was also a featured vocalist on USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” in which he sang the line, “…and so we all must lend a helping hand.” Another charitable media event, HBO’s Comic Relief, featured Al in a duet with Natalie Cole singing the song “Mr. President”, written by Joe Sterling, Mike Loveless and Ray Reach.

Jarreau took an extended break from recording in the 1990s. As he explained in an interview with Jazz Review: “I was still touring, in fact, I toured more than I ever had in the past, so I kept in touch with my audience. I got my symphony program under way, which included my music and that of other people too, and I performed on the Broadway production of Grease. I was busier than ever! For the most part, I was doing what I have always done … perform live. I was shopping for a record deal and was letting people know that there is a new album coming. I was just waiting for the right label (Verve), but I toured more than ever.”

In 2003, Jarreau and conductor Larry Baird collaborated on symphony shows around the United States, with Baird arranging additional orchestral material for Jarreau’s shows.
[Wikipedia]

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