Al Jarreau has passed

Al Jarreau is singing with the angels. God’s choir has a new superstar.

From Al’s website:

Al Jarreau passed away this morning, February 12, 2017. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by his wife, son, and a few family and close friends.

He will be missed.

The family asks that no flowers or gifts are sent. Instead, please consider a contribution to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, a wonderful organization which supports music opportunities, teachers, and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. Even if you do not plan to contribute, please visit that page and give yourself a minute to watch a beautiful tribute video which was produced by Wisconsin Public Television. Continue reading “Al Jarreau has passed”

Al Jarreau forced to retire from touring

Update: Al Jarreau passed away on Feb. 12, 2017.

Sad news from the Al Jarreau Facebook page:

As many of you know, Al Jarreau is in the hospital in Los Angeles, due to exhaustion. He is receiving excellent medical care, responding to treatments, and improving slowly, but the medical team has instructed that he cannot perform any of his remaining 2017 concert dates. Ticket holders should contact their venue or point-of-purchase regarding refunds. It is with complete sorrow, Al is retiring from touring. He is thankful for his 50 years of traveling the world in ministry through music, and for everyone who shared this with him – his faithful audience, the dedicated musicians, and so many others who supported his effort. We will keep you updated here, as well as on his website http://aljarreau.com

Al will be in my thoughts this week. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that we’re all in this love for him together.

George Benson in session

I’m pruning my large CD library, archiving some discs and preparing to give away or sell others. I’m grabbing information off of those enhanced discs which were seemingly popular around 2000. I uploaded this clip of George Benson, Joe Sample and Christian McBride from a session from Absolute Benson, a good George Benson recording from the year 2000.

Contemporary jazz 25 years ago – May 11, 1991

Looking back at the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart from May 11, 1991, you see some of the first recordings from the post-MCA acquisition of GRP Records. Greenhouse by Yellowjackets, Love and Understanding by George Howard, and Healing the Wounds by the Crusaders were all in the top ten.

album cover to the 1991 recording Greenhouse by the Yellowjackets

Greenhouse was the first recording featuring new saxophonist Bob Mintzer. The music continued the trajectory away from pop-jazz that had most evident in their previous recording The Spin. Mintzer is still with the quartet as is founding member Russell Ferrante and, several years away from the band, William Kennedy.

Healing the Wounds was a complete surprise when it came in to the radio station where I was volunteering. No advance notice or hype. You could pull that off in 1991. Produced by Marcus Miller, Healing the Wounds featured band founders Joe Sample and Wilton Felder in great form. I still love the opening track “Pessimisticism.” Continue reading “Contemporary jazz 25 years ago – May 11, 1991”

ABC to air International Jazz Day concert!

The 2016 International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert will be broadcast on ABC on April 30 at 7 p.m. CST followed by an on-demand webcast at 8 p.m.. The concert will feature a cast of internationally renowned jazz artists including Joey Alexander, John Beasley (Music Director), Kris Bowers, Chick Corea, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez , Chucho Valdés, Terence Blanchard, Till Brönner, Hugh Masekela, James Morrison, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Sting , Eli Degibri, David Sánchez, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Watson, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spalding, Ben Williams, Buddy Guy, Lionel Loueke, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, Brian Blade, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kendrick Scott, Zakir Hussain, Trombone Shorty, and the Rebirth Brass Band. This year’s concert will be hosted by President Obama and Michelle Obama at the White House.