Remembering Al Jarreau

Some of the mentions of the late, great Al Jarreau I’ve seen on social media today. Al Jarreau passed away this morning, Feb. 12, 2017.

George Benson:

With a heavy heart I say goodbye to my good friend and brother, the great Al Jarreau. 11 years ago today we celebrated 2 Grammy wins for our fantastic duet record, Givin’ It Up. Al, you gave the world a musical genius that will never be forgotten. We will all miss you.

Spyro Gyra:

There aren’t many people that you can use the word “incomparable ” when describing them. Al Jarreau was one of them. We will miss you, Al, and the world will miss your talent and the joy you bring to it. Rest In Peace.

Marcus Miller:

I can’t even begin to say what this man means to me. Thank you, Al Jarreau for the opportunity to work with you, to laugh with you, to know you . I am grateful for our time together and will miss you.

Robert Glasper:

Rest in peace to one of my first major jazz influences. He did it his way.

Christian Scott:

Farewell friend! You will be missed.. will never forget how you looked out for me early in my career.. the fun we had opening for u all those years ago

Antonio Sanchez:

RIP Al Jarreau. One of the greatest performers I’ve ever seen. The way he connected to the crowd was awe inspiring and heartwarming.

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”