Al Jarreau, a legendary American jazz, pop, and R&B vocalist, left an indelible mark on the music world with his unique vocal style, innovative approach to genres, and captivating live performances. His journey from a humble beginning to becoming a Grammy-winning artist showcases his extraordinary talent, versatility, and enduring influence.
Born on March 12, 1940, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Alwin Lopez Jarreau discovered his love for music at an early age. He sang in church and school choirs, developing his vocal abilities while also showing an interest in sports and academics. After earning a degree in psychology, Jarreau pursued his passion for music, performing in various clubs and venues to refine his craft.
Jarreau’s breakthrough came in the late 1960s when he relocated to Los Angeles. He began performing in a variety of settings, including jazz clubs, which allowed him to experiment with his distinctive vocal improvisations. His dynamic vocal range, scat singing, and ability to mimic musical instruments with his voice set him apart from his contemporaries.
In 1975, Jarreau released his debut album, “We Got By”, which garnered critical acclaim for its fusion of jazz, R&B, and soul elements. The album’s title track and other standout songs showcased his vocal prowess and innovative approach to music. His sophomore album, “Glow” (1976), further solidified his reputation as a rising star in the music industry.
One of Jarreau’s career-defining moments came with the release of his album “Breakin’ Away” in 1981. The album featured the hit single “We’re in This Love Together”, which became a chart-topping success and earned him his first Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. This achievement marked a significant milestone in his career, and he continued to receive acclaim for his subsequent releases.
Throughout his career, Jarreau seamlessly crossed musical boundaries, incorporating elements of jazz, pop, R&B, and even Latin music into his sound. His ability to connect with audiences from different backgrounds showcased his universal appeal and contributed to his enduring popularity.
- “We Got By” (1975)
- “Glow” (1976)
- “Look to the Rainbow” (1977)
- “All Fly Home” (1978)
- “This Time” (1980)
- “Breakin’ Away” (1981)
- “Jarreau” (1983)
- “High Crime” (1984)
- “L Is for Lover” (1986)
- “Heart’s Horizon” (1988)
- “Heaven and Earth” (1992)
- “Tenderness” (1994)
- “Tomorrow Today” (2000)
- “All I Got” (2002)
- “Accentuate the Positive” (2004)
- “Givin’ It Up” (with George Benson, 2006)
- “Christmas” (2008)
- “Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkest: Live” (2012)
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