Al Jarreau – Vocals Virtuoso

Picture1He might be the only vocalist to date to secure Grammy wins in the pop, R&B and jazz categories around 80s. He’s received more than twenty Grammy nominations to claim the trophy seven times. Jarreau rarely crossed over to the pop singles charts but he was the premier male jazz vocalist of the 80s, his albums sold in remarkably large numbers for his genre. For younger listener unfamiliar with his work, looking for an introduction to the versatile vocalist’s talents, where should you begin? Well I may take you in chronological order through his carefully-chosen selections for “best albums” recorded, but never hesitate to begin with Breakin’ Away (1981). This album finally broke Jarreau into the mainstream and made him a staple of smooth-jazz stations for decades. Maybe a little too meticulously-produced for some jazz fans, or much closer in its styling to Steely Dan’s Aja. Then I should say .. it’s because of Jay Graydon’s factor to the standard bearer of the L.A Sounds. Jazzy standard “Teach Me Tonight” closes on the perfect note, his Look to the Rainbow’s fans treat with vocalese rendition of Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo a la Turk”. And grooves to heart’s delight on “Roof Garden”. Also a jazzy-ballad as the most essential item in catalog, “We’re in This Love Together,” which deservedly scaled the charts to become his first-ever Top 40 hit. Anyway, this may or may not be his best album for ideal introduction. Breakin’ Away is undeniably his most iconic album for me, also the one you’re likely most to hear on the radio until now. (nDy)

Generasi milenial mungkin gak kenal lagi Al Jarreau, vokalis berwibawa lintas 70 – 80an. Tapi apa urusanku, kecuali anda minat baca tulisanku lalu klik video. Dari sekian album keren, rekomendasiku tentu “Breakin’ Away”. Selain paling sukses secara komersil serta tangga lagu, juga puncak kolaborasi Al Jarreau dgn Jay Graydon mewakili sindikat L.A Sound. Sekaliber album “I Am” milik Earth, Wind & Fire, album “Chicago 17”, tentu saja Airplay yg melahirkan trio sakti, Jay Graydon + David Foster + Bill Champlin. Sindikat ini kelak merambah jalur Rock membidani album Christopher Cross, Aja milik Steely Dan, hingga melahirkan TOTO berikut Yacht Rock, tapi itu lain cerita. Balik ke Breakin’ Away, jika anda pernah terpana akrobatik vokal Take Five, album ini menawarkan Blue Rondo ala Turk’, adaptasi standard Dave Brubeck tempo 9/8. Suka dgn After The Love Is Gone puncak karya Graydon, Foster dan Champlin? Tenang, ada We’re In This Love Together yg sukses masuk 40 Billboard. Masih ingat On The Boulevard-nya Manhattan Transfer? Graydon kembali bikin dua untuk Al Jarreau, Roof Garden dan Breakin’ Away yg mirip Pesimis-nya Jakarta Power Band akibat Mus Mujiono. Cukup selintas saja karya vokalis bergelar sarjana psikolog ini, bagi generasi 80an sejati pasti paham selebihnya. (nDy)


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