||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2009)|
|Birth name||Alwin Lopez Jarreau|
|Born||March 12, 1940|
|Origin||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States|
|Genres||Jazz, Pop, Soul, Funk|
|Instruments||Vocals, Percussion, Flute|
|Labels||Reprise, Warner Bros., GRP, Concord, Rhino|
- 1 Background
- 2 Going full-time
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Discography
- 5 Awards
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the fifth of six children. His website refers to Reservoir Avenue, the name of the street where he lived. His father was a Seventh-day Adventist Church minister and singer, and his mother was a church pianist. He and his family sang together in church concerts and in benefits, and he and his mother performed at PTA meetings.
He was student council president and Badger Boys State delegate for Lincoln High School, going on to Ripon College, where he also sang with a group called the Indigos. Jarreau graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. He went on to earn a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Iowa, worked as a rehabilitation counselor in San Francisco, and 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 impact 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, Everyone 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." He wrote and performed the Grammy-nominated theme to the 1980s American television show Moonlighting. Among other things, he is well known for his scat singing and the ability to imitate conventional guitar, bass, and percussive instrumentation. 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.
He has toured and performed with numerous musicians, including Joe Sample, Chick Corea, Kathleen Battle, Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Rick Braun, and George Benson. He also performed the role of the Teen Angel in a 1996 Broadway production of Grease. On March 6, 2001, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.
Jarreau has been married twice. His first marriage, to Phyllis Hall, lasted from 1964 to 1968. His second wife was model Susan Player, whom he married in 1977. Jarreau and Player have one adult son together, Ryan.
It was reported on July 23, 2010 that Jarreau was critically ill at a hospital in France, while in the area to perform a concert at nearby Barcelonnette, and was being treated for respiratory problems and cardiac arrhythmias. He was taken to the intensive-care unit at Gap late on July 22, 2010. Jarreau was conscious, in a stable condition and in the cardiology unit of La Timone hospital in Marseille, the Marseille Hospital Authority said. He was expected to remain there for about a week for tests. In June 2012, Jarreau was diagnosed with pneumonia, which caused him to cancel several concerts in France.
Since then, Jarreau has made a full recovery and continues to tour extensively.
In 2009 children's author Carmen Rubin published the story Ashti Meets Birdman Al, inspired by the music of Al Jarreau. He wrote the foreword for the book and reads from it across the world. Both Al and Carmen work together to promote literacy and the importance of keeping music alive in children. Books are available on iTunes and www.carmenrubin.com
- 1975: We Got By (Reprise) US# 209
- 1976: Glow (Reprise) – US# 132, R&B No. 30, Jazz# 9
- 1978: All Fly Home (Warner Bros.) – US# 78, R&B# 27, Jazz# 2
- 1980: This Time (Warner Bros. Records) – US# 27, R&B# 6, Jazz# 1
- 1981: Breakin' Away (Warner Bros. Records) – US# 9, R&B# 1, Jazz# 1, UK# 60
- 1983: Jarreau (Warner Bros. Records) – US# 13, R&B# 4, Jazz# 1, UK# 39
- 1984: High Crime (Warner Bros. Records) – US# 49, R&B# 12, Jazz# 2, UK# 81
- 1986: L is for Lover (Warner Bros. Records) – US# 81, R&B# 30, Jazz# 9, UK# 45
- 1988: Heart's Horizon (Reprise Records) – US# 75, R&B# 10, Jazz# 1
- 1992: Heaven and Earth (Warner Bros.) – US# 105, R&B# 30, Jazz# 2
- 2000: Tomorrow Today (GRP) – US# 137, R&B# 43, Jazz# 1
- 2002: All I Got (GRP) – US# 137, R&B# 43, Jazz# 3
- 2004: Accentuate the Positive (GRP Records) - Jazz# 6
- 2006: Givin' It Up (with George Benson) (Concord) – US# 58, R&B# 14, Jazz# 1
- 2008: Christmas (Rhino) - Jazz# 5
- 1977: Look to the Rainbow (Warner Bros. Records) – US# 49, R&B# 19, Jazz# 5
- 1984: In London (Warner Bros. Records) – US# 125, R&B# 55, Jazz# 10. Sometimes titled "Live in London".
- 1994: Tenderness (Warner Bros. Records) US# 114, R&B# 25, Jazz# 2. Recorded live in a studio in front of an invited audience.
Recorded after 1975
- 1996: Best of Al Jarreau (Warner Bros. Records) – Jazz No. 8
- 2008: Love Songs (Rhino)
- 2009: The Very Best Of Al Jarreau: An Excellent Adventure (Rhino) (This compilation holds one previously unreleased track: "Excellent Adventure")
Recorded before 1974
After Jarreau's breakthrough in 1975 an almost unaccountable number of compilations of earlier recordings from 1965 to 1973 have emerged, including some or all of the following songs:
Songs by Bill Withers
- "Ain't No Sunshine" (2:03)
- "Lean on Me" (4:18)
- "Use Me" (3:31)
- "Kissing My Love" (3:38)
- "Grandma's Hands" (7:15)
- "You" (3:31)
- "Lonely Town, Lonely Street" (3:11)
- "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh" (3:20)
Songs by Al Green
- "Living for You" (2:43)
- "Call Me" (2:32)
- "Here I Am" (3:59
- "Let's Get Married" (3:30)
- "Let's Stay Together" (3:22)
- "You Ought to Be With Me" (3:12)
- "Love and Happiness" (3:10)
- "Tired of Being Alone" (2:36)
- "Look What You've Done for Me" (2:51)
- "I'm Still in Love With You" (2:51)
Songs by various composers
- "My Favorite Things" (5:02, Hammerstein, Rodgers)
- "Stockholm Sweetnin'" (5:50, Jones)
- "A Sleepin' Bee" (5:52, Arlen, Capote)
- "The Masquerade Is Over" (6:34, Magidson, Wrubel)
- "Sophisticated Lady" (4:14, Ellington, Mills, Parish)
- "Joey, Joey, Joey" (3:42, Loesser)
- "Come Rain or Come Shine" (6:56, Arlen, Mercer)
- "One Note Samba" (4:24, Hendricks, Jobim, Mendonca)
Compilations (recordings before 1974)
Following list is a sampling of compilations, composed of the songs recorded before 1974.
- 1982: 1965 (Bainbridge).
- 1983: The Masquerade Is Over (Magnum)
- 1984: Al Jarreau (Forever Gold)
- 1985: You (Lifetime)
- 1985: Ain't No Sunshine (Prestige)
- 1985: Sings Bill Withers (Blue Moon)
- 1995: Living for You (Synergie Omp); songs by Al Green.
- 1998: Tribute to Bill Withers (Culture Press)
- 1998: Improvisations (Blue Moon, 2 discs); also released the same year by Synergie on two separate discs named Improvisations Album One and Improvisations Album Two. These albums contain all the songs recorded before 1974, as listed above.
- 2001: This One's for You (Hallmark)
- 2001: Ain't No Sunshine (SRI)
- 2002: One Note Samba (Traditional Line)
- 2003: Best of Al Jarreau (Tyrostar)
- 2005: My Favorite Things (Golden Stars, 3-discs)
- 2009: Tribute to Al Green (K-tel)
- 2010: Tribute to Al Green (Platinum Records)
Several of the compilations listed above have different titles and/or year of release, even though they contain the same songs, e.g.:
- 1965 (1981, Bainbridge) = The Masquerade Is Over (1983, Magnum) = One Note Samba (2002, Traditional Line).
- You (1985, Lifetime) = Ain't No Sunshine (1985, Prestige) = Sings Bill Withers (1985, Blue Moon) = Tribute to Bill Withers (1998, Culture Press) = This One's for You (2001, Hallmark) = Ain't No Sunshine (2001, SRI).
- Living for You (1995, Synergie Omp) = Tribute to Al Green (2009 K-tel, 2010 Platinum Records).
- 1976: "Rainbow In Your Eyes" – R&B No. 92
- 1977: "Take Five" – R&B No. 91
- 1978: "Thinkin' About It Too" – R&B No. 55
- 1980: "Distracted" – R&B No. 61
- 1980: "Gimme What You Got" – R&B No. 63
- 1980: "Never Givin' Up" – R&B No. 26
- 1981: "We're In This Love Together" – US No. 15, R&B No. 6 UK No. 55
- 1982: "Breakin' Away" – US No. 43, R&B No. 25
- 1982: "Teach Me Tonight" – US No. 70, R&B No. 51
- 1982: "Your Precious Love", duet with Randy Crawford – R&B No. 16
- 1982: "Roof Garden"
- 1983: "Boogie Down" – US No. 77, R&B No. 9 UK No. 63
- 1983: "Mornin'" – US No. 21, R&B No. 6 UK No. 28
- 1983: "Trouble In Paradise" – US No. 63, R&B No. 66 UK No. 36
- 1984: "After All" – US No. 69, R&B No. 26
- 1985: "Raging Waters" – R&B No. 42
- 1986: "L Is For Lover" – R&B No. 42
- 1986: "Tell Me What I Gotta Do" – R&B No. 37
- 1986: "The Music Of Goodbye" (from Out Of Africa), duet with Melissa Manchester – AC No. 16
- 1987: "Moonlighting (theme)" (from Moonlighting) – US No. 23, R&B No. R&B UK No. 8 AC#1
- 1988: "So Good" R&B No. 2
- 1989: "All of My Love" – R&B No. 69
- 1989: "All or Nothing at All" – R&B No. 59
- 1992: "Blue Angel" – R&B No. 74
- 1992: "It's Not Hard to Love You" – R&B No. 36
- 2001: "In My Music" (with Phife Dawg)
- 1982: "Girls Know How", in American movie Night Shift (Warner Bros)
- 1984: "Moonlighting (theme)" and "Since I Fell For You", in American television show Moonlighting (Universal)
- 1984: "Boogie Down", in American movie Breakin' (Warner Bros)
- 1986: "The Music Of Goodbye", duet with Melissa Manchester, in American movie Out of Africa (MCA Records)
- 1989: "Never Explain Love", in American movie Do The Right Thing (Motown)
- 1992: "Blue Skies", in American movie Glengarry Glen Ross (New Line Cinema)
- 1978: "Hot News Blues" from Secret Agent/Chick Corea (Polydor)
- 1979: "Little Sunflower" from The Love Connection/Freddie Hubbard (Columbia)
- 1983: "Bet Cha Say That to All the Girls" from Bet Cha Say That to All the Girls/Sister Sledge (Cotillion)
- 1985: "We Are the World" from We Are the World/USA for Africa (Columbia) US No. 1, R&B No. 1 UK No. 1
- 1986: "Since I Fell for You" from Double Vision/Bob James & David Sanborn (Warner Bros.)
- 1987: "Day By Day" from City Rhythms/Shakatak
- 1997: "Girl from Ipanema" and "Waters of March" from A Twist of Jobim/Lee Ritenour (GRP)
- 2010: "Whisper Not" from New Time, New Tet/Benny Golson (Concord Jazz)
|2001||Hollywood Walk of Fame|
|2012||SoulMusic Hall of Fame at SoulMusic.com|
|1991||Honorary Doctorate of Music||Berklee College of Music|
|2004||Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts||University of Wisconsin–Madison|
- "Brief official bio". aljarreau.com.
- Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center, Farmington Hills, Mich: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC.
- See http://www.jazzreview.com/articledetails.cfm?ID=1037. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- (AFP) –. "AFP: US jazz singer Al Jarreau critically ill in France". Google.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- "US jazz singer Al Jarreau critically ill in hospital".
- "Al Jarreau Stable, Changes Hospitals in France". Associated Press. July 24, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- Associated Press (June 4, 2012). "Jazz singer Al Jarreau cancels France concerts". Yahoo!. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- Mergner, Lee (08/15/10). "Al Jarreau: Feelin' Pretty Good Singer set for performances at Wolf Trap and other venues in U.S. and Japan". Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 280. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Welcome to AlJarreau.com – The Official site For Al Jarreau – 7 Time Grammy Award Winning Jazz / Crossover Legend!". Aljarreau.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- "1965 (Musical CD, 1982)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
- Feather, Leonard. "Jazz Briefs". The Los Angeles Times. July 4, 1982. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
- Official website
- Audio interview with Al Jarreau on the Sodajerker on Songwriting podcast
- "Al Jarreau performs 'You Don't See Me'" on the WGBH series, Say Brother
- Al Jarreau 2006 Interview with George Benson on Sidewalks Entertainment
- Al Jarreau 2006 Smoothviews.com Interview
- Al Jarreau 2011 ct.com interview
- Grammy Awards
- Honorary Degree Recipients (Berklee College of Music)
- Honorary Doctorate (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
- Hollywood Walk of Fame