So long, Al Jarreau
True giant in the jazz industry passes away hours before Grammy Awards
Citing an online article from Ebony magazine, the seven time Grammy winner died suffering from exhaustion. However, no actual cause of death was released. This happened a few days after announcing his retirement on Twitter from touring after an exemplary 50 year career (professionally began in 1975).
He died one month before turning 77, but what a discography of songs Al Jarreau left behind–as the only jazz artist to win Grammy Awards in jazz, pop, and R&B.
Besides doing a very slow remake of “Love Dance”, he did some really cool songs during the 1980’s from covering the theme to the once popular ABC prime time drama series Moonlighting, the popular Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 hit, “Like A Lover”, “We’re In This Love Together”, and one of my early favorite jazz hits growing up, “After All”.
In lieu of flower and other gifts, the family has requested that donations be sent to the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music, which is an organization that supports music opportunities for teachers and scholarships for students in Milwaukee and throughout the state of Wisconsin.
His manager, Joe Gordon, in a tribute to on Jarreau’s website, described the singer as “the ultimate gentleman who never stopped appreciating his listeners or the myriad people who worked for him directly or indirectly.
His first priority, far ahead of the other (music), was healing or comforting anyone in need. Whether it was emotional pain, or physical discomfort, or any other cause of suffering, he needed to put our minds at ease and our hearts at rest. He needed to see a warm, affirming smile where there had not been one before. Song was just his tool for making that happen.”
Another kind person and cool talent has left us. Sadly, there aren’t too many left.
Al Jarreau said it himself in 2016 reflecting on a remarkable career in an article on the Jazz Times magazine website, growing up hearing classical music to the blues on 1950’s and 1960’s Milwaukee radio:
“How lucky we were as musicians to have those influences which were really present in our lives. There were no walls then; there are so many walls today.”
He will be missed, but his music shall live on. May Al Jarreau RIP.