With the death of Al Jarreau today, another great has left the planet. There were very few male vocalists ever who could match his talent, and there is nobody in today’s music who can. Nobody. Don’t try.
Jarreau knew it, too. I recall watching a YouTube video of a concert he played with Joe Sample where Al called out auto-tuned vocals and three-chord songwriters. He wasn’t mean about it; he just knew that what he was creating was art and that the music business played to the least common denominator.
Al shared his art, too, and was a champion of arts education until the day he died. Heck, his hope was that each individual would find a way to incorporate art into their lives. This section of a much longer statement on jarreau.com summed up that sentiment:
From you, Al asks a favor. Please find any artistic thing that you can do with passion, and do it. With art in your life, you will be a better family member, neighbor, friend, and citizen.
So, in honor of the great Al Jarreau, here are my Top 5 songs from the vocal master:
5. Tell Me What I Gotta Do
4. We’re In This Love Together
3. After All
2. Trouble In Paradise