… under this motto I present you my music tip for the weekend.
Maybe one or the other discovers something new.
Consciously listening to music is, in my opinion, as important as reading a good book.
Today: Al Jarreau – Breakin’ Away
Al Jarreau, actually Alwyn Lopez Jarreau, (* March 12, 1940 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; † February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California) was a U.S. jazz, pop, and rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter.
Jarreau was the fifth of six children. The family was very poor and was characterized by great musicality. Jarreau sang his first solo in church at the age of four. His father, Emile Alphonse, a native of New Orleans, was a minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but during World War II he worked in the A. O. Smith, so Jarreau never heard his father preach in church, only at home. His mother, Pearl Walker, was a church organist. As a child, Al Jarreau discovered improvisation through his brothers when he sang with them at home.
In his youth, he began performing in bars in his hometown. In one of them, he met Hungarian jazz pianist Laszlo Les Czimber (nicknamed “Tarzan”), who had fled Budapest for Milwaukee in 1956 after the popular uprising; he taught him how to work out songs. From 1958 to 1962, Jarreau studied psychology at Ripon College in Wisconsin, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While in college, he performed locally on weekends with a four-piece group called The Indigos. He then went on to complete a Master ‘s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation at the University of Iowa.
In 1964, after six months of service in the Army Reserve, he went to San Francisco. There he led a kind of double life: Three times a week he performed in the evenings in a club with a trio led by the then unknown George Duke. During the day, he worked as a rehabilitation aide at the California Division and Rehabilitation Center, where he helped people with mental or physical disabilities integrate into the workforce. In 1965, as a student, he sang on weekends with the Joe Abodeely Trio and others at The Tender Trap, a club in Cedar Rapids. There he also met saxophonist J. R. Monterose, who taught him to sing or scat saxophone lines. A live performance was recorded and later appeared as a Record on the Bainbridge label under the title 1965 – Al Jarreau (also under The Masquerade Is Over or J. R. Monterose – Live at the Tender Trap released); the album includes such well-known standards as.
My Favourite Things
, Come Rain or Shine and
One Note Samba
With Brazilian guitarist Julio Martinez, whom he met in 1968, Jarreau performed as a duo at Gatsby’s in Sausalito. It was also during this time that he discovered his love for bossa nova and developed his signature instrumentally inspired vocal style. Although he described working as a social worker as his dream job, because he had always wanted to help other people in some way. In 1969, however, he decided to devote himself entirely to music and quit his job, as the double burden was too strenuous in the long run.
Also such a record, from my brother’s record collection, which influenced me a lot. I have listened to this disc up and down. I can still sing along with almost every song today. 🙂
Have fun listening to this album !
Your Chris Weigold
P.S.: Maybe you enjoy the listening pleasure together with a Glass of wine from our “Orchestra of Cultures Edition”.