Classics: Al Jarreau – Boogie Down (Warner Bros.)
From his ‘Jarreau’ album, with production work by the likes of Jay Graydon. Al Jarreau in a Jazz/Funk mood on this synths / horn led piece that sees him along with luminaries such as Bill Reichenbach (trombone), Jerry Hey (trumpet) and Steve Gadd (drums).
Released back in 1983, ‘Boogie Down’ stands most likely one of Jarreau‘s biggest classics. As a matter of fact, hard to not make some connection with George Duke‘s music. Now that surprising though in regards to their long time friendship. Meanwhile its scat part would be for much on his instantly recognizable signature as a singer at the time…
Born in Milkwaukee, WI, Al Jarreau was the 5th of 6 children. Raised by a dad who was a Seventh-day Adventist Church minister and singer, and and a mom was a church pianist. He started singing with his family in church concerts and in benefits.
His regular use of scat singing, vocal percussion and vocal bass helped him to set up a unique identity. He scored one of his most vibrant performances on the rerecording of ‘Little Sunflower’. A track which Freddie Hubbard initially released as an instrumental on his 1967 ‘Backclash’ album.
Mostly remembered for 80’s gems such as ‘Roof Garden’, ‘We’re In This Love Together’, ‘Breakin’ Away’ and ‘Boogie Down’, he is the only vocalist in history to have scored Grammy Awards in 3 different categories (Jazz, Pop and R&B).
Al Jarreau sadly passed on Sun. Feb. 12, 2017, two weeks after being hospitalized due to exhaustion. He was 76.