“Al Jarreau, a versatile vocalist who sold millions of records and won numerous Grammys for his work in pop and R&B as well as his first love, jazz, died on Sunday in Los Angeles,” reports The New York Times, adding “He was 76.”
The story continues, “His death was announced by his manager, Joe Gordon, who said Mr. Jarreau had been hospitalized for exhaustion two weeks ago.” And just last week Jarreau said he would stop touring.
Writes Matt Schudel in the Washington Post, “Mr. Jarreau was loosely classified as a jazz singer, but his eclectic style was entirely his own, polished through years of obscure apprenticeship in lonely nightclubs. He did not release his first album until 1975, when he was 35, but within two years, he had won the first of his seven Grammy Awards and had begun to attract a wide following.”
One of Jarreau’s most popular tunes was the theme to the mid-1980’s hit on ABC, “Moonlighting.”
According to the Post, Jarreau once told the Chicago Tribune this about jazz: “[W]hatever we think its purest form is, [it’s] a dynamic and changing form. It will never be the jazz of the 1930s and ’40s and ’50s, because it’s changing and responding to its environment. That environment includes the influences of Michael Jackson, Sting and hip-hop just as much as Charlie Parker or bebop.”
Here’s Jarreau performing two of his hits that we found on YouTube. The first is the theme to the TV series “Moonlighting.” The second is “We’re In This Love Together.”