Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"We're in This Love Together" by Al Jarreau

Song#:  0690
Date:  08/01/1981
Debut:  88
Peak:  15
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Pop, Smooth Jazz, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Jarreau was a regular on the LA nightclub circuit beginning around 1969. His primary focus was jazz mixed with R&B and his 1975 debut album "We Got By" was a critical success. His next three albums did successively better on the pop, R&B, and jazz charts with his 1980 disc "This Time" hitting #1 jazz and #6 R&B. This set him up for his most successful album "Breakin' Away." Thanks in part to this breezy lead single (#6 R&B), the album hit #9 at pop and #1 on both the jazz and R&B charts. It also grabbed several Grammy nominations including Album of the Year and Jarreau won two of the awards for Pop Male Vocalist and Jazz Male Vocalist.

ReduxReview:  Following the trend of jazz artist crossing over to pop and R&B, Jarreau's LP really set a new standard. Its blend of genres went down as smooth as this song and its combo of originals and jazz standards, such as the Grammy-winning "(Round, Round, Round) Blue Rondo a la Turk," lured in listeners like me. I loved this song and at a time when I was just discovering jazz, this crossover approach was a perfect introduction. It's one of the reasons why I joined the jazz band in high school.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Music was not Jarreau's initial career choice. He performed music on the side for fun while he earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology and a masters in vocal rehab. He began working as a rehab councelor while still moonlighting as a performer. At some point he decided to quit his job and pursue music full-time. By 1975 he was signed to Warner Bros. Records and found himself as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live followed by the release of his debut album.


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