Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Al Jarreau - Jarreau (1983)

Note: this CD is not the 2009 reissue containing a bonus track (although I've since downloaded that bonus track which is really good and I can't figure out why it was cut from the album).

I'm in a remarkably good mood for a Monday morning and thought I needed to hear Al Jarreau sing the song Mornin'.  This collaboration with West Coast sound gurus David Foster, producer Jay Graydon, and session musicians Jerry Hey and Steve Gadd, is a great collection of commercial pop/R&B tunes featuring Jarreau's fantastic voice. Sure, he could have stretched out a little more, but that's only a minor concern - if Jarreau wanted to produce commercially successful music more than scat singing, what does it matter to me?  I like this album so I'm glad he went that direction.  I just looked at a list of 30 "desert island" CDs I put together in 2004 and this wasn't on it.  I should revisit that list because I think that slight was a mistake.  This kind of "feel good pop" is easy to criticize and won't make any critic's "best of" list, but none of that matters to me.  Probably his best album, released when he was 43(!).  This opinion is "confirmed" by

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #13
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #1
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #4
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #7

Tracks: Even though the video is admittedly cheesy, Mornin' is a fantastic picker-upper and probably my favorite song on the album followed closely by Boogie Down.  Also good are Save Me, Trouble In Paradise, and Love Is Waiting. I've grown so accustomed to listening to this album straight through (it's only 39 minutes long) that I don't even skip the two tunes that I don't like as much: I Will Be Here For You (Nitakungodea Milele) and Black And Blues.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  In 1984, I dubbed a copy of this album from a teacher's LP and was immediately a Jarreau fan.  The tape got a lot of playing time in my car and my neighbors were often treated to my vocal stylings as I sang along (very loudly) with Jarreau.  On a good day, I'd attempt the A at the end of the bridge of Mornin'.  When I saw Jarreau in concert in 1985, I couldn't wait for him to sing Mornin'.  He did and I wasn't disappointed.

This album helped a great deal with my transition to college in the fall of 1984.  Not only did I listen to it a lot, it helped me find kindred spirits (read: music geeks) that also liked it.

Longbox photos courtesy of the Hambonian Archives

Previously revisited for the blog:
Givin' It Up (2006)
L is for Lover (1986)
High Crime (1984)

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