Al Jarreau’s show was a marvel to behold1 His entrance onstage was a little shocking, as a tall, black-clad ‘hipster’ entered the stage with help of a cane and bad limp , but slowly he sat himself down on a bar-stool where he sang from, the entire show. However, his still somewhat supple voice and warm, humorous, engaging personality, more than made up for any physical limitations he appeared to have.
Al proceeded to sing all his big hits from his past 40-year career, as a contemporary jazz vocalist. His multi-ethnic, six piece band members, all great musicians , consisted of piano/flute, piano/sax, guitar/vocal, electric bass, and drums. He described himself as a “equal opportunity employer.’
Some of the selections he performed were his hits, “Swahili Song’(I Will Be Here For You), which
Between songs, he proceeded to give the audience, a personal biography of his past influences especially he said, Brazilian music. He sung a brief acapella version of ‘Girl From Ipanema” while playing a cabasa(shaker).
He, scatted, improvised and talked his way through an incredible 90 minute set. He joked with the audience about getting old and on a more serious note, proceeded to comment on the ‘emptiness’ of today’s music scene and radio in particular, which he said, unlike the past he grew up on, in the 60’s and 70’s, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin”, where all types of music were played back to back-blues, jazz, rock, pop, soul. This helped influence his diverse repertoire. A song he sung called ‘Random Acts Of Love’, with his bassist/vocalist partner, who sounded a lot like Al , perhaps sums up his personality and performance of the great warm , Al Jarreau. H e was then helped offstage by his guitar player after grand applause! “Love Was In The Air.”