One of contemporary music's premiere vocalists, Al Jarreau is the only singer ever to win GRAMMY® Awards in three distinct genre categories-R&B, pop, and jazz-a testament to his remarkable and enduring cross-over appeal. Jarreau's most recent GRAMMY came at the 2007 ceremony, when he was honored with Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. With many of his biggest hits coming during his long Warner Bros. era, Jarreau's career now spans five decades-but until now, has not included a LOVE SONGS release among its wealth of treasures. Possessed of a voice suited to the rhythm of romance and language of the heart, Jarreau's genius shines on this stirring collection.
Al Jarreau and George Duke were friends long before they became household names. They began playing together in the mid-1960's in San Francisco as Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio. The successes of these performances are what helped to launch both their careers. George's tragic passing in August, 2013, inspired Al to record this loving tribute to his longtime friend. With the exception of the fitting title track composed by Jarreau, all the tunes were written by George. Guest artists/collaborators include Gerald Albright, Stanley Clarke, Dr. John, Lalah Hathaway, Boney James, Marcus Miller, Jeffrey Osborne, Kelly Price, Dianne Reeves and Patrice Rushen. There's even a song with George Duke playing on it!
Al Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, he is the only vocalist in history to win in three separate categories: Jazz, Pop, and R&B.
This album, "Breakin' Away", reached number 1 in US Billboard chart for Jazz and R&B at the same time.
Released in 1981, Breakin' Away is not only a great follow-up to 'This Time', it all but perfected the effort. With an amazing batch of songs, producer/artist chemistry, and top-level players, Breakin' Away became the standard bearer of the L.A. pop and R&B sound. "Closer to Your Love" comes off as a tougher, more confident version of the songs from the previous album. However, in short order, Breakin' Away assumes its own identity with brilliant results. Everything works so well here that the hit, the pleasing "We're in This Love Together," comes off as the weak link. "Easy," with its gorgeous and subtle Latin flourishes, has Jarreau's purposeful delivery coming off oddly poignant in its joy and beauty. The bittersweet "My Old Friend" has him giving a charming and understated reading with gorgeous synth signatures that speak volumes. Most of Breakin' Away has Jarreau in great spirits and giving one great performance after another, like the powerful and melody-rich title song. Like his best albums, this gives Jarreau plenty of room to exercise his chops. He struts through the funky and elegant "Roof Garden," and on the impressive "(Round, Round, Round) Blue Rondo a la Turk" he offers great scats and whimsical lyrics. For the final track, Jarreau brings new life to "Teach Me Tonight" and it has a sweeping, dreamy arrangement. Produced by Jay Graydon, Breakin' Away is a great album and informed a lot of Jarreau's subsequent efforts.Jason Elias - AllMusic Guide
The only vocalist in history to net Grammy Awards in three different categories (jazz, pop, and R&B, respectively), Al Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 12, 1940. The son of a vicar, he earned his first performing experience singing in the church choir. After receiving his master's degree in psychology, Jarreau pursued a career as a social worker, but eventually he decided to relocate to Los Angeles and try his hand in show business, playing small clubs throughout the West Coast…