Saturday, January 24, 2009

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Two favorites from Al Jarreau

This week, we turn our spotlight on singer Al Jarreau, who's coming to St. Louis on Friday, February 13 to perform at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. These two clips feature a couple of the signature songs from Jarreau's early albums on Warner Brothers that continue to be concert staples for him to this day.

Up top, the first video is a 1976 rendition of Paul Desmond's "Take Five" taken from a German TV broadcast. Jarreau, backed by Tom Canning on keyboards, Jerome Rimson on bass and Nigel Wilkinson on drums, is working free and loose here, and demonstrates a range of vocal techniques, from mouth percussion to keening lines that evoke a tenor sax.

Down below is a version of Chick Corea's "Spain," recorded in 1990 at the "Live Under The Sky" festival in Tokyo, Japan. Jarreau sings a straightforward version of the tune, and then hands it off to Joe Sample, who provides a nice Tyneresque solo on piano, and Steve Gadd, who whips things up on drums before Jarreau returns to reprise the head.

(Edited 2/11/09 to correct the venue for the show.)

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