ALBUM TITLE : MY OLD FRIEND
ARTIST : AL JARREAU
GENRE : JAZZ VOCAL
DATE RELEASED : 2014
In this album, Al Jarreau did not forget to include “Bring Me Joy” and this song sums up everything that you feel when you listen to this album. This a tribute album celebrating the music of George Duke. There are so many reasons why this is a very likeable record from Al Jarreau who is known to be somewhat inconsistent when producing albums. It is always a mix bag of good and boring songs. But, in this record he succeeded in bringing out George Duke songs with delight. Listeners will find his rendition of songs that did not veer away from original musical structure.
Listen to “Summer Breezin” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxsmFP_-Az4
Mr. Jarreau did some few tweaks and as a result you have Duke’s songs with Al Jarreau famous brand of vocal performance. It is a good thing that he did not put so many scatting lines in many of the songs; just enough to warm listeners to succeeding verses. His take on “Sweet Baby” (one of the greatest hits of George Duke) is another example on how one should create a tribute song without bastardizing the whole song. Yes, this is basically the problem of many singers that they want to have the all about themselves instead of maintaining the original charm of the song.
Listen to “Sweet Baby” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmeCXBDtBs8
Listen to “You Touch My Brain” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpZjsUvQx70
Perhaps it is the collaboration with fellow great jazz artists that did the trick when it comes to making this album quite a delight to listen to. If you want to rediscover Al Jarreau, you better start with this album as this is quite lighter compared with his early recordings like “This Time,” “Look to the Rainbow,” and “Tenderness.” With that I rate this record 4 stars out of 5 stars.
Listen to “My Old Friend” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgozksLVxsg
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it