Saturday, February 18, 2017

Al Jarreau [1940-2017]

Artist: Al Jarreau
LP: 7" single
Song: "Trouble In Paradise" 
[ listen ]

True, Al Jarreau isn't my usual bag when it comes to '80s pop music. Yet there's always been something about his 1983 "Trouble In Paradise" single that's drawn me in—something even beyond the delightfully generous profusion of electronic hand-claps sprinkled throughout. The song peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100, earning sporadic airplay on Yakima's 107.3 KFFM.

Alwin Lopez Jarreau has always seemed so upbeat and friendly. Of course, it would be a real struggle to be a downer while wearing a turquoise v-neck sweater with '80s confetti flourishes and a fly-away fringed white scarf. But I've just learned that, in the mid-1960s before he launched his music career, Al worked in San Francisco as a rehabilitation counselor for people with disabilities. The notion of rehabilitation comes through in Jarreau's music, even in "Trouble In Paradise." 

I'm not all that familiar with many of Al Jarreau's other songs, but it was still sad news to hear that he had died. Here's hoping his positive energy has already begun to rehabilitate any Trouble In Paradise he finds on the other side. You can read more about the man and his music in The New York Times.

Al Jarreau
[ March 12, 1940 — February 12, 2017 ]
We will miss you, Alwin.

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