When I was a young man in Los Angeles, I was going to Valley College and doing standup on Thursday night at a small club call the Bla Bla Café on Vineland Boulevard. On Saturday nights we would go to the club to see the headliner, this amazing jazz singer named Al Jarreau. He blew us all away with his music, his spirit and his artistry. We knew we were watching and listening to someone special. When his first album came out, “We Got By” we all ran out and bought it. The song “We Got By” is one of those songs that is like a tuning fork for my soul. It moves me. It moved me when I heard it in 1973 and it moves me every time I listen to it. Pictures and people and the life I live dance through my head. Here is the song done in Hamburg in 1976.
Al Jarreau passed away on February 12th 2017, a month shy of his 77th birthday. He had just canceled his tour a few months earlier. He continued to do what he loved. I am so sad. Yet I am so grateful for his presence in this world, the joy, the music he brought with his passion, his gentleness. For me, he will always be the greatest jazz singer of my generation. God Bless you Al Jarreau. Rest in Peace.