TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the September 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
We're In This Love Together - Celebrating Al Jarreau was originally a kickstarter campaign project created by Chris Walker, Jarreau's protege and friend who spent twenty years traveling the globe with the jazz maestro. First released in 2019, it is now re-released by evosound. This musical tribute album, co-produced by Chris Walker & Larry Williams, features a stellar line-up of artists who came together to honor the seven-time Grammy winner from the jazz, R&B and gospel worlds; including Regina Belle, Dave Koz, Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Arturo Sandoval and David Foster among others.
We're In This Love Together - Celebrating Al Jarreau is performed with admirable attention to detail and respect for the wondrous vocal craft and musicianship of Al Jarreau from open to close. Lifelong fans of Jarreau's work will take comfort and joy in the expertly delivered homage. Casual listeners will have their ears opened to a priceless musical voyage in the most tasteful and truest way possible. Despite Chris adding his own flavor, the integrity of the music remains intact, creating a fresh take of some of Al's work.
The span of the collection is well balanced between the tunes that cemented Jarreau's stature in the pop and R&B mainstream along with the nuggets which centered on his jazz instincts. Some of the songs remarkably blurred those lines. 1980's "Alonzo," a Jarreau composition, is one such example, with almost oracular lyrics set to a stream of jazzy rhythms and melodies amidst a soulful atmosphere. Walker's adaptation captures a similar cross-section of musical influences, tempering warm vocal harmonies with a flute solo by Larry Williams. An entire album with real musicians. Truly an essential for any Jarreau fan.
Walker is a fine singer, and he's also quite versatile, which comes in handy on versions of 'Spain,' 'Take Five,' and 'Agua de Beber' that include the type of focal gymnastics that might be referred to as 'Jarreau-isms.' The sound is full-bodied and pristine, and to test the water I recommend diving straight into 'Agua de Beber,' where Walker's vocal effects pop right out of the speakers. An elite list of guest artists, including Regina Belle, Will Downing, and Arturo Sandoval, underscores Jarreau's legacy.
- 180g Vinyl LP
- "Soundstone" Color Vinyl
- Al's Message
- Mornin' (Feat. David Foster)
- Breakin' Away (Feat. Larry Williams)
- Roof Garden (Feat. Jerry Hey, Paul Jackson Jr.)
- We Got By (Feat. Will Downing, David Caceres, Bobby Lyle, Marcus Miller)
- Save Me (Feat. Randy Brecker, Larry Willams, Mark Simmons)
- We're in This Love Together (Feat. Regina Belle, Gerald Albright, Bob James)
- Alonzo (Feat. Larry Willams)
- Agua de Beber
- Not Like This (Feat. Gil Goldstein)
- Take Five
- I Will Be Here for You (Feat. Kirk Whalum)
- After All
- Flame (Feat. Arturo Sandoval)
- Spain (I Can Recall) (Feat. Larry Willams)
- Phenomenon (Feat. Paul Jackson Jr., Greg Phillinganes)
- Jarreau (Feat. Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Nathan East)