...Mr. Al Jarreau.
Not to reduce him to a "thing" or a commodity of sorts, but it's hard to not be selfish when thinking about such an immense loss to the music community. Mr. Jarreau was one of those people who - to us 70's babies - was embedded into the fabric of our youth. We came of age listening to the theme song to "Moonlighting". If you're like me, you hardly remember the show - you simply couldn't wait to hear the theme song. I remember getting dressed for school and hearing "Roof Garden" and "Mornin'" among other songs. However, the song that really intrigued me only became familiar to me later in my adult life as I revisited the album "This Time" from an adult perspective. A couple of songs stood out for me. One of those songs was "Gimmie What You Got" - which had the peculiar quality of transporting me instantly to a time and place I'd forgotten all about! Amazing music has that quality, right? "Spain (I Can Recall)" is another one...it starts out so pensively, hopelessly wistful and romantic - and then BAM - you're on a dancefloor (but the romance does NOT leave the song - it just deepens).
However, the song that stands out and will always be one of my top 3 favorites from Mr. Jarreau is "Alonzo". I'm not even gonna lie - I have NO idea what this song is all about. It has a West Side Story appeal to it, reminiscent of "Clean Heart" by Sade, but it really doesn't matter what this song is about - and I don't think it ever has! What "Alonzo" does to my spirit is about more than lyrics or meaning. It's about the areas of my personal experience that this song manages to sneak in and touch. And it's not simply nostalgia - this song manages to touch your pain and your hopes all at the same time. Think that sounds pretentious? Well, listen to how it ends and tell me you don't feel a jolt of hope (disclaimer: listen to this when you're feeling a little down and you'll hear exactly what I mean!)
Mr. Alwin Lopez Jarreau - "Alonzo"