|Accentuate the Positive|
|első megjelenés éve: 2004|
|1. ||Cold Duck
|2. ||The Nearness of You
|3. ||I'm Beginning to See the Light
|4. ||My Foolish Heart
|5. ||Midnight Sun
|6. ||AC-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
|7. ||Betty Bebop's Song
|8. ||Waltz for Debby
|9. ||Groovin' High
|Jazz / Vocal, Vocal Pop, Contemporary Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Guitar Jazz|
Larry Williams Keyboards, Arranger | (1-2, 4-10)
Russell Ferrante Piano | (11)
Larry Goldings Hammond | (3)
Tollak Ollestad Harmonica | (5)
Anthony Wilson Guitar |
Christian McBride Acoustic Bass | (1-2, 5-6, 8-10)
Dave Carpenter Acoustic Bass | (4, 7, 11)
Mark Simmons Drums | (1, 5, 6)
Peter Erskine Drums | (2-4, 7-11)
Luis Conte Percussion | (1, 4, 6, 10)
Tommy LiPuma Co-Producer |
With "Accentuate the Positive" vocal legend Al Jarreau reunites with producing great Tommy LiPuma for the first time since their magical work together on Jarreau's Glow (1976) and their Grammy-winning live album Look to the Rainbow (1977). This session in elegant small-group jazz settings is both a return and a departure for Jarreau, whose two previous albums on GRP, Tomorrow Today (2000) and All I Got (2002), were critically-acclaimed, high-charting discs in the pop/R&B/smooth jazz vein that he has mined with great success since the early '80s.
Jarreau is one of the most distinctive and irrepressibly individual singers in the world, and although the arrangements and instrumentation of Accentuate make it Jarreau's first "jazz"-oriented recording since 1977, Jarreau fans will find all the hallmarks of his signature style: gravity-defying scatting, churchy funk, cool swing, torrid blues, spellbinding ballad singing, and a life-affirming sense of play. But what LiPuma has achieved with this album, with a stellar band, beautiful arrangements, and impeccable production is an incomparable intimacy - he brings the listener right into the heart of Jarreau's extraordinary vocal art as never before
The result is a revelation - in this more open and acoustic production setting, Jarreau's extraordinary skill and accomplishment as a vocalist are stunningly evident. In the way he draws the arc of a phrase, how finely he colors a lyric, how true his pitch, intonation and diction are - it's clear that he is not only one of the most spontaneous and soulful singers on earth, but also one of the most technically accomplished. This is especially apparent in his inspired performances of the well-chosen standards on Accentuate the Positive which prove him to be an exquisite ballad singer and a jazz man with an irrevocable sense of swing.
The lingering caress of his voice on a tender and vulnerable rendition of "The Nearness of You" is as romantic as anything he has ever done. On "Beginning to See the Light", Jarreau swings with a savvy cool that channels the infectious panache of the Sinatra/Martin/Davis Jr. Rat Pack. A gorgeous bossa nova arrangement of "My Foolish Heart" is breathlessly intimate, as Jarreau spins lines of melody in his boyish upper range, evoking one of his heroes, Johnny Mathis, and then unfurls a delightfully inventive scat session that is pure Jarreau. On "Midnight Sun" he delivers the beautiful descending lines in a single silken stream while making every word of poetry ring in a masterful reading of this enchanting classic, wonderfully embellished with Tollak Ollestad's nostalgic harmonica. And Jarreau lets loose and dazzles in his ebullient, funky, voice-popping, "one-man-band" mode on "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive".
Throughout Jarreau's recording career he has steadily amassed a body of work as a lyricist, often setting his skillful lyrics to landmark jazz instrumentals. Accentuate opens with a funky, soul-inflected version of saxophonist Eddiie Harris's 1969 soul-jazz hit "Cold Duck Time" with Jarreau's playful words paying tribute to Harris. A beautiful homage to Betty Carter has a dreamy, fairy-tale quality with whimsical verses by Jarreau set to a waltz by Freddie Ravel and Jarreau salutes bebop with all the percussive resources of his voice with all-out scatting and bubbling patter lyrics to an exuberant arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High". "Lotus" features Jarreau's meditative, zen-like lyric to Don Grolnick's original "Lotus Blossom", highlighting the clarion, horn-like qualities of his voice. He ends the album with the funky, irreverent "Scootcha Booty" which, like "Cold Duck", reminds listeners of his heavyweight R&B credentials.
Tommy LiPuma's unerring taste - from his partnership with ace recording engineer Al Schmitt, to the beautiful arrangements by Larry Williams and the extraordinary level of musicianship of the instrumental players - has provided a musical setting fit for a legend. Accentuate the Positive is a landmark recording that celebrates the incandescent vocal art of Al Jarreau.
Produced by Tommy LiPuma
Engineered by Al Schmitt
Executive Producer: Bill Darlington
Although centered around songs from the 1940s, Al Jarreau's Accentuate the Positive is another stellar modern jazz album that continues the winning streak he began with his 2000 comeback, Tomorrow Today. Similar to his previous effort, the r&b-infused All I Got, the album features classy production from Tommy LiPuma and a natty cast of backing musicians, including bassist Christian McBride and guitarist Anthony Wilson, among others. Centered around Jarreau's still limber and evocative vocals, Accentuate moves from uptempo bluesy numbers like Eddie Henderson's "Cold Duck" to lush ballads, including "My Foolish Heart" and reworked standards, most notably "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," turned here into a funky and expansive toe-tapper. This is a solid, poignant, and straight-ahead album that showcases Jarreau's unique gift in the best light possible and should appeal to longtime fans and contemporary jazz listeners alike. ~ Matt Collar, All Music Guide
Active Decades: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s
Born: Mar 12, 1940 in Milwaukee, WI
Styles: Pop, Soft Rock, Pop/Rock, Contemporary Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Smooth Jazz, AM Pop
The only vocalist in history to net Grammy Awards in three different categories (jazz, pop, and R&B, respectively), Al Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, WI, on March 12, 1940. The son of a vicar, he earned his first performing experience singing in the church choir. After receiving his master's degree in psychology, Jarreau pursued a career as a social worker, but eventually he decided to relocate to Los Angeles and try his hand in show business, playing small clubs throughout the West Coast.
He recorded an LP in the mid-'60s, but largely remained an unknown, not reentering the studio for another decade. Upon signing to Reprise, Jarreau resurfaced in 1975 with We Got By, earning acclaim for his sophisticated brand of vocalese and winning positive comparison to the likes of Billy Eckstine and Johnny Mathis. After 1976's Glow, Jarreau issued the following year's Look to the Rainbow, a two-disc live set that reached the Top 50 on the U.S. album charts. With 1981's Breakin' Away, he entered the Top Ten, scoring a pair of hits with "We're in This Love Together" and the title track. After recording 1986's L Is for Lover with producer Nile Rodgers, Jarreau scored a hit with the theme to the popular television program Moonlighting, but his mainstream pop success was on the wane, and subsequent efforts like 1992's Heaven and Earth and 1994's Tenderness found greater success with adult contemporary audiences.
A string of budget compilations and original albums hit the shelves at the end of the decade, but into the turn of the century his original output slowed down. That was until he signed with the VerveGRP label in 1998 and reunited with producer Tommy LiPuma. LiPuma had produced Jarreau's ostensible 1975 debut, We Got By, and the pairing seemed to reinvigorate Jarreau, who went on to release three stellar albums under LiPuma's guidance, including 2000's Tomorrow Today, 2002's All I Got, and 2004's Accentuate the Positive. Givin' It Up, recorded with George Benson and released in 2006, was nominated for three Grammy Awards -- each one for a different song. Jarreau returned with his first ever full-length holiday-themed album, Christmas, in 2008.
---Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
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