ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Legendary jazz vocalist Al Jarreau is dead at the age of 76.
The president of Jazz Saint Louis, Gene Dobbs Bradford, recalls what would be Jarreau’s final performance here last fall at Jazz at the Bistro, “His voice wasn’t as strong as it used to be, but in this setting with just a piano instead of a full band, you really got to see his playfulness and his technique.”
Dobbs Bradford remembers being nervous about meeting Jarreau for the first time, at the inaugural St. Louis Jazz Fest, “I didn’t know if he would be something of a diva, because sometimes they can be. But, he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”
Dobbs Bradford says Jarreau had promised to come back to St. Louis and do clinics with some students, “He was always a very giving person, always very expressive. He made you feel he was singing just to you.”
He’s hopeful a tribute will be paid to Jarreau on Sunday night’s Grammy awards show on CBS. Jarreau was a seven-time Grammy winner and was nominated more than a dozen other times.
Dobbs Bradford thinks Jarreau will go down as one of the best ever at vocalese, “That’s where a singer will take a solo that an instrument had done, add words to that, then sing the solo melody.”
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