Al Jarreau’s sudden death has left his fans shocked. It was merely last week when he had announced his retirement from touring and was not known to suffer from any serious illness. He was 76.
Despite his age, he looked rather very good and was touring and performing across the world over the last five decades. The actor is survived by his wife of 40 years Susan Elaine Player and son, Ryan, who is an MMA fighter.
The renowned singer, Al Jarreau’s, success didn’t come early. In fact he had to toil and struggle hard to make his mark initially. It was only after more than a decade in the profession that he grabbed people’s attention. And once he came into limelight, success never eluded him.
Though he earned fame as jazz musician, he didn’t confine himself to one genre alone. His approach emphasized the percussion-heavy and electronically amplified sound of rhythm-and-blues and funk music, and he had a particular gift for mimicking almost any kind of musical instrument or sound. This can be seen in many of his early performances. And people simply loved him for that.
A critic while writing about him in the Rolling Stone in late seventies had this to say, “Jarreau imitates the electronic and percussive hardware of the 1970s…But he does more than that. He stands there and makes it all sound natural, singing so sweetly and unaffectedly you’d think he just happened on this remarkable vocal vocabulary.”
The singer and musician married twice. Susan Elaine Player, whom he married in the year 1977 was some 14 years younger than him and they were madly in love till he breathed his last. Jarreau and Player had one son together, Ryan. In 2009, children’s author Carmen Rubin published the story Ashti Meets Birdman Al, inspired by Jarreau’s music. He wrote the foreword for the book and read from it across the world.
A year after getting married in 1977, Susan Player Jarreau did the illustration for the back cover of Al Jarreau’s ALL FLY HOME. pic.twitter.com/X6oroWCKQV
— J0hn B0ok (@thisisjohnbook) February 12, 2017
— Al Jarreau (@AlJarreau) February 12, 2017
— Music History (@RockWalkLondon) February 12, 2017
— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) February 12, 2017
— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) February 12, 2017
A report in Heavy.com says, “Susan Player Jarreau has worked as an actress and as a model. She appeared in several films in the 1970s, according to her IMDB profile, including “Malibu Beach,” “The Pom Pom Girls,” “Las adolescentes,” “High School Girl” and “Invasion of the Bee Girls.” She is also an artist, and drew illustrations for at least one of her husband’s albums.