Al’s Breakin’ Away

Fine Folks, I’m hoping it’s a good time over at your house. Today as I write Al Jarreau is singing “Closer To Your Love” and it’s a bittersweet moment. Al exited earth last week and for me his music has been interwoven into the details of my life. What an amazing mix of pop and jazz and he and his team forged new frontiers in mixing up pop groove with cool jazz harmony. His records would come out and a bunch of us would play them to fill the house with a great vibe and then the next moment found us transcribing the music to add tunes to our live gig playlist. Kevyn would sing the tunes and we even had a stint where Ron Satterfield was in the band and man, that dude had the spirit of Al coursing through his blood. Great times and Jarreau was at the center of it. I’ll sure miss him.

Al Jarreau

I once had a chance to play a concert with Al back in the late 80’s. I was doing some gigs with Chick Corea and for a gig in Washington, D.C. Chick got Al to join the band. There we were, walking out on stage, looking out into a sea of people at the National Mall and Al started singing “Spain”. Pure magic and a real highpoint in my life.

Check out this vid that I ran into recently with Al and pianist Michel Petrucciani playing “Mais Que Nada”. Talk about groove, wow! Bolted into the very core of the earth, I dig it!

This week I’ve got a few music hits lined up starting with TONIGHT at the Clairemont Library. It’ll be Beth on flute and me on guitar playing a free hour long concert starting at 6pm. Sounds fun and easy, all except the tricky licks I composed on “Empowered”. After I finish this gig email I’m heading to the practice room to get musically ALIGNED…

Beth Ross Buckley and Peter Sprague

Friday night I’m heading over to Ki’s Restaurant to meet up with Leonard Patton for an evening of jazz, samba, Beatles, Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, and maybe we can add in a Jarreau tune too. Super great gig with killer food and if you get there early enough you can take in the sunset. Big fun!

On Saturday night I’m meeting up with pianist John Opferkuch to play a hit at Northern Spirits in San Marcus. Duncan on drums and Harley on bass are also part of the ensemble and John’s a great muso with some nice original tunes in his back pocket. Good times ahead!

John Opferkuch

There it is folks. Thanks for tuning in and see you out there in the real world…

all best, Peter