Albums Your Parents Should Have Played for You: The Brothers "Al"

Welcome to Albums Your Parents Should Have Played You… It’s my attempt rectify this generations profound ignorance of the wonderful music their mom, dad, aunts, uncles, gramps, grammas and cousins enjoyed growing up… Hopefully, you’ll dig it and spread the joy of Soul Music...
Growing up, if you stopped by my home on any weekend morning you were certain to hear some soul, jazz, funk, rock or even pop blasting from my Pops speakers… I can remember several Saturday morning cartoons drowned out by Aretha… Jimi… or Archie Shepp… It didn’t matter who was the artist… It was only a matter of time before I would turn off the TV… open my bedroom door… and begin to build Lego spaceships to the soundtrack of my dad’s mood at the moment… while he prepared “big breakfast”… a breakfast that was usually served around noon… It wasn’t until I was older when I learned we ate meals hours later than other families… I don’t blame him… for a while he was a single dad… there was the laundry that rarely got folded… rooms that needed cleaning and several tasks he didn’t have time to address during the week… In addition to those chores… I had piano lessons, tennis practice and soccer games in the AM… Thus, my early bowl of Cheerios was significantly burned up… and I’m sure he had skipped a meal… so our “lunch” was a full breakfast… by the way, when your 6 years old… a mountain of clean clothes is a great source of play material…

Al Jarreau, We Got By, 1975

One distinct memory of the Saturday morning routine was getting for a soccer game to the tune “Spirit” by Al Jarreau… At the time, it seemed like a bad-ass yet innocent theme song when putting shin guards and Lotto cleats before the Sun had fully stretched out… I had no idea who Al Jarreau was nor the title of the album… I just knew it was time to play some futbol… and the guy on the cover of the “green album” was sitting in an awkward position…

It wasn’t until I began to sample albums for School of Beats production that I fully appreciated the 1975 debut, “We Got By”… I remember doing some crate digging and coming across the “green album”… Immediately, thrust back to the days of my childhood… I purchased the vinyl LP for 25 cents… a mere quarter for memories of listening to the title track “We Got By”… or hearing my dad joke that “sistas got excited when they heard ‘Susan’s Song’ until they found out ‘Susan’ wasn’t a sista…” was beyond a bargain… Very few albums seamlessly travel across genres as well as this one… Jarreau effortlessly demonstrates mastery of soul… jazz… funk… and gospel… from the opening jam “Spirit” to the close of the album with the spiritual “Aladdin’s Lamp”… this 9-track piece of work transports you to a different place from where you set out…

Recently, Jarreau suffered health complications while touring in France… Fortunately, he is expected to fully recovery and continue sharing is gift with us… If your parents didn’t share this gem with you growing up… You owe it yourself, friends and offspring to click here and download this masterpiece…

Al Green, I’m Still In Love With You, 1972

Sure, this can be filed in the “but of course” bin… However, you can never be too certain these days… Everyone may know of Reverend Al but few know of the album which he found his stride… On one album he managed to place “I’m Still In Love With You”, “Love and Happiness”, “Simply Beautiful”, “For The Good Times” and “Look What You Done for Me”…

If I had crafted an album as genius as this… I too… would be on the album cover decked in all white… lamping in the Petey Greene player chair with foliage in the background… When folks ask me have I heard the latest R&B sensations album… I often ask… “Is it better than Al’s ‘I’m Still In Love With You’…” after they look with bewilderment… I explain what this album entails… and they usual claim “of course not, come on dre’…” Welp! Sorry, friends… I see no need to sonically cheat on my ears when I’m still in love with music like this… Click here to understand where some of your favorite hip hop samples came from… and why current soul music needs a sermon from the likes of Brother Al…
That’s it for this edition of “Albums Your Parents Should Have Played for You” featuring The Brother “Al”…
Check back for other classics and hidden gems your folks should have played…
– dre’ of onustees.com

One response to “Albums Your Parents Should Have Played for You: The Brothers "Al"

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