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ALL FLY HOME is, in my opinion, Al Jarreau's jazz masterpiece. Incorporating all three words of the title into a loose "concept" album weaving a tapestry around the words and infusing his vocalese (invented by Eddie Jefferson and popularized by Al and Manhattan Transfer) jazz stylings and Fitzgeraldesque scats with just enough pop and classical splashes to create a real work of art. The Beatles She's Leaving Home then becomes a centerpiece of this work interpreting the ALL FLY HOME motif in an exciting new manner, and Redding's Dock Of The Bay ends the trip comfortably home at last and contemplating whether or not the journey was indeed a waste of time.
While 81's BREAKIN' AWAY is a terrific record with just as much jazz as pop influence, it lacks the artistic genius (save for Roof Garden and his wonderful interpretation of Brubeck's Blue Rondo) to be found on ALL FLY HOME. What Al does on this album is for vocalese what Miles' Pangea/Panthalassa phase did for fusion jazz, he creates a new sound garden in which to walk. Al Jarreau and George Benson created more fields of crossover jazz than probably anyone else in the industry, they both, during the same period, stepped commercial listeners easily over the boundaries from pop to jazz and as is hinted at in other reviews, probably are most responsible for the "smooth jazz" genre which would popularize in the 80's.
Regardless if you are a diehard jazz fan who hates this kind of music and snub you nose at words like "fusion" and jazz-pop, you have to understand that jazz IS, WAS, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN about fusion. Go all the way back to the big band era and you will find jazz bands and world class jazz artists, infusing "pop" songs and "classical" motifs into the melodies which jazz by nature improvises on. Brubeck and others in the 50's became famous for noodling on pop tunes like Jeepers Creepers and Pennies From Heaven. What Miles did on Bitches Brew, what Coltrane did with "Eastern Classical" and what experimenters like McLlaughlin and even Santana did in the early 70's, this isn't "fusion" jazz! That's like calling it Jazz Jazz because jazz IS fusion by its very nature, so leave off ridiculing artists like Jarreau and Benson and Metheny and Di Meola or Ponty. Al Jarreau belongs in the ranks of these men and is tops of his craft, and ALL FLY HOME is top of his art, pinnacle of his creativity, and one of the best darned albums to be released in the 70's under any genre!
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
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