from OUR LOVE/ROOF GARDEN (single)
written by Al Jarreau, Tom Canning & Jay Graydon
Al Jarreau was a rare talent. Mr. Jarreau’s (March 12, 1940 to February 12, 2017) 1981 masterpiece, Breakin’ Away, was produced by Jay Graydon and set the benchmark of excellence for the LA sound of those years. The late vocal legend with Graydon, his frequent collaborator, Tom Canning and an A-list team of players and engineers created an innovative musical architecture that fused Jarreau’s jazz roots with sophisticated soul sounds.
Think Earth, Wind & Fire meets the harmonic brightness of pop genius Burt Bacharach. Through the years on this page, there have been writings of amazing melodies from Breakin’ Away including “My Old Friend” and the title track that can still be mined in the archives.
This week, the spotlight is on “Our Love,” an achingly beautiful love song that closes the first side of the album. Co-written by Graydon, Canning and Jarreau, “Our Love” was a romantic song with a powerful melody that can melt the coldest hearts. The legendary singer’s tender phrasing and moving performance on the verses and chorus are pure ear-candy and evidence of his God-given talent. On “Our Love,” the Milwaukee-born sensation was supported by the golden vocal harmonies of two other fixtures in Graydon’s camp; Richard Page and Steve George of Pages. Graydon’s genius boosted the tune with a refined rhythm arrangement that is perfectly supported by his friend David Foster who delivered superb performances on piano, rhodes and synthesizer. Foster also enhanced the tune’s sweetness with a top-notch string arrangement. The rhythm section on “Our Love” was rounded out by Graydon on guitar, Steve Gadd on drums and Abe Laboriel on bass. “Our Love” was the last single from Breakin’ Away coupled with the funky groove of “Roof Garden” also found on the album. “Our Love” was just one of the gems that makes it easy to understand why Al Jarreau will remain as one of the most gifted, original and great singers that ever walked into a recording studio in music history.
Lead Vocals: Al Jarreau
Drums: Steve Gadd
Bass: Abraham Laboriel
Acoustic Piano, Fender Rhodes & Synthesizer: David Foster
Guitars: Jay Graydon
Synthesizer: Mike Boddicker
Background Vocals: Richard Page & Steve George
Rhythm Arrangement by Jay Graydon, Tom Canning & Al Jarreau
String Arrangement: David Foster
Produced by Jay Graydon
Associate Producer: Tom Canning
There’s a land where lovers dream,
Where poets dwell.
We can sail tomorrow.
There is always room for one
Who wishes well.
There are doubters who
Will be welcome too.
When you can’t afford the fare,
There’s a wish to borrow.
Our love, we must never doubt it.
Our love, when you think about it.
Love like ours will live a
Yes, I know you’ve heard the story
Without end.And you’re uninspired.
Still, a walk without a wish
If you wish at all,
We can conquer all
Learn to walk and run again,
As we chase Goiath.