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Written by Tom Kellock, Al Jarreau & Tom Canning

The partnership between virtuoso jazz singer Al Jarreau and super-producer Jay Graydon was a true match made in Heaven. At the time of their first meeting, Jarreau was already a successful act in the jazz world with a couple of Grammys under his belt.

Graydon, who started out as a respected session guitarist, was making the transition to music producer. Initially working on a couple of obscure yet critically acclaimed albums for Steve Kipner and Marc Jordan, Graydon eventually made great buzz when he collaborated with The Manhattan Transfer on their hit 1979 album, “Extensions.”

In the spring of 1980, Jarreau released “This Time” which was entirely produced and arranged by Jay Graydon. The album contained mostly original songs co-written by the singer with his long-time collaborator, Tom Canning. It also included covers of Chick Corea and Earl Klugh instrumentals with new lyrics. The overall sound is elegant pop/soul with strong jazz flavors, beautiful melodies, rich instrumentation with a vast use of synths and great chord changes. The mix of Jarreau’s unique voice with Graydon’s artistry brought the singer wider success and crossed him over to r&b and pop audiences. On “This Time” the singer made a more restrained use of his exuberant vocals to perfectly fit the refined atmospheres on the record. There are echoes of Earth, Wind & Fire and Steely Dan in the complex, ear candy musical solutions and spectacular horn arrangements. “This Time” presents gorgeous ballads like “Gimme What You Got” and “Change Your Mind” plus sumptuous up-tempos including “Distracted,” “Your Sweet Love” and “Love Is Real.” The musical scenario is perfect for Jarreau’s voice; smooth on the ballads but mesmerizing and exciting on the technically challenging, jazzy material. Graydon assembled a stellar line-up of musicians for these recordings including George Duke, Steve Gadd, Jerry Hey, the late Carlos Vega, Greg Mathieson and his pal David Foster. Foster played his trademark acoustic piano and fender rhodes on three tracks of the album, “Gimme What You Got,” “Love Is Real” and “(A Rhyme) This Time.”


[audio:|titles=Love is real|artists=Al Jarreau]

All Vocals: Al Jarreau
String Synthesizers: Greg Mathieson
Drums: Carlos Vega
Bass: Abe Laboriel
Acoustic Piano: Tom Canning
Fender Rhodes: David Foster
Electric Guitar & Synthesizer Programming: Jay Graydon
Electric Guitar: Dean Parks
Synthesizer: Larry Williams
Horns: Jerry Hey, Chuck Findley & Bill Reichenbach

Rhythm Arrangement: Jay Graydon, Al Jarreau & Tom Canning
Horn Arrangement: Jerry Hey
Produced by Jay Graydon


You think that love
is just a fairy tale
Maybe true love is sold
and bought
Hansel and Gretel found
their candy getting stale
And you’re gonna find
You ain’t no Goldilocks

When those bells just
keep on ringing
And that song you’re singing
And you want to share
your Mondays-
Right through to Sundays
Your best friend is softly speakin’
She won’t call this weekend
No way-it’s only a fling you say
Love is real, yes it is girl
Never let anyone
tell you different
when you can feel it
Love is real, yes it is mama
Never let anyone
tell you different
When you can feel this
feeling’s for real

Let me tell you something
Don’t go away
Don’t you stray
Let me tell you something
Don’t go away
Don’t you stray

You think that love’s
What’s on that silver screen

Raquel and Redford are the tops

You’ve been misled
by all those movies you’ve seen
Love ain’t a robber
Hidin’ from the cops

When you toss ‘n’ turn all morning
And you wake up yawning
And you walk that floor all evening
And you should be leaving
And you find yourself pretending
You’ve got a happy ending-
No way-it’s only a fling you say


(vocal Improvisation)