He recorded an LP in the mid-'60s, but largely remained an unknown, not reentering the studio for another decade. Upon signing to Reprise, Jarreau resurfaced in 1975 with We Got By, earning acclaim for his sophisticated brand of vocalese and winning positive comparison to the likes of Billy Eckstine and Johnny Mathis. After 1976's Glow, Jarreau issued the following year's Look to the Rainbow, a two-disc live set that reached the Top 50 on the U.S. album charts. With 1981's Breakin' Away, he entered the Top Ten, scoring a pair of hits with "We're in This Love Together" and the title track. After recording 1986's L Is for Lover with producer Nile Rodgers, Jarreau scored a hit with the theme to the popular television program Moonlighting, but his mainstream pop success was on the wane, and subsequent efforts like 1992's Heaven and Earth and 1994's Tenderness found greater success with adult contemporary audiences.
A string of budget compilations and original albums hit the shelves at the end of the decade, but into the turn of the century his original output slowed down. That was until he signed with the Verve/GRP label in 1998 and reunited with producer Tommy LiPuma. LiPuma had produced Jarreau's ostensible 1975 debut, We Got By, and the pairing seemed to reinvigorate Jarreau, who went on to release three stellar albums under LiPuma's guidance, including 2000's Tomorrow Today, 2002's All I Got, and 2004's Accentuate the Positive. Givin' It Up, recorded with George Benson and released in 2006, was nominated for three Grammy Awards -- each one for a different song. Jarreau returned with his first ever full-length holiday-themed album, Christmas, in 2008. Four years later he offered a live recording, Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkest: Live, performing alongside the Dutch ensemble. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi