Jarreau Tackling Holiday Favorites On Next Album

Al Jarreau will have more than just love songs to offer to his fans this year.

Al Jarreau will have more than just love songs to offer to his fans this year.

The multi-faceted singer, who recently released a "Love Songs" collection timed for Valentine's Day, tells Billboard.com he has two more projects planned for this year -- a holiday album and a best-of compilation.

Jarreau is in the midst of working on the holiday album and plans to have it finished by May or June. It will feature standards such as "White Christmas," "Joy to the World" and "The Christmas Song," as well as an original called "Tree Wishes" that he says is "interesting and right in the spirit of things." He's also excited about the arrangement of "The Christmas Song," in which he promises "people will hear a new sparkle."

Jarreau is working with a variety of collaborators and arrangers, including Take 6 and his own keyboardist, Joe Turano. "The guys in my band have outdone themselves with special pieces of music that we will do," Jarreau says. "They're standards. The way we're gonna do them is going to be respectful to the tradition but ear candy for people to listen to in new ways. I'm just excited to tears about this record."

He's also looking forward to compiling the best-of collection, which will be a successor to 1996's "The Best of Al Jarreau." The singer is "going through the repertoire now" and promises the new set "will be different than the last one. There's a lot more to select from since then." Titles and release dates will be forthcoming.

Jarreau will be doing a short tour to promote "Love Songs" beginning Feb. 8 in Cleveland and including a Valentine's Day performance at New York's Beacon Theater.