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Jarreau (1983)
Al Jarreau

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User Rating: 4 / 5 [ Add Your Rating ]

Name:  Juergen Martens <>
Rating:  4 / 5
Comments:  As I see it, the watershed year for the Rhodes was 1983, when it got
"killed" by the DX 7 with its steelish and harsh Rhodes simulation
that was soon to become a must-have among musicians in all
genres of poular music.

To me, the ultimate Rhodes swan song is Al Jarreau's self-titled
album from that year with some of the greatest sounding Rhodes
ever recorded all over it on classic tunes like "Mornin", "Boogie Down"
and lots more. The usual suspects of LA's studio scene from that days are all in and create an almost intimidating level of perfection, shiny, polished and smooththened at the edges - but still grooving strongly!

The counterpart to me is Simply Red's debut "Picture Book", I guess
from the same year, featuring MASSIVE DX 7 sounds all over it for the
first time.

The rest is history. A lot of keyboard players I know here in Germany
gave away their 73s (and one even an 88!) for ridiculous little money,
glad about having got rid of the shlep. Little did they know...

So us Rhodes lovers can not be grateful enough for the early 90's
Acid Jazz movement and the resurrection of the original item. And
the good news is that it's here to stay - easy to tell especially from
the roster of TripHop/NuJazz/Lounge artists heavily building on the
chimey Rhodes tone, to be listened to for example on Swedish DNM record's great compilation "Nordic Lounge". But from time to time I'm going back to the age of vinyl, take out that Jarreau record and soothe my soul with shimmering, pearly Rhodes tone at its very best...