Al Jarreau was admired by jazz fans for the imaginative, improvisational qualities of his singing and cherished by R&B and pop listeners for the entertaining, rhythmically explosive qualities of his live performances.
"I'm this strange kind of fusion of jazz, pop and R&B," Jarreau told The Times in 1991.
After earning a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ripon College, near his hometown of Milwaukee, Jarreau moved on to the University of Iowa to pick up a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation. But by the late '60s, when he relocated to Los Angeles and began to sing in clubs such as the Troubadour and the Bitter End West, it was clear that music, not rehabilitation counseling, would be his career.
He released his first album, "We Got By," in 1975 at the age of 35. Within two years, he won his first Grammy. He began attracting a wider following with his 1981 album, "Breaking Away," which included the Top 20 hit "We’re in This Love Together." The album won Grammy Awards in the jazz and pop vocal categories.
Jarreau had a string of gold albums for Warners in the '70s and '80s, but later expressed frustration at what he saw as a lack of record company support and interest.
He continued to performer until his death, at a Los Angeles hospital, on Feb. 12, 2017.