I didn’t intend to “keep silent” on this site for so long, but for a variety of reasons it just worked out that way. However, a lot has happened since I last posted.
While doing other things, including continuing to practice every day and playing a reasonable number of gigs, I have been working hard on the Al Jarreau biography. And today marks a milestone step in the Jarreau project. I’ve signed a contract to have the bio published. There were many factors to consider when searching for the right place to have the book released. But after carefully thinking about the variety of possibilities, I decided to work again with my friends the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.
A large factor in the decision bubbled up in my research, as Al’s frequent references to his hometown Milwaukee, his college alma mater Ripon College and Wisconsin more broadly made me realize just how strong those connections were. It was not difficult at all to keep the story connected to Wisconsin, despite Al’s national and international fame. And I had such a good experience working with the WHSP staff on Wisconsin Riffs, why wouldn’t I want to do that again?
The schedule sped up once I made that decision. First, I had to submit a proposal to WHSP. There was a slight delay in their approving it, due to outside forces. But once the proposal went through, suddenly I was presented with a date to turn in the manuscript (all 125,000+ words) — February 15. I had the vast majority of the book written already, but there was more to research and write, not to mention going back through everything I’d done previously. I’ll meet that deadline, but my writing work hours seriously ramped up. It’s almost done.
But it is a classic case of hurry up and wait. The back and forth of the editing process will take a significant amount of time. However, the process involves much more — including just getting into the queue of WHSP releases. The projected publication date is not until fall of 2023. I’d love it if it were sooner, but that’s just the way it goes.
I want to thank again — and not for the last time — the invaluable contributions of Al’s sister Rose Marie Freeman and Al’s last manager, Joe Gordon, in my work. Other musicians, family members and associates have also been amazingly generous with their input. They all have deeply enriched the book.
I hope that all of you who read this post are well, including COVID free. And those of you who are in the Upper Midwest, that you have come through these last few frigid days intact.
Very best wishes,