Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #10: Billboard chart of March 17, 1979

Spend an hour remembering some of the most popular jazz of early 1979 as listed on the Top 40 Jazz Albums chart in the March 17, 1979 issue of Billboard magazine.

Playlist:


larrycarlton

#40: “Nite Crawler” by Larry Carlton, from the #40 album of the week, Larry Carlton. This album is also known as the “Room 335” album as it was recorded at Larry Carlton’s Room 335 Studio in Hollywood. His first solo album released after leaving The Crusaders, this self-titled, self-produced album was in its last week on the jazz chart, having debuted 30 weeks earlier on August 26, 1978. The album features such session artists as Jeff Porcaro (drums), Greg Mathieson (keyboards), Abraham Laboriel (bass), and Paulinho da Costa (percussion).

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 12 30
Billboard 200 174

r-1815033-1432818434-4021-jpeg

#34: “Katherine” by the Jeff Lorber Fusion, from the #34 album of the week, Soft Space. This album was the second album by Lorber as leader of his band The Jeff Lorber Fusion and featured special guest artists Chick Corea (keyboards) and Joe Farrell (reeds). The album was released in 1978 and was on its descent down the jazz chart on this date.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 13 25
1979 Jazz Year End 41

carnival

#31: “Birdland” by Maynard Ferguson, from the #31 album of the week, Carnival. Ferguson’s cover of the Weather Report tune “Birdland” was the centerpiece of this album and quickly became a fan favorite.  Arranged by band trombonist Nick Lane, it features solos by John Qdini (guitar), Eric Traub (sax) and, of course, Maynard himself. By this date, the album had been on the jazz charts for 24 weeks. It had peaked at #9 back on October 21, 1978.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 9 26
Billboard 200 113
1979 Jazz Year End 28

jamal_ahmad_one_101b

#29: “Just the Way You Are” by Ahmad Jamal from the #29 album, One. This cover of the Billy Joel standard is divided into two halves, the first is a simple piano trio treatment followed by a more upbeat fusion arrangement which features Jamal on piano throughout. This was the album’s 13th week on the chart; it had peaked at #21 on the January 6 chart.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 21 15

michael_franks_tiger_in_the_rain_cd

#25: “Tiger in the Rain” by Michael Franks from the #25 album, Tiger in the Rain.  This Franks original finds the singer/songwriter backed by jazz stalwarts Ron Carter (bass), Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), and Kenny Barron (piano), plus a nice feature of Seldon Powell on soprano saxophone as well as a vibraphone solo from Mike Maineiri.  This issue of Billboard marked the album’s debut on the jazz chart.  It would go on to peak at #6 on April 7.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 6 22
Billboard 200 68
1979 Jazz Year End 32

earl-klugh-magic-in-your-eyes__51wu97ijhll

#22: “Magic in Your Eyes” by Earl Klugh from the #22 album, Magic in Your Eyes. This title track was also the lead cut on the album. The track features Klugh’s acoustic guitar as well as a Fender Rhodes solo from Greg Phillinganes – all atop a string arrangement by Booker T. Jones, who also produced the album. Having debuted in June 1978, this album peaked at #4 on July 1, 1978. This date marked the album’s 41st of 49 weeks on the chart.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 49
Billboard 200 139
1979 Jazz Year End 37

feelssogood

#18: “Hide and Seek (Ready or Not Here I Come)” by Chuck Mangione from the #18 album, Feels So Good. This song kicked off side two of the album, which debuted on the jazz chart in the October 22, 1977 edition before sticking around for almost 2 years. This issue marked the album’s 74 consecutive week in the jazz chart, all those weeks in the chart’s top 20 positions.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 98
Billboard 200 2
1979 Jazz Year End 16

pat-metheny-group1

#11: “Phase Dance” by the Pat Metheny Group from the #11 album, Pat Metheny Group.  While Metheny had previously released solo albums, this was the first album attributed to the Pat Metheny Group.  The album had debuted on the jazz chart on August 5, 1978 and was in the first half of its chart run on this date. It had peaked at #5 twice: first on September 30, 1978 and then again February 10, 1979.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 5 71
Billboard 200 123
1979 Jazz Year End 5
1978 Jazz Year End 20

mi0003549883

#4: “Fly” by Al Jarreau from the #14 album, All Fly Home. This song was written by Jarreau and features a solo by Freddie Hubbard. It debuted on the jazz chart on October 21, 1978, peaking at #2 on November 11. It was Jarreau’s highest charting album to date.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 2 37
Billboard 200 78
R&B 27
1979 Jazz Year End 12

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#2: “Touchdown” by Bob James from the #2 album, Touchdown. This track, written by Bob James, features James on pianos (acoustic and electric) and David Sanborn on saxophone, backed by the likes of Steve Gadd and Hiram Bullock. The album had debuted on the December 16 chart and spent 10 consecutive weeks in the #1 spot before dropping to #2 this week.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 47
Billboard 200 37
1979 Jazz Year End 3

500x500

#1: “A Rainy Day in Monterey” by Joe Sample from the #1 album, Carmel. This album, Sample’s most successful, was the fourth solo release from the Jazz Crusaders keyboardist. Written by Sample, it features him throughout on electric piano. The album, which debuted on the February 10 chart, would hold the #1 spot for two consecutive weeks.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 54
Billboard 200 56
R&B 25
1979 Jazz Year End 6

march1779


As always, thanks to Herc of Herc’s Hideaway for research assistance and support.

Cash Box #1 Jazz Albums of 1979

In 1979 issue, Cash Box magazine published a Jazz Album list weekly.  Forty albums were ranked in each chart. Here’s a chart of the #1 jazz albums for 1979:

Week Ending Album Artist(s)
January 6 Touchdown Bob James
January 13
January 20
January 27
February 3
February 10
February 17
February 24
March 3
March 10
March 17 Carmel Joe Sample
March 24 Livin’ Inside Your Love George Benson
March 31
April 7
April 14
April 21
April 28
May 5
May 12
May 19
May 26
June 2 Paradise Grover Washington, Jr.
June 9
June 16
June 23 Street Life The Crusaders
June 30
July 7
July 14
July 21
July 28
August 4
August 11
August 18
August 25
September 1
September 8
September 15
September 22
September 29
October 6
October 13
October 20
October 27
November 3
November 10
November 17
November 24
December 1 One on One Bob James &
Earl Klugh
December 8
December 15
December 22
December 29

Top Albums Released on the Elektra/Musician label, 1982-84

Here’s a list of all 34 albums released on the Elektra/Musician label that reached the Billboard magazine Jazz LPs chart. Albums have been ranked using a formula that takes into account chart peak positions, weeks on chart, and number of weeks at the peak position. Presented below in countdown order, including album’s chart peak and total number of weeks on the chart.

2935

Rank Artist Album Peak Weeks
24 John McLaughlin My Goal’s Beyond 34 6
23 Material Memory Serves 32 7
22 Various Artists The Griffith Park Collection 35 12
21 Kevin Eubanks Guitarist 32 10
20 Jimmy Smith Keep On Comin’ 35 13

2420

Rank Artist Album Peak Weeks
19 Various Artists Echoes of an Era 2 29 10
18 Bobby McFerrin The Voice 24 10
17 Various Artists In Performance at The Playboy Jazz Festival 35 14
16 Chico Freeman Tradition in Transition 31 12
15 Charlie Parker One Night in Washington 28 10

1915

1410

95

Rank Artist Album Peak Weeks
4 Lee Ritenour On the Line 12 30
3 Lee Ritenour Rio 11 33
2 Steps Ahead Modern Times 11 39
1 Jimmy Smith Off the Top 5 43

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Cash Box #1 Jazz Albums of 1978

In 1978 issue, Cash Box magazine published a Jazz Album list weekly.  Forty albums were ranked in each chart. Here’s a chart of the #1 jazz albums for 1978:

Week Ending Album Artist(s)
January 7 Heads Bob James
January 14
January 21 Reach for It George Duke
January 28
February 4 Live at The Bijou Grover Washington, Jr.
February 11
February 18 Weekend in L.A. George Benson
February 25
March 5
March 11
March 18
March 25
April 1
April 8
April 15
April 22
April 29
May 6
May 13 Feels So Good Chuck Mangione
May 20
May 27 Weekend in L.A. George Benson
June 3 Feels So Good Chuck Mangione
June 10
June 17
June 24
July 1
July 8
July 15
July 22 Sounds…and Stuff Like That!! Quincy Jones
July 29
August 5
August 12
August 19
August 26
September 2 Images The Crusaders
September 9
September 16
September 23
September 30
October 7
October 14 Children of Sanchez Chuck Mangione
October 21
October 28
November 4
November 11 Reed Seed Grover Washington, Jr.
November 18
November 25
December 2
December 9
December 16
December 23
December 30 Touchdown Bob James

Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #9: Billboard chart of October 20, 1984

Spend an hour remembering some of the most popular jazz of fall 1984 as listed on the Top 40 Jazz Albums chart in the October 20, 1984 issue of Billboard magazine.

Playlist:


al_jarreau_jarreau_cover

#40: “Step by Step” by Al Jarreau, from the #40 album of the week, Jarreau. By this date, Jarreau had been on the jazz chart for 78 weeks  (it debuted at #18 on April 30, 1983) and would finally leave the chart on November 17. This album would rest in the top position for 16 consecutive weeks, May 14-September 10, 1983. It is listed below as #10 on the 1984 year end chart, but was ranked at #2 on the 1983 year end chart.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 81
Billboard 200 13 43
R&B 4 43
1984 Jazz Year End 10

51wxqbthsml-_sy300_

#38: “Samba Dees Days” by Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd, from the #38 album of the week, Jazz Samba. This album was originally released in 1962, started the bossa nova craze in the US, and hit #1 on the pop chart. It was included in an August 1984 series of Verve reissues by Polygram. This particular tune was written by Byrd, the remaining songs on the album were written by Brazilian composers, including Antonio Carlos Jobim. This was the reissue’s third of 15 weeks on the jazz charts.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz (1984) 22 15
Billboard 200 (1962) 1 70

imaginethis

#36: “The Shadow of Your Smile” by Pieces of a Dream, from the #36 album of the week, Imagine This. This was the group’s third album and, after peaking at #4 back in February, was making its final chart appearance this week. This tune, also known as “Love Theme from The Sandpiper,” was written by Johnny Mandel and premiered in 1965. At that time, it won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 40
Billboard 200 90 15
R&B 16 40
1984 Jazz Year End 12

first-circle

#27: “Yolanda, You Learn” by the Pat Metheny Group from the #27 album, First Circle. This week marked the chart debut of First Circle. The album would stay on the jazz chart until March 1986 and win the Grammy Award for “Best Jazz Fusion Performance.” It spent 6 weeks at in the #2 position, held out of the top spot by Wynton Marsalis’ Hot House Flowers album. On this date, Metheny had another album on the jazz charts: Rejoicing was at #18.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 2 75
Billboard 200 91 35
1985 Jazz Year End 3

cover

#26: “Love Theme from ‘London and Davis in New York'” by Chuck Mangione from the #26 album, Disguise. Mangione’s chart appearances were in decline by this point in his career and, to that end, that cover photo may have been a poor choice to boost sales. In its fifth week on the jazz chart, it peaked here at #26. This track was a theme for a failed CBS TV pilot starring Richard Crenna as a crime-solving photographer.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 26 11
Billboard 200 148 8

ronstadt_whatsnew

#23: “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Linda Ronstadt from the #23 album, What’s New. A jazz standard on the first of three Ronstadt albums in which she teamed with legendary orchestra leader Nelson Riddle to record selections from the American songbook. A big seller on multiple charts, this album debuted on the jazz chart in December 1983. The beautiful ballad “Someone to Watch Over Me” was composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by brother Ira Gershwin for the 1926 musical Oh, Kay!

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 5 60
Billboard 200 3 81
1984 Jazz Year End 7

banded_together

#22: “Sunset Drivers” by Lee Ritenour from the #22 album, Banded Together. This pop album was released in an attempt to recapture the minor pop chart success Ritenour had with 1981’s Rit album. It didn’t fare as well; this particular week marked the album’s 17th week on the jazz chart and was on a fast descent after peaking at #6. Eric Tagg provides vocals on this track.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 6 20
Billboard 200 145 8
1984 Jazz Year End 39

moderntimes

#19: “Now You Know” by Steps Ahead from the #19 album, Modern TimesSteps Ahead were a jazz “supergroup” consisting of Warren Bernhardt (keyboards), Eddie Gomez (bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Michael Brecker (sax), and Mike Mainieri (vibes) that attempted to pick up where Weather Report left off. This album, on the short-lived Elektra/Musician label, had peaked at #11 in September.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 11 39
1984 Jazz Year End 27

r-5249006-1388696858-9966-jpeg

#17: “Take It From the Top” by Earl Klugh from the #17 album, Wishful Thinking. This album held the top spot on the jazz chart for two weeks in July, 1984. The album’s follow-up, Night Songs, would debut on the chart following this one, November 3. This track is uncharacteristic of Klugh in that it utilizes a big band; it was used as the theme for CBS Sports’ PGA Tour coverage from 1985 through 1990.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 47
Billboard 200 69 23
R&B 18 27
1984 Jazz Year End 6

large

#8: “It’s All Right With Me” by Frank Sinatra from the #8 album, L.A. is My Lady. Sinatra’s final solo album, it attempted to do for Los Angeles what his earlier “Theme from ‘New York, New York'” did for NYC. The album sessions were filmed, with a small audience, and released as Frank Sinatra: Portrait of an Album. “It’s All Right With Me” was written by Cole Porter for his 1953 musical Can-Can.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 8 21
Billboard 200 58 13

backstreet

#3: “I Told U So” by David Sanborn from the #3 album, Backstreet. By this date, the album had been in the jazz chart 48 weeks, had held the #1 spot 14 weeks, and was on its way to being listed as the chart’s top album of the year. This track, the album’s first cut, was written by Sanborn with guitarist Hiram Bullock.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 70
Billboard 200 81 33
R&B 21 47
1984 Jazz Year End 1

r-1764379-1325292820-jpeg

#1: “Old San Juan” by Spyro Gyra from the #1 album, Access All Areas.  This 2 LP set was recorded in Gainesville, St. Petersburg, and Orlando, Florida, November 17-19, 1983. It debuted on the jazz chart on July 7 and spent September 1 – November 10 in the top spot. When the album was released on a CD, the album’s first track, “Old San Juan” was cut so the album could be released on a single CD. Years later, the band released an unedited version of the track as a download from their website. It is that version that caps off this flashback mix.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 37
Billboard 200 59 19
R&B 41 13
1984 Jazz Year End 11

bbjazzchart


As always, thanks to Herc of Herc’s Hideaway for research assistance and support.