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

r-1093000-1352636370-5630-jpeg

#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.

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