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.

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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

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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:


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#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

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#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

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#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

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#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

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#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

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

Charting the Charts: Grover Washington, Jr – A Secret Place (1976)

chartingthecharts


gwj

Here’s a look at how the Grover Washington, Jr. album A Secret Place fared on various charts (chart peaks in bold):

1977 Billboard Cash Box Record World*
Date 200 Jazz Soul 200 Jazz R&B 200 Jazz R&B
Jan 1 31
Jan 8 45 159 9 59 109
Jan 15 121 10 37 109 2 50 72 3 18
Jan 22 71 15 87 2 36 60
Jan 29 51 1 11 73 1 19 54 1 13
Feb 5 41 9 65 1 17 49 1 12
Feb 12 39 1 7 58 1 16 44 1 12
Feb 19 36 7 54 2 14 40 2 11
Feb 26 33 2 12 51 2 13 45
Mar 5 31 12 48 2 12 65 2 11
Mar 12 31 2 12 63 2 14 67 3 17
Mar 19 42 12 71 2 14 71 3 24
Mar 26 39 2 15 76 3 20 81 3
Apr 2 55 15 76 3 28 130 4
Apr 9 132 2 17 119 3 43
Apr 16 132 48 122 4 50 166
Apr 23 178 4 48 148 7 62
Apr 30 195 173 8 71
May 7 9
May 14 7 10 18
May 21 11 22
May 28 11 10 33
Jun 4 10 35
Jun 11 12 12
Jun 18 20
Jun 25 12 23
Jul 2 29
Jul 9 34
1977 Billboard Cash Box Record World*
*Record World chart data incomplete, will update as information becomes available

Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #8: Columbia albums 1980

The inspiration for this Flashback is the inner sleeve Columbia Records used for their vinyl jazz/R&B releases in 1980.

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Playlist:


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Track 1: “Razor” by The David Chesky Band, from the album Rush Hour.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 48 4

chesky

Produced by David Chesky
Keyboards – David Chesky
Bass – James (Fish) Benjamin
Congas, Percussion – Steve Kroon
Drums – Brian Brake
Guitar – Bill Washer, Joe Beck
Piano – Bob James
Violin, Lyricon – Michał Urbaniak
Flute – Mauricio Smith
Soprano Saxophone – Arnie Lawrence
Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo, Soprano Saxophone – Lou Marini
Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Soprano Saxophone – Roger Rosenberg
Tenor Saxophone – Mike Brecker
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Sal Nistico
Trombone – Clint Sharman, Keith O’QuinnBass
Trombone – Dave Taylor
Trumpet – Danny Cahn, John Eckert, John Gatchell, Randy Brecker, Bob Millikan
Vocals – Jon Lind, Maurice White
Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide: not listed
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: not lsited

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Track 2: “Whisper Zone” by Ramsey Lewis, from the album Routes.  

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 7 36
Billboard 200 173 8
R&B 51 7

lewis

Produced by Larry Dunn
Piano – Ramsey Lewis
Bass – Byron Miller
Drums – Ndugu Chancler
Electric Piano – Larry Dunn, Ramsey Lewis
Flugelhorn – Rahm Lee
Guitar – Al McKay
Percussion – Fred White, Paulinho Da Costa, Phillip Bailey
Saxophone – Donald Myrick
Trombone – Louis Satterfield
Trumpet – Michael Davis

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★

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Track 3: “Family” by Hubert Laws, from the album Family.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 5 37
Billboard 200 133 13

laws

Produced by Hubert Laws
Flute, Piccolo, Backing Vocals – Hubert Laws
Vocals – Debra Laws
Backing Vocals – Angel Rogers
Bass – Nathan East
Drums – Leon “Ndugu” Chancler
Guitar – David T. Walker, Ron Muldrow
Piano – Bobby Lyle

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: not listed
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: not listed

georgedukebrazilianloveaffairfront

Track 4: “I Need You Now” by George Duke, from the album A Brazilian Love Affair.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 25
Billboard 200 119 9
R&B 40 13

duke

Produced by George Duke
Electric Piano, Second Lead Vocals, Synthesizer, Vibes – George Duke
First Lead Vocals – Simone
Bass – Byron Miller
Percussion – Sheila Escovedo
Drums – Ricky Lawson
Electric Guitar – Roland Bautista
Flugelhorn Solo – Jerry Hey
Vocals – Josie James, Lynn Davis

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★

liebman

Track 5: “A Dance for Your Thoughts” by David Liebman, from the album What It Is.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Did not chart

dliebman

Produced by Mike Mainieri
Saxophone – David Liebman
Bass – Marcus Miller
Congas – Don Alias
Drums – Steve Gadd
Piano – Kenny Kirkland
Guitar – John Scofield

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: not listed
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: not listed

hands

Track 6: “Just Around the Corner” by Herbie Hancock, from the album, Mr. Hands.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 31
Billboard 200 117 6
R&B 46 11

handsss

Produced by David Rubinson & Friends, Inc. and Herbie Hancock
Keyboards – Herbie Hancock
Bass – Freddie Washington
Drums – Alphonse Mouzon
Guitar – Wah Wah Watson
Percussion – Sheila Escovedo

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★

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Track 7: “Spanish Eyes” by Al Di Meola, from the album Splendido Hotel.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 8 27
Billboard 200 119 14

aldi

Produced by Al Di Meola
Guitar – Al Di Meola
Bass – Anthony Jackson
Drums – Steve Gadd
Electric Guitar – Les Paul

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★★

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Track 8: “You/Me Together” by Stanley Clarke, from the album Rocks, Pebbles and Sand.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 5 23
Billboard 200 95 11
R&B 40 15

clarke

Produced by Stanley Clarke
Vocals, Bass – Stanley Clarke
Vocals – Marcy Levy
Drums, Percussion – Simon Phillips
Guitar – Charles Johnson
Keyboards –  Steve Bach

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★

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Track 9: “Star” by Maynard Ferguson, from the album It’s My Time.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 23 10
Billboard 200 188 2

maynard

Produced by Bert De Coteaux
Trumpet – Maynard Ferguson
Guitar – Tom Rizzo
Bass – Lou Carfa
Drums – Roberto Petaccia
Keyboards – David Ramsay
Percussion  – Jimmy Maelen
Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Mike Migliore
Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Alto Flute – Ed Maina
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Eric Traub
Trombone– Nick Lane, Ken Crane
Trumpet – Alan Wise, Mike Horbal, Rusty Barker, Stan Mark
Vocals – Deborah McDuffie, Krystal Davis, Yvonne Lewis

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: not listed
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★

jbrack

Track 10: “Beagle’s Boogie” by Joanne Brackeen, from the album Ancient Dynasty.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 35 4

brackeen

Produced by Bob James & Joe Jorgensen
Piano – JoAnne Brackeen
Bass – Eddie Gomez
Drums – Jack DeJohnette
Saxophone – Joe Henderson

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★

rodney

Track 11: “Windy City” by Rodney Franklin from his self-titled album.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 12 30
Billboard 200 207 1
R&B 62 3

franklin

Produced by Thomas C. Washington
Piano – Rodney Franklin
Bass – Nathan East
Drums – Tony St. James
Guitar – Phil Upchurch
Percussion –  Paulinho Da Costa
Vocals – Audrey Franklin, Carmen Twillie, Marti McCall, Phyllis St. James

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★

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Track 12: “I Can’t Stop” by Patti Austin, from the album Body Language.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 28 9
Billboard 200 208 2
R&B 62 4

patti

Produced by Creed Taylor
Vocals – Patti Austin
Backing Vocals – Ava Aldridge, Cindy Richardson, Marie Tomlinson Clark
Bass – David Hood
Drums – Roger Hawkins
Engineer – Steve Melton
Guitar – Duncan Cameron, Jimmy Johnson
Keyboards – Jeremy Wall, Randy McCormick
Percussion – Mickey Buckins
Alto Saxophone – Jerry Dodgion
Saxophone – Michael Brecker
Trombone – Jim Pugh
Trumpet – Randy Brecker

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: not listed
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★

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Track 13: “Touch of Silk” by Eric Gale from the album Touch of Silk.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 12 31
Billboard 200 201 5

ericgale

Produced by Allen R. Toussaint
Guitar – Eric Gale
Bass – David Barard
Drums – James Black
Keyboards – Allen R. Toussaint
Percussion – Kenneth Williams

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: not listed
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★

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Track 14: “Carespin’ with Mamie” by Arthur Blythe, from the album Illusions.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 32 8

blythe

Produced by Arthur Blythe and Jim Fishel
Alto Saxophone – Arthur Blythe
Cello – Abdul Wadud
Drums – Bobby Battle
Electric Guitar – James Blood Ulmer
Tuba – Bob Stewart

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide: ★★★★★
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★★

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Track 15: “Making Love” by Herbie Hancock, from the album Monster.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 3 29
Billboard 200 94 18
R&B 19 24

hancock

Produced by David Rubinson & Friends, Inc. and Herbie Hancock
Keyboards – Herbie Hancock
Vocals – Greg Walker
Backing Vocals – The Waters (Julia, Luther, Maxine, Oren)
Bass – Freddie Washington
Drums – Alphonse Mouzon
Guitar – Wah Wah Watson
Percussion – Sheila Escovedo

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide:
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★

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Track 16: “Brighton by the Sea” by Bob James, from the album H.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 3 44
Billboard 200 47 18

bobjamesh

Produced by Bob James
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer – Bob James
Soprano Saxophone – Grover Washington, Jr.
Bass – Gary King
Drums – Buddy Williams
Electric Guitar – Hiram Bullock

Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide:
Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz: ★★★

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