Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #12: Billboard chart of August 8, 1981

Spend an hour remembering some of the most popular jazz of 1981 as listed on the Top 50 Jazz Albums chart in the August 8, 1981 issue of Billboard magazine.

Playlist:


joe sample

#48: “Dream of Dreams” by Joe Sample, from the #48 album of the week, Voices in the Rain. The album was Sample’s fifth “solo” release (and his first on MCA), but he had help from fellow Crusaders Stix Hooper and Wilton Felder. The album debuted on the jazz chart in February of 1981, peaked at #2 in March, and would hang around through the end of August.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 2 30
Billboard 200 65 20
R&B 29 15
1981 Jazz Year End 20

chaka

#43: “Fate” by Chaka Khan, from the #43 album of the week, What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me. This album spent only 8 weeks on the jazz chart during the months of July and August, 1981, peaking at #35 on July 11.  The album is more R&B than jazz, but Khan was supported on this track by several prominent jazz session musicians, including guitarist Hiram Bullock and Richard Tee on Clavinet.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 35 8
Billboard 200 17 18
R&B 3 23

yellowjackets

#39: “Matinee Idol” by Yellowjackets, from the #39 album of the week, Yellowjackets. The lead track from the group’s debut album. This track was released as a 12″ single with the following review blurb on the cover in caps:

“THE YELLOWJACKETS’ ALBUM RANKS AS ONE OF THE FINEST, MOST RADIO-ACCESSIBLE JAZZ-ROCK OFFERINGS OF THE YEAR. GUT REACTION TO THE YELLOWJACKETS PARALLELS THE POWER OF THE CRUSADERS (the good ol’ Crusaders with Larry Carlton, etc.). FEATURED MUSICIANS INCLUDE RUSSELL FERRANTE ON KEYBOARDS, ROBBEN FORD ON GUITAR. A DIGITAL RECORDING, PRODUCED BY TOMMY LiPUMA, YELLOWJACKETS FLOATS LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STINGS LIKE A BEE, AND SOUNDS LIKE A HORNETS’ NEST OF HONEY-DIPPED JAZZ/ROCK. AN EXTREMELY FINE RECORD.”

The week marked the album’s debut on the jazz chart, it would go on to peak at #18 on October 10.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 18 23
Billboard 200 201

s-l300

#33: “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Earl Klugh from the #33 album, Late Night Guitar. This track lead of the album with Klugh simply playing the 1933 Jerome Kern standard alone on his acoustic guitar. The album, Klugh’s seventh as a solo artist, received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, losing to Larry Carlton & Mike Post for “The Theme from Hill Street Blues.” The album had debuted on the chart in December 1980, peaked at #4 in February 1981, and was seven weeks away from ending its 39 week chart run on this August 8 chart.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 39
Billboard 200 98 23
R&B 40 18
1981 Jazz Year End 6

8081album

#31: “Every Day (I Thank You)” by Pat Metheny from the #31 album, 80/81. The album features Pat Metheny (leader, guitars), Dewey Redman (tenor saxophone), Charlie Haden (bass), Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone), and Jack DeJohnette (drums). For the record, Brecker plays sax on this particular cut, which took up most of side 4 of this double album set. The album had debuted on the jazz charts way back on November 1, 1980.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 44
Billboard 200 89 14
1981 Jazz Year End 5

R-995351-1276442448.jpeg

#18: “Bread Sandwiches” by Bernard Wright from the #18 album, ‘Nard.  The son of singer Roberta Flack, keyboardist Wright hailed from Jamaica, Queens along with other funk-jazzers Tom Browne and Lenny White. This album, released when Wright was only 18, had only a few instrumental tracks, including this one from side two. Released on the fledgling GRP label, this album was produced by label founders Dave Grusin & Larry Rosen. Wright’s only appearance on the jazz charts, this one debuted on April 11, peaked May 9, and slipped off the chart September 12.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 7 22
Billboard 200 116 14
R&B 23 24
1981 Jazz Year End 36

R-2409532-1464360255-5636.jpeg

#13: “Mountain Dance” by Dave Grusin from the #13 album, Mountain Dance.  Grusin was doing it all back in ’81, from film scoring to producing to label management to collaborating to recording his own stuff. This is the title track to his second GRP album, his most successful as a solo act, and can still be heard on smooth jazz radio formats to this day. The album first hit the jazz chart in mid-March, peaked in May, and would hang around the charts until mid-November.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 3 36
Billboard 200 74  18
1981 Jazz Year End 8

applejuice

#9: “Gettin’ Up” by Tom Scott from the #9 album, Apple Juice. A live album, recorded in New York City, featuring Scott backed up by the members of Stuff, plus a few other recognizable session musician names: Eric Gale (electric and acoustic guitar), Hugh McCracken (electric guitar), Richard Tee (keyboards), Marcus Miller (bass), Ralph MacDonald (percussion), and Steve Gadd (drums). On this track, which leads off side two of the album, Scott is featured on the newfangled Lyricon electronic wind instrument (EWI) as well as his usual tenor. At #9 on this particular chart, it would peak two weeks later at #7 and stay on the chart until February 13, 1982.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 7 31
Billboard 200 123 11
1981 Jazz Year End 33

rit

#6: “Is It You?” by Lee Ritenour from the #6 album, RIT. A pop release from a long-time jazzer/session ace, this album did surprisingly well, spurred along by this song. “Is It You?” with vocals by Eric Tagg, was a Top 40 single, hitting #15 not only on the pop chart but also the Adult Contemporary chart. It is also notable for its video receiving considerable airplay during the first few days of air in August, 1981 (it was the 44th, 108th, and 148th video aired).  Ritenour would re-record this song for his 2005 release, Overtime, featuring vocalists Grady Harrell and Kenya Hathaway. The RIT album debuted on the jazz chart on May 9, 1981 and hung around the top ten for almost 6 months.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 40
Billboard 200 26 23
R&B 20 20
1981 Jazz Year End 9

voyeur

#4: “Let’s Just Say Goodbye” by David Sanborn from the #4 album, Voyeur. The lead track to Sanborn’s first #1 jazz album.  The album, which stayed on the jazz chart for over a year, featured many recognizable names, including Marcus Miller, Hiram Bullock, Steve Gadd, and Buzzy Feiten. Sanborn’s previous album, Hideaway, occupies the 27 spot on this chart in its 76th week. The Voyeur album had held the #1 spot position two weeks prior to this date, but ultimately spent a total of 30 weeks in the top ten.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 53
Billboard 200 45 22
R&B 18 21
1981 Jazz Year End 4

winelight

#1: “Winelight” by Grover Washington, Jr. from the #1 album, Winelight. A huge crossover hit, this was by far Washington’s most successful album. And all the usual suspects are here: Ralph MacDonald, Marcus Miller, Steve Gadd, Eric Gale, and Richard Tee. This album spent over three years on the jazz chart, including an incredible 31 weeks in the #1 spot. Not only was this the #1 jazz album of 1981, it was also the #18 jazz album of 1982 and the #47 jazz album of 1983.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 183
Billboard 200 5 52
R&B 2 49
1981 Jazz Year End 1

bb81

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Dr. Smooth’s Flashback #11: Billboard chart of July 5, 1986

Spend an hour remembering some of the most popular jazz of 1986 as listed on the Top 40 Jazz Albums chart in the July 5, 1986 issue of Billboard magazine.

Playlist:


breakout

#38: “Bob Goes to the Store” by Spyro Gyra, from the #38 album of the week, BreakoutBreakout was the group’s tenth album, released in June, 1986. This chart marked the album’s debut. It would go on to spend two weeks at the #1 spot in late September/early October. “Bob Goes to the Store” is the album’s first track and was written by bass player Kim Stone. The group filmed a promotional video for the song that was later included in a 1990 promotional VHS tape titled Graffiti.

sggraffiti

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 34
Billboard 200 71 19
1986 Jazz Year End 14

perri

#36: “Maybe Tomorrow” by Perrí, from the #36 album of the week, Celebrate. Perrí was a Los Angeles-based vocal group consisting of four sisters: Lori, Sharon, Darlene, and Carolyn Perry. They were discovered by Pat Metheny and later supported Anita Baker on tour. Celebrate was the quartet’s debut album. This issue of Billboard marked the album’s final appearance on the jazz chart; it had debuted on the chart back on March 15.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 14 20
1986 Jazz Year End 48

0002230461

#33: “After” by Makoto Ozone, from the #33 album of the week, After.  After was the Japanese pianist’s second solo album. It debuted here in the #33 position on this date and stayed at #33 for the entirety of its chart run. While other tracks feature various sidemen/combos, this track features only Ozone.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 33 4

mi0003808290

#25: “Sandu” by Freddie Hubbard & Woody Shaw from the #25 album, Double Take. This album by two jazz trumpet masters opens with this cover of a Clifford Brown tune.  In addition to Hubbard and Shaw, the track features Kenny Garrett on alto saxophone and Mulgrew Miller on piano. The album debuted on the chart this week at the #25 spot and stayed near that position for its brief chart run.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 19 12

mi0001501679

#21: “Milan” by Ahmad Jamal from the #21 album, Rossiter Road. This Jamal album had debuted on the jazz chart on June 7 and was peaking here at the #21 spot. For this album, Jamal was backed by James Cammack on bass, Herlin Riley on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussion.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 21 10

shades

#20: “And You Know That” by Yellowjackets from the #20 album, Shades.  At #20, this was the highest debuting album on this particular chart. The track, written by drummer Ricky Lawson and keyboardist Russell Ferrante, won a Grammy Award for “Best R&B Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist)” and is the album’s lead cut. Track 4 of the album, “Revelation,” features vocals from Perrí (see #36 above).

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 32
Billboard 200 195 2
1986 Jazz Year End 16

0000283396

#18: “Never As Good As the First Time” by Sade from the #18 album, Promise.  This multi-platinum album debuted on the jazz chart on January 18, had peaked at #4 on March 29, and was on its decline on this date. “Never As Good As the First Time” was the third single released from the album and peaked at #20 pop, #8 R&B, and #6 adult contemporary.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 4 32
Billboard 200 1  46
R&B 1  45
1986 Jazz Year End 10

mi0003575396

#12: “Highland Aire” by Lyle Mays from the #12 album, Lyle Mays. The first solo effort by Pat Metheny Group keyboardist, this album debuted on the jazz chart on May 24 and was peaking here at #12 in its seventh week. Playing with Mays on this album are Alejandro N. Acuña, drums; Billy Drewes, saxophone; Bill Frisell: guitar; Marc Johnson, bass; and Nana Vasconcelos, percussion.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 12 16

mi0002377300

#11: “Majesty” by Cabo Frio from the #11 album, Right on the Money. The fusion group’s second album debuted on the jazz chart on April 12 and was at its peak here at #11. “Majesty” is the album’s 8th track and was written by keyboardist Joey Santora and also features saxophonist Terrance Bruce.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 11 20
1986 Jazz Year End 37

mi0003591278

#5: “Since I Fell for You” by Bob James & David Sanborn from the #5 album, Double Vision. This track, a jazz standard, features vocals by Al Jarreau and won a Grammy award for “Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental,” peaked at #10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and was featured in the television show Moonlighting as well as appearing on that show’s compilation. The album debuted on the previous chart at #30 and jumped 25 spots to #5 on this chart. It would spend 8 consecutive weeks in the top spot starting August 2.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 58
Billboard 200 50 64
R&B 16 39
1986 Jazz Year End 7

mi0000509641

#2: “Smiles and Smiles to Go” by Larry Carlton from the #2 album, Alone/But Never AloneThis is the album’s lead track and was written and produced by Carlton. The album debuted on the jazz chart on April 12 and would move from this #2 position to the top spot on the next chart.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 34
Billboard 200 141 11
1986 Jazz Year End 6

mi0001959286

#1: “Love Will Follow” by George Howard from the #1 album, Love Will Follow. This album, which had debuted on March 29, spent 8 consecutive weeks in the #1 spot. This title track is a cover of a Kenny Loggins/Tom Snow song and features Howard on soprano saxophone and Ron Smith on guitar.

Billboard Album Charts: Peak Weeks
Jazz 1 32
Billboard 200 142 11
R&B 22 26
1986 Jazz Year End 3

bbjazz


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

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.

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

41


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.

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

Charting the Charts: Maynard Ferguson – Conquistador (1977)

chartingthecharts


mf_conquistador

Here’s a look at how the Maynard Ferguson album Conquistador fared on various charts:

1977
Date Billboard Jazz (40) Billboard 200 Cash Box 200 Cash Box Jazz (40)
April 2 159 157 17
April 9 18 121 127 8
April 16 110 107 6
April 23 3 91 87 5
April 30 81 81 5
May 7 70 75 6
May 14 6 49 69 6
May 21 40 62 6
May 28 2 37 57 5
June 4 29 52 6
June 11 1 26 49 7
June 18 24 47 6
June 25 3 22 45 7
July 2 22 47 7
July 9 9 45 56 6
July 16 45 67 15
July 23 7 68 80 16
July 30 68 98 17
Aug 6 * 64 102 16
Aug 13 62 121 22
Aug 20 6 62 160 23
Aug 27 58 174 28
Sept 3 78 30
Sept 10 14 103
Sept 17 103
Sept 24 15 195
Oct 1
Oct 8 15*

*In 1977, Billboard published a top 40 Jazz Albums list in the 2nd and 4th issue of every month but one: for some reason, charts were not published in the August 13 and August 27 issues. Instead, one chart was printed that month in the August 20 issue. Also, the October 8 chart was simply a reprint of the previous list of September 24.


REVIEWS:

conquis

Billboard, March 26, 1977, p. 78

maynarddb

Down Beat, July 14, 1977, p. 42


rocky