The group Ranky Tanky, which fuses jazz with the music of the Gullah people, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Chart with their album Good Time. (Photo: Courtesy the artists)
The jazz charts welcomed some new faces into the Top 10, with the Gullah-jazz group Ranky Tanky making a splash in the Billboard Jazz Chart and the Wayne Wallace’s Latin Jazz Quintet climbing its way up the JazzWeek Radio Chart.
Once again, singer Michael Bublé reclaimed the throne of the Billboard Chart with his album Love, ascending back to the No. 1 spot in his 35th week on the chart. Just below, the Charleston, South Carolina, group Ranky Tanky landed in the No. 2 spot with the debut of their sophomore album Good Time, which fuses jazz with traditional music of the Gullah people, descendants of African slaves from the Lowcountry and Sea Island region of the Carolinas. The band — featuring Quentin E. Baxter on drums, Kevin Hamilton on bass, Quiana Parler on vocals, Clay Ross on guitar and Charlton Singleton on trumpet — released its eponymous debut in 2017 to widespread acclaim, even managing to snag a top spot in that year’s Billboard Chart. Its follow-up features a wide range of music that covers everything from playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies.
The electronica duo Smith and Hay dropped one spot from No. 2 to No. 3 with their new album Jazz Part Two, and the prog-rock supergroup The Aristocrats (with Guthrie Goan on guitar, Bryan Beller on bass and Maco Minnemann on drums) held down the No. 4 spot with their new disc You Know What…?. Former Earth, Wind & Fire frontman Philip Bailey managed to stay in the upper half of the Top 10 with his album Love Will Find a Way.
Rounding out the Billboard Jazz Top 10 were Tony Bennet and Diana Krall with their latest album Love Is Here To Stay at No. 6, Willie Nelson’s My Way at No. 7 and Chick Corea’s Antidote at No. 8. Smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz landed in the No. 9 spot with the re-entry of his album Summer Horns II: From A to Z, with Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Richard Elliott and Aubrey Logan. Trish Yearwood anchored the list at the No. 10 spot with her Frank Sintra tribute album Let’s Be Frank.
The JazzWeek Radio chart saw the arrival of just one new album in its Top 10: trombonist Wayne Wallace’s The Rhythm of Invention, recorded with his Latin Jazz Quintet. Arriving at No. 7, the album features a dazzling set of new compositions and classic jazz standards on which Wallace uses the expanded sonic palette of an orchestra to highlight the strengths of his core quintet. Undergirding it all is an effortlessly instructive survey of Latin rhythms, from the familiar to the arcane, that reflect Wallace’s lifelong study of these sounds.
The remainder of the chart stayed relatively unchanged from last week, with pianist George Cables cementing the top spot once again with his new album I’m All Smiles. Mary Stallings, entering her eighth week on the chart, stayed strong in the No. 2 spot with Songs Were Made To Sing, and Dave Stryker continues to hover near the top of the list with Eight Track III, coming in this week at No. 3.
The jazz pianist Yoko Miwa and the organist Akiko Tsuruga follow in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots with their new albums Keep Talkin’ and Equal Time, respectively. Drummer Al Foster, who played with Miles Davis through the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, came in at the No. 6 spot with his new album Inspirations and Dedications, which pays homage to major figures in his musical and personal life, including the keyboardist Herbie Hancock, with whom he toured extensively.
After Wallace at No. 7 came two new albums by jazz pianists: Phoenix Rising by former Mingus Big Band keyboardist David Kikoski at No. 8 and Essence by Latin jazz master Michel Camilo at No. 9. Wynton Marsalis’ soundtrack album Bolden, which features compositions written for the biopic of the same name, refused to surrender its territory in the Top 10, holding down the final spot in its 12th week on the chart.
That’s it for this week’s Jazz Chart Update. Check back next week to see if your new favorite album made the list.