Jazz Chart Update: Week of May 13, 2019

Michael Bublé, a steeped-in-tradition jazz singer with major pop appeal, enters his 24th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts with his 10th studio album, Love. While over on the Jazz Week radio charts, Herlin Riley, a veteran New Orleans drummer with a sunny new album on Mack Avenue Records, resumes his fourth week on top.

It’s little surprise that Love has had such enduring appeal. The album, which features a guest spot by Cécile McLorin Salvant, is Bublé’s first album release in two years. It’s also the first to be released after his eldest son, Noah, was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2016. (Noah is now cancer free.) With bounties of emotional history behind it, the album finds Bublé in an especially honest, heart-bearing mode, with music that radiates optimism and gratitude.

Falling in at Number 2 is Restless Windthe latest album from solo-piano specialist George Winston, which this week makes its debut on the charts. Trisha Yearwood’s jazz-inflected Let’s Be Frank climbed two places to secure the Number 3 spot. Below her, Tony Bennett and Diana Krall‘s Love Is Here To Stay, which has spent a whopping 34 weeks on the Jazz Chart, fell in at Number 4.

Wynton Marsalis’ soundtrack to the film Bolden, which he executive-produced, sits at Number 5, and the five-disc compilation Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival by Smithsonian Folkways resides at Number 6. Rounding out the Top 10 are Bill Evans in England, an unearthed live set from Resonance Records at Number 7; Open Road, by the Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman at Number 8; My Way, a Frank Sinatra tribute by country legend Willie Nelson at Number 9; and Once In a While, by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane at Number 10.

Herlin Riley (Photo: Courtesy Mack Avenue Records)

Riley, a drummer who rose to fame amid the Young Lions of the 1980s, rules the radio charts with his new release, Perpetual Optimism. On it, the 62-year-old drummer has assembled a dream team of young stars in pianist Emmet Cohen, bassist Russell Hall, saxophonist Godwin Louis and trumpeter Bruce Harris, players who all have promising futures. Under Riley’s mentorship, the group is impossibly tight and endlessly swinging.

Marsalis’ Bolden soundtrack, released on Blue Engine Records, sits just below at Number 2, where it’s followed by yet another Blue Engine release, The Music Never Stops, a previously unheard live set by vocal icon Betty Carter. Trombonist Steve Davis holds down the Number 4 spot with his Smoke Sessions album Correlations (recently the subject of a JAZZIZ podcast), and below him, Eric Reed’s own Smoke Sessions disc, Everybody Gets the Blues, comes in at Number 5.

Rounding out the Top 10 for radio spins are Catherine Russel’s Alone Together (Dot Time); Jim Snidero’s Waves of Calm (Savant); Tom Harrell’s Infinity (HighNote); the Alvin Queen Trio’s A Tribute to Oscar Peterson (Stunt); and the Cory Weeds Quintet’s Live at Frankie’s Jazz Club (Cellar Live).

Check back in next week for another update of the jazz charts. Until then, happy listening.

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