Jazz Chart Update: Week of May 27

Guitarist Dave Stryker’s new album Eight Track III has claimed the No. 1 spot on the Jazz Week Radio Charts. (Photo: Courtesy Benedetto Guitars)

Esperanza Spalding’s genre-blurring album 12 Little Spells continued to hold down the top spot on the Billboard Jazz 100 Charts, while on the JazzWeek radio chart, Eight Track III, the latest in a series of nostalgia-infused jazz projects from guitarist Dave Stryker, climbed three spots to No. 1.

Spalding’s latest album represents a new direction for the bassist/vocalist, taking her into the territory of other trailblazing artists like Joni Mitchell or Lauryn Hill, whose styles transcended musical classification. Clearly, listener’s are rewarding Spalding for her bold choices. The album, which debuted on the charts last week after a limited release in October 2018, reached the top spot in its first seven days on the chart.

Other familiar faces continue to round out the Top 10, with Michael Bublé’s new album Love falling in at No. 2 and the Smithsonian compilation Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival coming in at No. 3. Albums by pianist George Winston, vocalists Tony Bennett and Diana Krall and country artist Trisha Yearwood slid to the No. 4, 5 and 6 spots, respectively, while The Highest Act of Love, the latest disc from smooth jazz guitarist Norman Brown, surged up the charts to No. 7. Willie Nelson’s My Way, a tribute to Frank Sinatra, claimed the No. 8 spot. Below him, pianist Keiko Matsui’s Echo and Snarky Puppy’s Immigrance rounded out the list at No. 9 and 10.

Willie Nelson’s latest album ‘My Way’ is a tribute to Frank Sinatra. It currently sits at No. 8 spot on the Billboard Jazz Charts.

With Eight Track III, Stryker returns once again to the music of the 1970s, interpreting tunes by Curtis Mayfield, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and others through a lens of hard-bop and soul jazz. The album features an ensemble of first-rate players, including Stefon Harris on vibraphone and Stryker’s working trio of Jared Gold on organ and McClenty Hunter on drums. A jazz radio favorite, the album has leapfrogged up the chart with remarkable speed. Now No. 1, it was previously in the No. 4 spot in last week’s chart and the No. 21 spot two weeks ago.

Wynton Marsalis’ Bolden (Original Soundtrack) from the motion picture of the same name claimed the No. 2 spot for the second straight week, while pianist Eric Reed’s Everybody Gets the Blues downshifted from No. 1 to No. 3. Drummer Herlin Riley’s Perpetual Optimism, another previous No. 1 album, came in at No. 4. Trombonist Steve Davis’ Correlations rounds out the top five.

Below them,  Joshua Redman’s new quartet album, Come What May, cracked the Top 10 to come in at No. 6, rocketing up six spots from No. 12. That album is tied at No. 6 with the previously unreleased Betty Carter disc The Music Never Stops. At No. 8, there’s another tie between trumpeter Tom Harrell’s Infinity and vocalist Catherine Russell’s Alone Together. And Branford Marsalis’ Between the Shadow and the Soul hangs in at No. 10.

Check back next week for another update of the jazz music charts.

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