Will Downing and Gerald Albright topped the charts 20 years ago today

Will Downing and Gerald Albright 1998 photo by Eric Johnson

The Will Downing and Gerald Albright collaboration, Pleasures of the Night, was the best-selling contemporary jazz recording according to the October 31, 1998 issue of Billboard. At the time, Downing said, “‚ÄúThis is a departure for us both. It’s pretty much a traditional sounding record with flavorings of contemporary jazz sprinkled in so as not to exclude the audiences we’ve already built up over the years. It gives both of us an opportunity to stretch out more than our own records. It’s not often that you have the opportunity to do exactly what you want to do, no holds barred.”

Here’s the complete Top Contemporary Jazz Albums for that time:

  1. Will Downing and Gerald Albright – Pleasures of the Night
  2. Kenny G – Greatest Hits
  3. Rick Braun – Full Stride
  4. Down to the Bone – From Manhattan to Staten
  5. George Benson – Standing Together
  6. Fourplay – 4
  7. Keiko Matsui – Full Moon and the Shrine
  8. Marc Antoine – Madrid
  9. Various Artists – KKSF Sampler for AIDS Relief, Volume 9
  10. Medeski, Martin and Wood – Combustication

Also of note in that top ten is that the debut recording of Down to the Bone was in its 37th week on the chart.

Incognito – Surreal

It looks like the unstoppable Incognito has a new collection of vocal soul/jazz gems out here in the States on March 26. Surreal features vocalists Natalie Williams, Mo Brandis, Vanessa Haynes, and Maysa plus one pure Incognito instrumental.

You can take sample all of the new tracks at Amazon right now.

New Music DVDs

Here are some new DVDs you might be interested in. Some are already available and the rest will be out by the end of the month. Clicking through and buying these through Amazon.com earns the site a commission.

Bounce with Bodega!

I’m always seeking fresh sounds that keep my attention. Bodega has my ear. The band cites influences ranging from Herbie Hancock, Fela Kuti, Weather Report, Talking Heads, Stereolab, Kurt Rosenwinkel, MMW, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, livetronica and beyond. Ropeadope’s site says “Bodega has always blended elements of funk, philly soul, jazz, breakbeat, and afrobeat to make their infectious grooves.” Those infectious grooves are in full force on their new recording Bounce! Bodega had a goal of capturing the live experience with Bounce! “The People have a craving for live music, music created in the moment, music created by the musicians from audience inspiration, music in which they are a part of the creation and experience, REAL music,” the band says. “Bounce! is our vision to unite those people, whether they are hip hop heads, beat freaks, jazz heads, ravers, old heads, rockers, festival travelers, and music lovers of every shape and background.”

Here’s a live clip of Bodega playing the composition that I’m downloading from Amazon right now, “Smirk.” Learn more about Bodega on their MySpace page.