Top 10 – Fifteen Years Ago

In the earlier days of this site, I ran a top ten list of the most popular contemporary jazz at the time. This chart was based on sales and radio play. Here were the top 10 from December 5, 1997!

  1. Jonathan Butler, Do You Love Me?, N2K Encoded Music
  2. Bob James, Playin’ Hooky, Warner Bros.
  3. Boney James - Sweet Thing recordingBoney James, Sweet Thing, Warner Bros.
  4. Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Black Diamond, Peak/Windham Hill
  5. Brian Culbertson, Secrets, Bluemoon
  6. Chris Botti, Midnight Without You, Verve Forecast
  7. Candy Dulfer, For the Love of You, N2K Encoded Music
  8. Joyce Cooling, Playing It Cool, Heads Up
  9. David Benoit, American Landscape, GRP
  10. Earl Klugh, The Journey, Warner Bros.

Top Names Assemble for Jazz for Japan Benefit Recording

Jazz for Japan benefit recordingJazz For Japan is a benefit album recorded in two days by 25 of the top jazz musicians in the world benefiting the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. The recordings took place last week in Los Angeles at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. Legendary and Grammy nominated performers include: Kenny G, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, George Duke, Rickey Minor, Tom Scott, Billy Childs, Boney James, Lee Ritenour, Keiko Matsui, Bob James, and many others.

Larry Robinson, Jazz For Japan producer states; “This project came about after discussing the tragic aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan with my co-workers. I told them that many of the American jazz musicians tour Japan numerous times a year. It was at that moment the seeds of Jazz For Japan were born. Within five days we called all our jazz friends and put together this truly amazing line up of musicians to record at Hollywood’s famous Capitol Recording Studio who all donated their time.”

The album features jazz standards including “Maiden Voyage,” “Body & Soul,” “Watermelon Man,” “So What,” “Sophisticated Lady,” etc. along with a DVD release including interviews with the artists stating their support and sympathy for the Japanese people. “You, the Japanese people inspire us with your resilience. We are trying to send our strength with what we have – and that’s music,” states Steve Gadd (drummer, performing on “Maiden Voyage”, and “So What”).

Jazz For Japan is being produced by Avatar Records and is available now worldwide via iTunes with profits benefiting the International Red Cross in Japan.

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.

Holiday Shows on ContemporaryJazz.com Radio!

In addition to some Christmas music sprinkled in the ContemporaryJazz.com Radio playlist, there are two new shows you’ll want to listen to.

Sean Miller’s Jazz Pulse program is back and ContemporaryJazz.com Radio has it! Starting in early 2009, you’ll be able to hear it each week but the Jazz Pulse Christmas music program will be playing at times throughout this week. On the show: Brian Culbertson, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, Jimmy Smith, Al Di Meola, Herb Alpert with Jeff Lorber, Steps Ahead, Spyro Gyra, Michael Franks, Special EFX, and Elgin Wells.

I’m putting together a show that spotlights new contemporary jazz holiday music as well as some of my favorites. You’ll hear the new seasonal sounds from Spyro Gyra, Bob James, David Sanborn, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Joyce Cooling, and Dan Baraszu & Joseph Patrick Moore. I’m pulling various cuts from a number of recordings from my collection for the show as well.

Both shows will run on Christmas Eve, beginning at 8 p.m. CST and again on Christmas Day at noon CST.

Bob James Goes OUT THERE

After God knows how many albums, Bob James still has a few surprises up his sleeve. You’ll hear it the second you put in his upcoming CD Morning, Noon & Night. That’s not skipping – that’s the awesome scratches of Rob Swift. Unfortunately, it’s the only track that features Rob. The rest of the CD features of a variety of music, from smooth jazz to acoustic sounds. However, I insist that Bob do a whole CD of music that sounds like “Street Smart”. The CD hits stores on September 24.