Top Contemporary Jazz Albums – June 20, 1996

These were the top selling contemporary jazz recordings 25 years ago this week, as reported by Billboard magazine.

  1. Q's Joke Joint by Quincy JonesQuincy Jones, Q’s Jook Joint
  2. Kenny G, Breathless
  3. The John Tesh Project, Discovery
  4. Russ Freeman & the Rippingtons, Brave New World
  5. Randy Crawford, Naked and True
  6. Jerald Daemyon, Thinking About You
  7. George Howard, Attitude Adjustment
  8. Will Downing, Moods
  9. Fourplay, Elixir
  10. Boney James, Seduction
  11. Richard Elliot, City Speak

Lee Sklar on Tim Weisberg

Legendary bassist Lee Sklar has a YouTube channel where he talks about the legion of musicians he’s worked with. He also plays his bass line on the Phil Collins videos I’ve watched.

Last week, he posted a video about a recording he played on that the audience of this site will especially appreciate. It was the 1989 album by flute player Tim Weisberg, Outrageous Temptations. According to his website, Tim is “is widely considered one of the pioneers in rock/jazz fusion.” On this recording, you’ll hear a lot of great flute and also a lot of David Benoit (who Sklar keeps pronouncing Ben-OY instead of Ben-WAH) and Russ Freeman of the Rippingtons. In addition to playing, Benoit and Freeman wrote and arrange much of the music.  It’s a great throwback to their sound then. 

Outrageous Temptations by Tim Weisberg

The Benoit/Freeman topped the chart 25 years ago

The top ten contemporary jazz recordings from the week of Feb. 13, 1994!

The Benoit/Freeman Project
  1. David Benoit and Russ Freeman, The Benoit/Freeman Project
  2. Nelson Rangell, Yes Then Yes
  3. Tom Scott, Reed My Lips
  4. Richard Smith, From My Window
  5. Torcuato Mariano, Paradise Station
  6. Marcus Miller, The Sun Don’t Lie
  7. Yellowjackets, Run for Your Life
  8. Fourplay, Between the Sheets
  9. Gary Burton/Rebecca Parris, It’s Another Day
  10. Charles Michael Brotman, Pacific Rendezvous

True Stories from the Rippingtons


True Stories
, the new recording from Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons is out on June 24. I love the fun new cover, presumably done by the masterful Bill Mayer who has done every Rippingtons “jazz cat” illustration.

True Stories album cover from the Rippingtons

The band has been announcing tour dates on Twitter so you will be able to hear the new songs live at some locations around the States. Attendees at the Berks Jazz Fest have already heard some of them – check out Peter Boehi’s recap of the performance. See them from Berks playing the new “Wild Tales” – I like it!