Grammy winners usually see a bump in sales. So, what is the best-selling recording today on Amazon.com? It’s not Amy Winehouse and it’s not Kanye. Jazz rules the music sales charts today. Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters may double its sales in one day. It’s only sold about 53,000 copies since it’s release last autumn.
I know I’ve written a lot about this already but this is one of, if not the, biggest thing to happen in jazz in years. I’ve already posted about the immediate sales impact for River: The Joni Letters, Herbie Hancock’s winning recording for the Grammy Album of the Year. Now the sales for the week are in. Sales jumped an astronomical 967%. It vaulted from 159 to 5 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. A jazz album in the top five?! Has that happened in my lifetime? It sold 54,000 copies. I thought it had sold 53,000 total so far but Variety says the 54k number is just short of its cumulative sales. It’s awesome to see jazz in the mainstream press, as it’s increasingly rare unless it’s an obituary. Herbie will receive more mainstream exposure on Friday, February 22, when he’ll perform with singer Luciana Souza on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
“Unbelievable,” said Quincy Jones after he read the winner of the Album of the Year Grammy. My reaction would have needed to be bleeped. River: The Joni Letters by Herbie Hancock, a pure jazz recording, won the music’s biggest award. Herbie said it was the first time in 43 years that a jazz album has won that. What a great thing for jazz.
Want to know all about Herbie Hancock’s Possibilities recording? Check out Jim Harrington’s June 30 interview with the legend at LiveDaily. Things have changed a bit since I initially reported on it. It appears that the all-star recording will be released on Starbucks’ Hear Music in conjunction with Hancock Records and Vector Records, not Verve. In addition to talents like Sting, Santana, John Mayer, and Paul Simon, Joss Stone and Christina Aguilera have joined the lineup.
Partnering with Hear Music raises the question: will Herbie’s latest be available exclusively at Starbucks? Will it have an advance exclusive for a month prior to retail release like Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill Acoustic? I have not been able to find the answers through news searches. I have not seen it advance listed at Amazon.com, which is unusual given that it is due in less than two months. Possibilities is currently expected on August 30.