Singer Stacey Kent Hits Heights With Astaire Tribute

Soundtrack to Clint Eastwood's "Space Cowboys" film at #4.

The Fred Astaire homage Let Yourself Go by Stacey Kent and the soundtrack to Clint Eastwood's "Space Cowboys" make impressive premieres this week on Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart.

On Let Yourself Go (#2 on the chart), Kent sings tunes that dancer Astaire helped make famous. Most of the songs were written by either Irving Berlin or the Gershwin Brothers, such as "Isn't This a Lovely Day?" (RealAudio excerpt). Pianist David Newton, saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, bassist Simon Thorpe, drummer Steve Brown and guitarist Colin Oxley all contribute to the CD.

The other album making waves on the charts, Space Cowboys, (#4), is a compilation of songs performed by top jazz and country artists. Pianist Brad Mehldau and saxophonist Joshua Redman each contribute several tunes while country stars Chad Brock and Willie Nelson sing on various songs. The soundtrack also includes the Frank Sinatra/Count Basie duet "Fly Me to the Moon"(RealAudio excerpt) as well as "Last Night" (RealAudio excerpt), which features organist Larry Goldings, saxophonist Maceo Parker and trombonist Fred Wesley.

While Kent's Let Yourself Go managed to knock the $1.98 BET on Jazz: For the Love of Jazz compilation down to #3, singer/pianist Diana Krall's When I Look in Your Eyes holds tight to #1.

Krall's reissued Stepping Out moves up a notch to #5. Singer Steve Tyrell's A New Standard jumps back into the top 10 at #6, followed by the Miles Davis compilation Love Songs (#7), pianist David Benoit's Here's to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! (#8) and trumpeter Roy Hargrove's Moment to Moment (#9). Singer Dianne Reeves' In the Moment (#10) falls six positions to round out the top 10.

Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart stays fairly motionless this week. Saxophonist Boney James and trumpeter Rick Braun's Shake It Up stays at #1, followed by guitarist George Benson's Absolute Benson (#2), the Higher Octave compilation Smooth Grooves (#3), Bela Fleck and the Flecktones's Outbound (#4) and saxophonist Walter Beasley's Won't You Let Me Love You (#5). Al Jarreau's Tomorrow Today jumps up two positions to #6, while saxophonist Dave Koz's The Dance (#7) and Kenny G's Classics in the Key of G fall one spot. Sax man Steve Cole's Between Us (#9) and the Higher Octave compilation Panorama — The Best of Craig Chaquico (#10) make an even swap from last week's positions.