It’s December and while this may be the season of giving for most of you, in the blogosphere, ‘tis season of countdowns, listicles and round-ups of the year. Coming at you without exception is our top ten of tracks that helped shape Jazz in 2017. Always a dramatically diverse sphere of expression, the value of this year’s contribution to jazz is undeniable.
Ezra Collective – Space is the Place
Who’s had a better end to the year than Ezra Collective? With a second album, UK tour and shows across Europe under their belt, space is the tip of the iceberg for the JME-endorsed jazzers.
Vels Trio – Godzilla
Brighton-based killers Vels Trio changed the game with their crisp and humming ‘Yellow Ochre EP’. A fine example of how trios in 2017 weren’t scared of a little distortion, Vels Trio are sure to be a hot ticket in 2018.
Richard Spaven – The Self
Richard Spaven’s album was an utterly gorgeous feat of texture. Spacious open pads and intricate rhythms had us on loop. Combined with the stunning vocals of Jordan Rakei, how could The Self not get a mention?
Nubya Garcia - Hold
On the rawer end London’s spectrum, Nubya Garcia has been unescapable. Whether solo, fronting for Maisha or subtly sequenced into Blue Lab Beats ideas, Nubya’s virtuosity is always hypnotic.
Mammal Hands – Black Sails
Having had the pleasure of reviewing this track a little earlier in the year, Mammal Hands’ return couldn’t have been any stronger. The extra layer of polish to their sound could signal the future of how great the production of others on this list could be over the next year or two.
Alfa Mist – Keep On
While jazz at heart, Alfa Mist’s stunning full length release from March held the full of attention of neo-soul and hip-hop fans everywhere with its sublime synergy of styles.
Kaidi Tatham – Chui Nui
February blessed us with Tatham’s multi-instrumental mastery in the form of the Changing Times EP. These four fiery numbers made it the hottest February on record.
Henry Wu – Deep in the Mudd
Jazz fusion has that magical power of turning you on to any genre. Henry Wu demonstrated this perfectly with his hard-hitting broken beat house infused EP ‘Deep in the Mudd’.
Anomalie – Métropole
The synergy between jazz pianists and their sequencers has had scary-good results, and sureuly the totem of this frantic, metronomic style must be Anomalie’s Métropole album.
Blue Lab Beats – Keep Moving
One can only stand in awe at what BLB have achieved in 2017. Going from strength to strength throughout the year with their irresistible grooves, you’d have to tip these guys to be just as unstoppable in 2018.