Music Year 2017

Of course, it's too early for a year-end list. But as the proto-fascist organization of my youth insisted, one should always be prepared. For records in hand, * identifies an advance copy, ** something borrowed. Some albums released in previous years are included here, noted by a "-NN" (e.g., -16 for 2016) -- these are mostly imports or self-releases, often hard to figure out official dates, but they were unknown (to me, at least) before the current year.

I keep adding to the 2016 until the end of calendar 2017, especially where the record was known to exist in 2016 and I'm just getting around to it.

New Records

  1. Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo: Peace (Libra)
  2. Aki Takase/David Murray: Cherry Shakura (Intakt)
  3. Orchestra Baobab: Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng (Nonesuch/World Circuit) **
  4. Rocco John: Peace and Love (Unseen Rain)
  5. Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 3 (Run the Jewels) **
  6. Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Loafer's Hollow (Hot Cup)
  7. Miguel Zenón: Típico (Miel Music)
  8. Rich Halley/Carson Halley: The Wild (Pine Eagle)
  9. Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song (Thirsty Ear)
  10. The XX: I See You (Young Turks) **
  11. Ellery Eskelin/Christian Weber/Michael Griener: Sensations of Tone (Intakt)
  12. Jesca Hoop: Memories Are Now (Sub Pop) **
  13. François Carrier/Michel Lambert/Alexey Lapin: Freedom Is Space for the Spirit (FMR)
  14. Kendrick Lamar: Damn (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope) **
  15. Gorilla Mask: Iron Lung (Clean Feed)
  16. Trio 3: Visiting Texture (Intakt) *
  17. Tinariwen: Elwan (Anti-) **
  18. Craig Finn: We All Want the Same Things (Partisan) **
  19. Velkro: Too Lazy to Panic (Clean Feed)
  20. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 5: Rhea (Leo)
  21. Satoko Fujii: Invisible Hand (Cortez Sound, 2CD)
  22. Conor Oberst: Salutations (Nonesuch) **
  23. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 3: Pandora (Leo)
  24. The Microscopic Septet: Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues (Cuneiform) *
  25. Syd: Fin (Columbia) **
  26. Arto Lindsay: Cuidado Madame (Northern Spy) **
  27. Chicago/London Underground: A Night Walking Through Mirrors (Cuneiform) *
  28. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 1: Titan (Leo)
  29. Matt North: Above Ground Fools (self-released) **
  30. Trio Heinz Herbert: The Willisau Concert (Intakt) *
  31. Angaleena Presley: Wrangled (Thirty Tigers) **
  32. Chicago Edge Ensemble: Decaying Orbit (self-released)
  33. David Weiss & Point of Departure: Wake Up Call (Ropeadope)
  34. Khalid: American Teen (Right Hand/RCA) **
  35. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 2: Tarvos (Leo)
  36. Randy Weston/African Rhythms: The African Nubian Suite (African Rhythms, 2CD)


Records in hand, but which haven't yet been graded.

  • Sebastien Ammann: Color Wheel (Skirl)
  • Bryan and the Aardvarks: Sounds From the Deep Field (Biophilia)
  • Buffalo Jazz Octet: PausaLive (Cadence Jazz)
  • Peter Campbell: Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn (self-released)
  • Duo Baars Henneman & Dave Burrell: Transdans (Wig)
  • Craig Fraedrich With Trilogy and Friends: All Through the Night (Summit)
  • Chris Greene Quartet: Boundary Issues (Single Malt)
  • Larry Ham/Woody Witt: Presence (Blujazz)
  • Jari Haapalainen Trio: Fusion Madness (Moserobie)
  • Rebecca Hennessy's Fog Brass Band: Two Calls (self-released)
  • Mats Holmquist: Big Band Minimalism (Summit)
  • Tristan Honsinger/Antonio Borghini/Tobias Delius/Axel Dörner: Hook, Line and Sinker (De Platenbakakkerij)
  • Jentsch Group Quartet: Fractured Pop (Fleur de Son)
  • Keith Karns Big Band: An Eye on the Future (Summit)
  • Oliver Lake Featuring Flux Quartet: Right Up On (Passin' Thru)
  • Chad Lefkowitz-Brown: Onward (self-released)
  • Gregory Lewis: Organ Monk: The Breathe Suite (self-released)
  • Jesse Lewis/Ike Sturm: Endless Field (Biophilia)
  • Alex Maguire/Nikolas Skordas Duo: Ships and Shepherds (Slam, 2CD)
  • Mas Que Nada: Sea Journey (Blujazz)
  • Jason Miles: Kind of New 2: Blue Is Paris (Lightyear) *
  • Yoko Miwa Trio: Pathways (Ocean Blue Tear Music)
  • Michael Morreale: Love and Influence (Blujazz)
  • Noertker's Moxie: Druidh Penumbrae (Edgetone -16)
  • Linda May Han Oh: Walk Against Wind (Biophilia)
  • Sarah Partridge: Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian (Origin)
  • Renaud Penant: In the Mood for a Classic (ITI Music)
  • Eve Risser/Benjamin Duboc/Edward Perraud: En Corps/Generation (Dark Tree)
  • Jared Sims: Change of Address (self-released)
  • Günter Baby Sommer: Le Piccole Cose: Live at Theater Gütersloh (Intuition)
  • Sult/Lasse Marhaug: Harpoon (Conrad Sound/Pica Disk) *
  • Jeannie Tanner: Words & Music (Tanner Time, 2CD)
  • Trichotomy: Known-Unknown (Challenge)
  • Paul Tynan & Aaron Lington Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Five (OA2)
  • Cuong Vu 4-Tet: Ballet (Rare Noise) *
  • Torben Waldorff: Holiday on Fire (ArtistShare)
  • Ronny Whyte: Shades of Whyte (Audiophile)
  • Alex Wintz: Life Cycle (Culture Shock Music)

Also Noted:

Records in hand, graded B+ or below, in alphabetical order within grade slots:

  • Carlos Bica & Azul: More Than This (Clean Feed)
  • Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows (self-released, 2CD) *
  • Club D'Elf: Live at Club Helsinki (Face Pelt, 2CD)
  • CP Unit: Before the Heat Death (Clean Feed)
  • Rodney Crowell: Close Ties (New West) **
  • Ernest Dawkins New Horizons Ensemble: Transient Takes (Malcom)
  • Jon De Lucia Group: As the River Sings (Fresh Sound New Talent) *
  • Joana Gama/Luís Fernandes/Richardo Jacinto: Harmonies (Shhpuma)
  • Jean-Brice Godet: Lignes De Crêtes (Clean Feed)
  • Mariem Hassan: La Voz Indómita (del Sahara Occidental) (Nubenegra) **
  • Idles: Brutalism (Bailey)
  • Michel Lambert: Alom Mola (Jazz From Rant)
  • Jens Lekman: Life Will See You Now (Secretly Canadian) **
  • Allegra Levy: Cities Between Us (SteepleChase)
  • Doug MacDonald: A Salute to Jazz Composers: Jazz Marathon 2 (BluJazz, 2CD)
  • The MUH Trio [Roberto Magris/Frantisek Uhlir/Jaromir Helesic]: Prague After Dark (JMood)
  • Doug Munro and La Pompe Attack: The Harry Warren Songbook (GotMusic)
  • The New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions (Collected Works/Concord) **
  • Old 97's: Graveyard Whistling (ATO) **
  • Eivind Opsvik: Overseas V (Loyal Label)
  • Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 4: Hyperion (Leo)
  • Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 6: Saturn (Leo)
  • Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 7: Dione (Leo)
  • Noah Preminger: Meditations on Freedom (self-released)
  • Jason Rigby: Detroit-Cleveland Trio: One (Fresh Sound New Talent)
  • Stephen Riley/Peter Zak: Deuce (SteepleChase) **
  • Whitney Rose: South Texas Suite (Six Shooter, EP) **
  • Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures: Glare of the Tiger (Meta/M.O.D. Technologies)
  • Jenny Scheinman: Here on Earth (Royal Potato Family) **
  • Steve Slagle: Alto Manhattan (Panorama)
  • Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) **
  • Sunny Sweeney: Trophy (Aunt Daddy) **
  • Throttle Elevator Music: Retrospective (Wide Hive) **
  • Angles 9: Disappeared Behind the Sun (Clean Feed)
  • Jason Anick & Jason Yeager: United (Inner Circle Music)
  • Bill Anschell: Rumbler (Origin)
  • Ballrogg [Klaus Ellerhusen Holm/Roger Arntzen/Ivar Grydeland]: Abaft the Beam (Clean Feed)
  • Heather Bambrick: You'll Never Know (self-released)
  • Gianni Bianchini: Type I (self-released)
  • Chris Byars: The Music of Frank Strozier (SteepleChase) **
  • The CCM Jazz Orchestra as James Bond: Nobody Does It Better (Summit)
  • Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra: Invitation (OA2)
  • Allison Crutchfield: Tourist in This Town (Merge) **
  • Tim Daisy: Red Nation "1" (Relay)
  • Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Quartet: Waltz New (OA2)
  • Akua Dixon: Akua's Dance (Akua's Music)
  • Bill Evans/Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Beauty & the Beast (Spartacus -16)
  • Rhiannon Giddens: Freedom Highway (Nonesuch) **
  • Noah Haidu: Infinite Distances (Cellar Live)
  • Heads of State: Four in One (Smoke Sessions) **
  • Oscar Hernández & Alma Libre: The Art of Latin Jazz (Origin)
  • Howard Johnson and Gravity: Testimony (Tuscarora)
  • Daniel Levin Quartet: Live at Firehouse 12 (Clean Feed)
  • Mark Lewis: New York Session (Audio Daddio)
  • Live Human: Scratch Bop (Cosmic)
  • Mike Longo Trio: Only Time Will Tell (CAP)
  • Mark Masters Ensemble: Blue Skylight (Capri)
  • MEM3: Circles (self-released)
  • Lisa Mezzacappa: Avant Noir (Clean Feed)
  • Billy Mintz: Ugly Beautiful (Thirteenth Note, 2CD)
  • Nicole Mitchell: Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds (FPE)
  • Donny Most: Mostly Swinging (Summit)
  • Kjetil Møster/Hans Magnus Ryan/Ståle Storløkken/Thomas Strønen: Reflections in Cosmo (RareNoise) *
  • Murs: Captain California (Strange Music) **
  • Miles Okazaki: Trickster (Pi)
  • Matt Otto With Ensemble Ibérica: Ibérica (Origin)
  • Keith Oxman: East of the Village (Capri)
  • Awa Poulo: Poulo Warali (Awesome Tapes From Africa) **
  • Rashad: #LevelUp (Self Made) **
  • The Reunion Project: Veranda (Tapestry)
  • Jimmy Scott: I Go Back Home (Eden River)
  • Luke Sellick: Alchemist (Cellar Live)
  • Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra: Effervescence (Spartacus)
  • Valerie June: The Order of Time (Concord) **
  • Daniel Weltlinger: Samoreau: A Tribute to the Fans of Django Reinhardt (Rectify)
  • David Wise: Till They Lay Me Down (self-released)
  • Michael Zilber: Originals for the Originals (Origin)
  • Greg Abate/Tim Ray Trio: Road to Forever (Whaling City Sound)
  • Actress: AZD (Ninja Tune) **
  • Ballister: Slag (Aerophonic) **
  • Jim Black/Óskar Gudjónsson/Elias Stemeseder/Chris Tordini: Mala Mute (Intakt)
  • Bill Brovold & Jamie Saft: Serenity Knolls (Rare Noise) *
  • Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot: Esse (OA2)
  • Sandy Cressman: Entre Amigos (Cressman Music)
  • Stephan Crump/Ingrid Laubrock/Cory Smythe: Planktonic Finales (Intakt)
  • The Brian Dickinson Quintet: The Rhythm Method (Addo)
  • Dog Leg Dilemma: Not This Time (self-released)
  • Dr. Mint: Voices in the Void (Orenda)
  • Laura Dubin Trio: Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (self-released, 2CD)
  • David Feldman: Horizonte (self-released) **
  • Nick Finzer: Hear & Now (Outside In Music)
  • Josh Green & the Cyborg Orchestra: Telepathy & Bop (self-released)
  • Cynthia Hilts: Lyric Fury (Blond Coyote)
  • Jill Jack and the American SongBook Band: Pure Imagination (UpHill Productions -16)
  • The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: The Music of John Lewis (Blue Engine)
  • Led Bib: Umbrella Weather (RareNoise) *
  • Ben Markley Big Band: Clockwise: The Music of Cedar Walton (OA2)
  • Laura Marling: Semper Femina (More Alarming) **
  • Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School: The Twilight Fall (Browntasaurus)
  • The Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra: Welcome to Swingsville! (BluJazz)
  • Brad Myers & Michael Sharfe: Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs) (Colloquy)
  • The Ed Palermo Big Band: The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes I & II (Cuneiform, 2CD) *
  • Michael Pedicin: As It Should Be: Ballads 2 (Groundblue)
  • Priests: Nothing Feels Natural (Sister Polygon) **
  • Michael Rabinowitz: Uncharted Waters (Cats Paw)
  • Carol Robbins: Taylor Street (Jazzcats)
  • Scott Routenberg Trio: Every End Is a Beginning (Summit)
  • The Sadies: Northern Passages (Yep Roc) **
  • Sampha: Process (Young Turks) **
  • The Shins: Heartworms (Columbia) **
  • Dave Soldier: The Eighth Hour of Amduat (Mulatta)
  • Hiromi Suda: Nagi (BluJazz)
  • Trouble Kaze: June (Circum-Disc)
  • Baron Tymas: Montréal (Tymasmusic)
  • University of Toronto Jazz Orcherstra: Sweet Ruby Suite (UofT Jazz)
  • Jim Yanda Trio: Home Road (Corner Store Jazz, 2CD)
  • Antonio Adolfo: Hybrido: From Rio to Wayne Shorter (AAM)
  • AMP Trio: Three (self-released)
  • Arca (XL) **
  • Bardo Pond: Under the Pines (Fire) **
  • William Basinski: A Shadow in Time (Temporary Residence) **
  • Loyle Carner: Yesterday's Gone (AMF) **
  • Brent Gallaher: Moving Forward (V&B)
  • Gerry Gibbs & Thrasher People: Weather or Not (Whaling City Sound, 2CD) **
  • Billy Jones: 3's a Crowd (Acoustical Concepts)
  • Jü: Summa (Rare Noise) *
  • Kneebody: Anti-Hero (Motéma) **
  • Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra: Common Ground (Addo)
  • Bill O'Connell: Monk's Cha Cha: Live at the Carnegie-Farian Room (Savant)
  • Oui' 3: Occupy Your Mind (ITI)
  • Nate Smith: Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere (Ropeadope) **
  • University of Toronto 12Tet: Trillium Falls (UofT Jazz)
  • Cameron Graves: Planetary Prince (Mack Avenue) **
  • Bill Hart: Touch of Blue (Blue Canoe)
  • Jihye Lee Orchestra: April (self-released)
  • The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (Nonesuch, 5CD) **
  • Nnamdi Ogbonnaya: Drool (Father/Daughter/Sooper) **
  • Brian Kastan: Roll the Dice on Life (Kastan, 2CD)
  • Robert McCarther: Stranger in Town (Psalms 149 Music)
  • Joe Bourne: Upbeat and Sweet (Summit)

Reissues/Compilations/Vault Music:

In previous years I tried to separate reissues from compilations, including newly released vault items in the latter. This made sense when I was reviewing a lot of Recycled Goods material, but led to other problems with year-end lists, so as of 2013 anything containing any previously released material is collected here, and anything that is wholly previously unreleased is treated as new, above.

  1. The Three Sounds: Groovin' Hard: Live at the Penthouse 1964-1968 (Resonance)


Also Noted:

  • Sheer Mag: Compilation (2014-16, Wilsuns RC) **
  • Abdullah Ibrahim: Ancient Africa (1973, Delmark/Sackville)
  • Arthur Lipner: Two Hands One Heart: Best of Arthur Lipner (1990-2014, Malletworks Media, 2CD)
  • Jim Yanda Trio: Regional Cookin' (1987, Corner Store Jazz)
  • Chris Rogers: Voyage Home (2001, Art of Life)


I don't review DVDs. I don't watch DVDs. I don't record them in my database -- well, almost never, anyhow. Part of this is that I don't have the time, the eyes, or at the moment even the equipment. I never request DVDs. Still, some publicists insist on sending them anyway. Here's a list. They're all pending, and will probably remain that way until hell freezes over.

  • Talking Sticks (Percussive Arts Society)


I always come up empty for song lists at year-end poll time. So I thought I'd start here.