Best of 2017. So far

In the midst of July, half way the year 2017: What were the best albums of the year so far? Here is my list of recommends. It’s a celebration of the leftfield underground, you know, the stuff that often gets ignored.

The sound of 2017? Imagine British library music, sounds of inner city dwelling, a testament to Yuseef Lateef, contemporary jazz grooves, rare French groove, psychedelic grooves from Tallinn, a reinterpretation of The Kmart Radio Network, rowdy bar room hard bop, fruits of a melodic craftsman and a confection of Brazilian influences.

Something like that.

In the #nowplaying section

DeLuca’s favorite records of 2017, January till July. Check the Spotify playlist at the end of this page with all these albums (minus 1) to listen and enjoy these great sounds.

DeLuca is by the way my DJ moniker for Royal Groove.

DeLuca’s favorite albums of 2017

Top 10, but in no particular order:

  1. Hampshire & Foat — Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
  2. Hector Plimmer — Sunshine
  3. Chip Wickham — La Sombra
  4. Vels Trio — Yellow Ochre
  5. The NCY Milky Band — Billy & Bess
  6. Estrada Orchestra — Jazzbeatjäätis
  7. Juicy the Emissary — Attention Kmart Choppers
  8. Jukka Eskola Soul Trio — Introducing The Soul Trio
  9. John Stammers — Waiting Around
  10. Nina Miranda — Freedom of Movement

Do I miss anything? Any listening tips? Let me know!

Best of 2017. So far

A little info on the records

Hampshire & Foat is multi talented UK Jazz Pianist Greg Foat who teamed up with Mercury Award nominated “The Bees” member and multi instrumentalist Warren Hampshire to collaborate on a new LP drawing on their diverse musical influences: classic British library music, 60s Italian soundtracks & lost Americana combined with touches of modern classical, minimalism, Jazz and Folk. [source]

Hector Plimmer’s ‘Sunshine’ is a well-rounded body of work that truly represents Hector’s influences and passions. From the frantic drum work of ‘Eastern System’ that we released back in December on 7” vinyl, to the ambient beauty of ‘Sunshine’, this album unfolds and morphs beautifully to capture the feeling of inner city dwelling. [source]

Chip Wickham’s La Sombra takes an altogether more rooted direction with the jazz of the late ’60s and early ’70s a dominating influence to the recordings. [source]

Vels Trio represents the vanguard of the current British jazz scene at the moment. They have been running the underground scene riot with their infectious contemporary jazz grooves and this EP demonstrates the jazz talents of the band while maintaining the trippy hip-hop inspired funk. [source]

NCY Milky Band’s EP Billy is the story of, well, Billy, an old man who lost his wife a few years ago. He lives with his beautiful and malignant « Chaton » . During his usual walk in the park around the corner, his life will change. It is difficult to classify these tracks: both deep and second degree, jazz & funky, the label “rare french groove” is probably the most appropriate. [source]

Jazzbeatjäätis is the second album by the forerunners of underground Estonian jazz-funk, Estrada Orchestra. This 5-piece based in Tallinn combine equal parts psychedelic grooves and avant-garde, including pieces of film music, deep funk and Eastern Bloc obscurities, while bandmember Volodja Brodsky smooths things out with fusion influences behind his Clavinet and Rhodes. [source]

Juicy the Emissary’s Attention Kmart Choppers is the result of recomposing looped muzak and top 40 plus ads coming from 56 tapes from 1989–1992 from 56 tapes from 1989–1992. The result is a contemporary sound while inheriting a haunting nostalgia that provokes memories burrowed deep in the subconscious. [source]

Jukka Eskola Soul Trio’s album is a delight for lovers of mid to late 1960’s American soul jazz from labels like Blue Note and Prestige. At parts the approach is even less sophisticated as on “For Anne Lee”, where the group proceeds to lay down some of the rowdiest bar room hard bop. Creating an extra air of hipness, the package is completed with European Clarke-Boland’ish touches that hint at reinvention more than simple emulations. [source]

John Stammers’ Waiting Around is the fruits of melodic craftsman, John Stammers’ labour. Arriving no sooner than six years since the release of his 2011 debut; a physically demanding day job and fascination for all things analogue has made way for a record of stark beauty and enduring quality — delayed only by an unyielding sense of intrepid experimentalism. [source]

Nina Miranda’s Freedom of Movement showcases a confection of influences. Traditional rhythms of Bahia juxtaposed with urban bass-lines, the atmosphere of 1970s Santana & Osibisa is channelled along with the valorous grooves of Earth Wind & Fire and Sly & Robbie, the free spirit of les dames Grace Jones and Rita Lee, and the urban bite of The Specials and Ian Dury & The Blockheads. [source]

Spotify playlist of these albums

Please investigate, have a listen and enjoy.

Spotify unfortunately doesn’t have the music by the Estrada Orchestra. Use Bandcamp to catch their vibe.

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