Jazz and the blues are among the great genres of music to ever grace the world’s airwaves. From the days of the “chitlin circuit” that featured so many of the greatest blues musicians of all time, to the fusions sounds of Weather Report, Yellowjackets and others to the more modern jazz and blues of Joe Bonamassa and The Jamie Lawrence Sextet, both genres have produced an infinite number of timeless, influential albums and songs.
That is why as with past years, Phil’s Picks is featuring again, a list of the year’s top new jazz and blues albums. The two genres are being combined as they are invariably connected to one another. It has not made crafting this year’s list any easier than in year’s past. Keeping that in mind, there are no bad albums here.
Taking the top spot in this year’s list is the long lost studio recording from John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once. Up until this year, the recording had been long thought lost to time, and its “resurrection” of sorts this year is welcome. The arrangements show a unique side of the famed saxophonist and his fellow musicians featured throughout.
Second Place in this years list goes to Yellowjackets’ new album Raising Our Voice. This record is everything that the jazz outfit’s fans have come to expect with a little something extra thanks to the record’s guest vocalist.
Third Place belongs this year to The Jamie Lawrence Sextet and its debut album New York Suite. The record’s arrangements throw back to some very interesting influences while also using those influences to generate an identity of their own in the process.
Also featured in this year’s list are new releases from the likes of Joe Bonamassa, The James Hunter Six, The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite just to name a handful of other acts.
As always, the list features 15 total acts and titles. The first 10 records are the Top 10, while the five that follow are honorable mention titles. Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums.
PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW JAZZ & BLUES ALBUMS
- John Coltrane — Both Directions at Once
- Yellowjackets — Raising Our Voice
- The Jamie Lawrence Sextet — New York Suite
- Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite — No Mercy in This Land
- Ry Cooder — The Prodigal Son
- Onyx Collective — Lower East Suite Part Three
- The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band — Poor Until Payday
- Joe Bonamassa — Redemption
- Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa — Black Coffee
- James Hunter Six — Whatever It Takes
- Tony Bennett & Diana Krall — Love Is Here To Stay
- Gary Moore — Blues & Beyond
- Brian Bromberg — Thicker Than Water
- Kamaal Williams — The Return
- Victor Wainright & The Train — Victor Wainright & The Train
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