International Collective’s Joint Album Tops Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New World Music Albums List

Courtesy: World Circuit

World Music, it seems, is one of the most under appreciated genres in the vast universe of music.  That at least seems to be the case among American audiences.  Hopefully this critic is wrong in that interpretation.  Yet, when one looks at the fact that most World Music is relegated to public radio stations instead of having any major mainstream presence, one can’t help but think that it is not one of the most commercially accepted genres.  Ironically, those who give World Music a chance will find that it is in fact quite the interesting realm, as has been proven again by this year’s new field of World Music offerings.

This year has seen a wide array of interesting new World Music albums.  From South America to Africa to the Middle East and even to Spain, the World Music Realm has produced albums from around the globe that deserve at least one listen if not more.  Topping this year’s list of the best new World Music offerings is Ladilikan, the most recent recording from Mali-based Trio Da Kali.  Joining the group on the new album is the famed American string group Kronos Quartet.  The arrangements created by this collective are works that simply must be heard to be fully appreciated.  Also included in this year’s list are new compilations from Putumayo World Music featuring Italian and Cuban selections alongside Argentinian artist Fer Isella’s new album The Art of the Possible among others.

As with every one of this critic’s previous lists, this collection features this critic’s Top 10 Best New Albums in their category, with five additional honorable mention titles.  That brings the count to 15 total.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New World Music albums.

  1. Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet — Ladilikan
  2. Red Baraat — Bhangra Pirates
  3. Music Action Ensemble — Foundation
  4. Fer Isella — The Art of the Possible
  5. Synthesize The Soul — Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From The Cape Verde Islands 1973 – 1988
  6. Las Cafeteras — Tastes Like L.A.
  7. Putumayo World Music Presents — Cuba! Cuba!
  8. Putumayo World Music Presents — Classic Italia
  9. Battle of Santiago — La Migra
  10. Ani Cordero — Querido Mundo
  11. Jenny & The Mexicats — Open Sea
  12. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society — Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society
  13. Free Radicals — Outside The Comfort Zone
  14. Tamikrest — Kidal
  15. Tinariwen — Elwan

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Ala.Ni’s Debut LP Proves To Be A Solid Offering On Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums List

Courtesy: Missing Piece Records

2017 has been a good year fans of jazz and the blues.  From more established acts such as Diana Krall, Charlie Watts, Trombone Shorty and Diana Panton to new yet equally promising acts such as Ala.Ni, Nova Collective and others, both genres, which despite their musical differences are still related to one another, have turned out a mass of enjoyable (and in some cases surprisingly) impressive albums.  Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I is one of those surprising releases.  It also tops this critic’s list of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums.  Also on this year’s list is Argentine musician Fer Isella’s latest LP The Art of The Possible, new offerings from Putumayo and Music Action Ensemble’s new album Foundation among others.

This year was not an easy one to choose top records.  Charlie Watts, who is known just as much for his jazz work as for his work with his band mates in The Rolling Stones, released quite the impressive new offering this year in Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band. Taj Mahal and Keb Mo partnered for the simply titled TajMo.  Even veteran blues man John Mayall is still going strong.  He released his new album Talk About That this year, too.  Back on the jazz side, Charles Lloyd and his new group of fellow musicians released their own standout offering in the form of Passin’ Thru.  Even here, there is so much to say.  Simply put, coming up with a final list for this year’s new jazz and blues albums was not easy because of the level of talent exhibited across the board.  So no dishonor was meant to any act on this year’s list.   

As is the case with each Phil’s Picks list, this list features the Top 10 Albums on the list and five additional honorable mention titles.  Enough rambling.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums.


  1. Ala.Ni — You & I
  2. Jazzmeia Horn — A Social Call
  3. Diana Panton — Solstice/Equinox
  4. Charlie Watts — Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band
  5. Taj Mahal & Keb Mo — TajMo
  6. Charles Lloyd New Quartet — Passin’ Thru
  7. Diana Krall — Turn Up The Quiet
  8. Charnett Moffett — Music From Our Soul
  9. Fer Isella — The Art of the Possible
  10. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band — Lay It On Down
  11. Courtney Pine — Black Notes From The Deep
  12. Trombone Shorty — Parking Lot Symphony
  13. Music Action Ensemble — Foundation
  14. John Mayall — Talk About That
  15. Jimmy Greene — FlowersBeautiful Life, Vol. 2

Again, this was NOT an easy list to assemble.  This critic still feels rough coming to terms with the list.  That is because so many great jazz and blues records were released this year including new material from Elvin Bishop and so many others.  Even with that in mind, the list noted here is this critic’s final choice for this year’s top new jazz and blues albums.  Now with this list completed, there is still plenty more to go including the year’s top new Rap/Hip-hop albums, reggae albums, rock and hard rock albums as well as the year’s top albums overall.  There are also a bunch of categories for DVDs and Blu-rays including box sets for families and for older audiences, new live DVDs and Blu-rays, etc.  So stay tuned!

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