My Top 5 Jazz Albums of 2017

Following my Top 5 Classical Albums of 2017 published some days ago, let me now write about my favorite Jazz albums.

2017 hasn’t been particularly impressive for me in terms of quantity of new Jazz albums that I really loved. I found myself more and more writing about classical music, or older recordings.

Not sure if this reflects a general slowdown of new Jazz releases or simply that my taste is rather particular. In any case, I also checked for reference some of the other top 2017 lists for Jazz, and didn’t find anything particularly exciting that I had missed.

But maybe you disagree? Let me know?

So here we go, here is my list for 2017. Note that while my Top 5 Classical list only had 5 star ratings, I also had to include two 4 star albums in here, just to make the numbers.

If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you won’t be surprised to see a large number of piano trio albums here, my favorite genre.

You’ll find download links to each album in the original reviews of the albums that are linked.


Cecile McLorin Salvant: Dreams and Daggers

Cecile McLorin Salvant Dreams and Daggers 24 96 MackAvenue 2017

Well, let’s start strong anyhow: I’ve already postulated early on that Cécile McLorin Salvant could be the THE Jazz singer of the 21st century. It didn’t take rocket science nor a truffle dog to find this, in spite of her young age, she’s received praise from all over the world, including a Grammy nomination in 2014.

Dreams and Daggers is another masterpiece, with a nice mix of standards and originals, and a must have for any Jazz lover.

You´ll find my original review here.


Helge Lien: Guzuguzu



I’ve been a great fan of Helge Lien for years, since I discovered Hello Troll. Guzuguzu really confirms that he’s one of the most talented Jazz trio artists out there. As I wrote in my review, it combines “Scandinavian lyricism combined with often extremely complex rhythms”. I think there´s nothing much to add here.

See my original review here.


Triosence: Hidden Beauty

Triosence: Hidden Beauty (24/96) Okeh 2017

Don’t get deterred by the cover art. Germany´s Triosence is one of the stars of Jazz trio based heavily on beautiful melodies and harmonies. Some would argue this is not Jazz, I don’t even bother to argue, as I simply like it very much.

You’ll find my original review here.


Tingvall Trio: Cirklar

Tingvall Trio Cirklar 24/96 2017 Skip Records

Tingvall Trio is another German group if you count there home base in Hamburg, but actually are much more international if you look at the members of the trio.

Cirklar is very good, if not their best album ever, but if you like their style (and they have a very strong regional following), you should really check this out.

You’ll find my original review here.


Shai Maestro Live at Moods

Shai Maestro on piano live at Moods March 17, 2017 (c) Musicophile
Shai Maestro Live At Moods March 17, 2017 (c) Musicophile)


My last album actually isn’t an album at all. It is the captured videostream of an outstanding concert I attended this March at Moods Zurich, the best Jazz club in town.

You’ll find my original writeup of Shai Maestro´s concert here, and it was truly an outstanding concert.

But for once, you don’t have to take my word for it. Moods has recently installed what they call, basically a platform video streaming and archiving all concerts at Moods.

And I was really lucky, the technology just went live shortly before this concert. So with a subscription fee (you can cancel anytime if you don’t like it) you can now watch the entire back catalog of recorded concerts at moods with outstanding video and very good audio quality. Check out my article about it here. And no, I’m not getting sponsored for writing this.

What do you think?

My list is obviously very biased, very personal, but such is my entire blog.

Did I miss anything? I´d very much like to hear about your personal favorites for 2017.

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)

13 thoughts on “My Top 5 Jazz Albums of 2017”

  1. First pass, I think I might agree with you on this being a down year for stellar jazz releases. Of course the McLorin release is exemplary without question. I am away from home but will check my purchases for 2017 standouts when I get back. (oh and the Suzuki C Minor Mass is excellent, thanks)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As you seem to be rather frustrated and desperately looking for any suggestions that could make 2017 not so poor, here are some of my favorite artists : Marc Perrenoud (Hamra), Marc Perrenoud Trio (Nature Boy), Martin Salemi Trio (Short Stories), Fred Hersch (Open Book), Christian Sands (Reach), Omer Klein (Sleepwalkers), Fred Nardin Trio (Opening) and not only in 2017, Zara McFarlane, Claudio Filippini, Espen Eriksen Trio, Thomas Fonnesbaek, Lars Jansson Trio, Sumrra…and, as I am writing from Belgium without any kind of sponsoring (!), Igor Gehenot Trio (Motion)! I hope you’ll soon find some cozy and jazzy comfort in all that stuff.
    Best wishes for 2018.
    Faithfully Yours,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alain Thanks so much, that’s a fantastic list! And mostly unknown to me. It’s amazing how much music there is still out there that I haven’t heard about and not for the lack of trying. I’ll check all of them out and report back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t agree more with your 4 top picks. (I haven’t seen/heard your 5th pick.) Ahmad Jamal’s Marseille and Omer Klein’s Sleepwalker are among my faves this year. I wish you continued success with your blog. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Decided to take a break from the classical stuff and jump over to your top 5 jazz of 2017. Never heard of Helge Lien but I really liked that album. I will definitely give it another spin, maybe pick up a copy as well. It doesn’t hit you over the head but I found it very subtle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lists are great, there you can check the stuff you have somehow missed, I guess my music listening shapes my taste, organizing the LIST is impossible for me, so I post everything I like on my blog which in a certain way is the LIST!

    Cecile belongs to any list, your first choice reveals your extremely fine taste. Then the three next albums show, I think, how the piano is important in your choices – my favourite one is Helge Lien, my personal taste goes with his trio, Triosence and Tingvall trio have a sweeter way of approaching the melody which isn’t as pleasing for me.

    Your last pick confirms how the piano trio dominates your 2017 choices or even your personal taste, I guess. I have never watched Shai Maestro live, you’re very lucky for having done it twice. I include this particular trio with Roeder and Ravitz in my must-listen list which I post on my blog daily.

    Thank you for your suggestions and for the tip about concert club – I didn’t know about its existence – I need to pay attention to their schedule which I find rather attractive.


    1. Thanks for your great feedback. I’m a long time follower of your blog as well.

      And guilty as charged, my list is heavily biased by the fact that I play the piano myself. And I am a sucker for melody.


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