I enjoy searching for Jazz songs that are new to me, or re-listen to an iconic track with new ears. I want to keep having that groovy feeling I get when I hear Jazz I haven’t heard before, yet immediately grabs my attention and keeps coming with layers of soulful music. And, I love to share what turns me on…so I can turn you on to something cool too.
Hard-Bop and Jazz Funk resonate most with me, so that’s the majority of the Jazz you’ll find in Funkish. Splitting hairs about the proper names of all the various Jazz categories is not for me. I like what I like.
I want it joyful (yet, it can be a little blue too). I want a tight band that grooves, vamps, and harmonizes. I don’t want too much soloing, avant-garde experimenting, or weird cacophony.
These are my favorite Jazz songs of 2017. It’s hard to say they are “the best” because everyone’s taste is subjective, of course. I’ll just point you to what I like, and you can decide what’s “best” for you.
Jazz is alive & well, and going strong in 2017. If you check the Best Of/Year End lists in All About Jazz for example, you’ll find tons more new Jazz to listen to.
I love the funky side of Jazz, and the genre-bending hybrids (which aren’t pure Jazz, yet instrumental, jazzy & funky), so I highlight this kind of Jazz in this Best Jazz Songs of 2017 Spotify playlist.
|Zem Audu — Bird — Spirits||Victor Rice — The Dream — Smoke||Ross McHenry Trio — It's Not How I Remembered It — The Outsiders||Tit For Tat Nocturne — Terence Blanchard/Kenny Barron — The Comedian Soundtrack||The Morning After The Night Before — Courtney Pine — Black Notes From The Deep|
|Louis Hayes — St. Vitus Dance — Serenade For Horace||Blue Note Allstars — Second Light — Our Point of View||Brad Myers/Michael Sharfe — In From Somewhere — Sanguinaria||Vijay Ayer Sextet — For Amiri Baraka — Far From Over||Billy Mintz — Flight — Ugly Beautiful|
|Gary Peacock Trio — Rumblin' — Tangents||Dayna Stephens/Julian Lage — In A Garden — Gratitude||Charnett Moffett/Stanley Jordan — Freedom — Music From Our Soul||Jamie Saft/Steve Swallow — Little Harbor — Loneliness Road||Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah — New Orleanian Love Song I & II — Ruler Rebel|
|Kamasi Washington — Integrity — Harmony Of Difference||Eddie Palmieri — Locked In — Sabiduria||Tony Allen — Night In Tunisia — A Tribute To Art Blakey||Tony Allen — Bad Roads — The Source||PHO — Dew Like Me — Two|
|Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio — Memphis — Concussion||The M-Tet — Hot Buttered Rum — Long Play||Joey DeFrancesco — So Near, So Far — Project Freedom||Ikebe Shakedown — Blue Giant — The Way Home||Polyrhythmics — Stargazer — Caldera|
|Nomade Orquestra — Estrada Para Camomila — Entremundos||Sly 5th Ave/Quantic — The Edge — The Invisible Man: An Orchestral Tribute To Dr. Dre||Backbeat Underground — Splankify||Dalindeo — Daydreaming — One More Devil||Jukka Escola Soul Trio — Hong Thong|
|Stanton Moore — River Boat — With You In Mind||Amir Bresler/Sefi Zisling — Afro Golden Line||Diazpora — Numbers — Islands||Christian McBride Big Band — Gettin' To It — Bringin' It||Ambrose Akinmusire — Response — A Rift In Decorum (Live At The Village Vanguard)|
Listen to the Best Jazz Songs of 2017 in this Spotify playlist…
Joyful Jazz — Astonishing Jazz Songs 2017
Predominantly Funk bands can get a little jazzy too — like Ikebe Shakedown, Polyrhythmics, PHO, and Nomade Orquestra. I love how these bands defy easy categorization!
I recommend you explore more Jazz like this on Funkish…
Click here to get a big Jazz resource guide with a few playlists, and more on the traditional side of Jazz. Blue Note Records is well represented in this Best Jazz Songs of 2017 list, and you can learn more about that iconic record label in my resource guide too.
Click here to get hip to some of the greatest bands active today who lead the way in Jazz Funk.
Click here to listen to the Jazz Funk kings of the keys — the greatest Jazz organ & piano players, old & new.
Click here to listen to the genre bending hybrids of Jazz, Funk, Latin Rhythms…and a little special sauce from the 1970s.