Myles Sanko - Just Being Me [Legere Recordings]
"My Inspiration" off his last record was among my Top 20 songs of 2014 and remains a favourite. I was hella excited to see the UK vocalist land on the great Legere Recordings and while there wasn't a Top 20 song on Just Being Me, it's a uniformly solid record.
Tanika Charles - Soul Run [Independent]
If you read this blog on the regular or listen to my Friday night radio show TGIFR, Charles' inclusion on this list should be no surprise. I played the heck out of this record and was front and centre when she played The Good Will earlier this year. Kudos to outgoing Jazz Winnipeg honcho Paul Nolin for bringing that show to town!
Lee Fields and the Expressions - Special Night [Big Crown]
Another winner from upstart label Big Crown. This one from the already established Lee Fields who killed it at Interstellar Rodeo this past August. Not sure what precipitated his departure from Truth & Soul, but glad to see him land on another quality roster.
Lady Wray - Queen Alone [Big Crown]
Speaking of folks landing at Big Crown, Lady Wray did just the same and I'm glad it happened. Nicole Wray was one half of Truth & Soul act Lady with UK vocalist Terri Walker. The duo disbanded with Walker working on a solo act back in England and Wray got to keep the Lady moniker and thus she's the Queen Alone of the title.
Emmy The Great - Second Love [Bella Union]
Just as you'll end up seeing Lady Wray and Tanika Charles above on my singles list, Emmy The Great provided one of my favourite songs of the year. Though it's not the one shared here, which was the first track I heard from this record and features Wild Beasts vocalist Hayden Thorpe. It's a great cut too that deserves a listen.
Jessy Lanza - Oh No [Hyperdub]
Hamiltonian Lanza followed up her great debut Pull My Hair Back with a great sophomore effort that garnered her a spot on this years' Polaris Prize Shortlist.
Eric Krasno - Blood From A Stone [Feel Music Group]
Krasno - guitarist for Soulive and Lettuce - makes his solo debut with Blood From A Stone and it's a fantastic first statement. Having worked with the Tedeschi Trucks Band as well recently, it's clear that the rugged blues hat group excels in has found its way into Krasno's songwriting, blending with the funk and soul he already exhibited a proficiency in.
Evan Geesman - Coils [Ubiquity]
Just as there always seems to be a silber title that finds its way onto my longlist each year, the same can be said for Bay Area label Ubiquity Records. Do yourself a favour and join their mailing list so you get updates on flash sales so you can start bulk-buying their catalog.
The Frightnrs - Nothing More To Say [Daptone]
Rough year for the Daptone Records family. The Queen, Sharon Jones, felled by cancer. But before that, recent signee The Frightnrs' frontman Dan Klein dies from complications due to ALS. The group's Daptone debut would prove to be their last.
E.GG - Alverstone [Independent]
One-third of local rap group 3PEAT (found earlier in this series of Longlist posts), E.GG was a busy dude. In addition to his group debut, dude also dropped a hella hot solo full-length that found him collabing with some talented local beat-makers (full disclosure: two of them I consider friends).
Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth [Mexican Summer]
She's on my favourite track from the previously listed Drugdealer record, but Natalie Mering is no guest vocalist. On this full-length under the Weyes Blood moniker, Mering makes a trippy record that sounds like seventies AM radio in an alternate-universe California.
The Seshen - Flames and Figures [Tru Thoughts]
What I said before about silber and Ubiquity? Same goes for Tru Thoughts - consistently good label with an interesting and growing roster. The Seshen are a San Francisco seven-piece that use production techniques and instrumentation that push classic r&b into the future.
Jimetta Rose - The Light Bearer [Temporary Whatever]
If you haven't checked out Bandcamp's Top 80 Albums of 2016, do yourself a favour and start bookmarking their recommendations, starting with one that their list and mine shares - Los Angeles soul singer Jimetta Rose.
Manu Katche - Unstatic [Anteprima]
French drummer/composer Katche was in the running for the Top 20 for quite some time. In a stellar year for challenging jazz records, Unstatic was among the best.
Naima - Bye [Cuneiform]
Do yourself a favour and bookmark this Bandcamp link. It's the homepage for Cuneiform Records. You can make worse decisions than clicking on a random release from them and delving into the soundscapes their world-class artists create. But maybe start with Spanish trio Naima...