Oddisee - The Odd Tape [Mello Music Group]
While nothing rises to the stratosphere of "That's Love" from his last record, the latest beat tape from Oddisee is quality through and through.
Alsarah and the Nubatones - Manara [Wonderwheel Recordings]
Sudanese singer Alsarah and her Nubatones craft "East African Retro-Pop" and it is the sound of now.
Quilt - Plaza [Mexican Summer]
Four piece pysch rock outfit from Boston that made a beautiful mess.
Tacocat - Lost Time [Hardly Art]
Seattle punk-rockers crafted one of the most visceral and quick records of 2016.
Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith - A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke [ECM]
The other record Wadada Leo Smith released in 2016, the a collab with long-time fave Vijay Iyer.
Yellowjackets - Cohearance [Mack Avenue]
Unfortunately I can't find an embed of this great jazz record, but you can stream samples on the group's website here.
Thumbscrew - Convallaria [Cuneiform]
Thumbscrew are a dynamite trio and Mary Halvorson had a particularly terrific year.
The Claudia Quintet - Super Petite [Cuneiform]
Speaking of having a terrific year, Cuneiform placed about a half-dozen records on my longlist including this one from the John Hollenbeck -led quintet
Lucy Dacus - No Burden [Egg Hunt Records]
Virginian acts made a mark on my year-end longlist (and Top 20) including this great rock record from Richmond.
Ross McHenry - Child of Somebody [First Word Records]
His last record, Distant Oceans, placed on that year's Top 20 and composer / bass player McHenry almost repeated with Child of Somebody.
Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus [Brownswood Recordings]
The London (UK) jazz scene is booming and it's no surprise to find Gilles Peterson and his label Brownswood Recordings in the thick of it. Yussef Kamaal is not one person, but two: drummer Yussef Dayes and keyboardist/drummer Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu).
Japanese Breakfast - Psychopomp [Yellow K Records]
This one first caught my attention at the beginning of the year when I came across a couple tracks on Soundcloud. I played some on TGIFR and then it dropped off the radar for awhile. Good thing I keep a running list or I wouldn't have revisited this swirling LP.
A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service [Epic]
While I wasn't as taken with it as some folks who placed this in the Top 10 on year-end lists, any release from ATCQ (even partially posthumous) is a welcome addition to my listening list.
Angel Olsen - My Woman [Jagjaguwar]
It's a great record - it's on a bunch of year-end lists, and while I quite enjoyed this one (and bemoan missing her Winnipeg gig), I think there's a similar release that did a similar thing better and you'll find it on my Top 20.