Here at The Pie At Night, we thought we’d give you a bit of a treat by naming some of our favourite albums of the year… Now we’re not saying these are THE best albums of the year, they are just some that have tickled our fancy over the last 12 months; some you might have heard, some you probably haven’t, some you may have heard the odd track from on one of our Spotify playlists or podcasts. They’re not listed in any particular order, picking a best/favourite is like trying to chose your favourite/best left back, anyway I digress. Without further ado, let’s get started…
by Anderson .Paak
This album was released way back at the start of the year in January, but I didn’t pick up on it till about April ish I think. Paak is a rapper / singer / drummer/ producer from California and Malibu is his second album, the follow up to debut, Venice. A mix of styles ranging from funk, jazz, soul, to reggae and a smattering of the disco sound of late 70s New York underpinning a voice somewhere between Stevie Wonder and OutKast’s Andre 3000. This is a proper ‘lazing about the garden on a summer’s afternoon with a crate of cans’ album, but don’t let that put you off listening to it on a cold December morning…
We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
by A Tribe Called Quest
Following the death of founder member Phife Dawg earlier in the year, the last thing anyone expected was a new ATCQ album. What we didn’t know was at the time of his death, the group had been working on their 6th album in secret. At this point it was only part complete, however the remaining members came together to finish the album in tribute. Despite being a full 8 years after previous album, (The Love Movement), WGTFH… TY4YS has got that classic ATCQ sound, and it’s as if they’ve never been away. Tribe: as relevant as ever – “I’m in a world where my princess is Leia, And she’s feeling my Vader”
by Atlantis Jazz Ensemble
Jazz. That’s right, you heard me. Jazz. No, you f**k off. I like Jazz. Like most forms of music, there is a spectrum within jazz, from chillout stuff to headache stuff BUT, there is something in there for everyone. And here is one I’m going to recommend for you: Atlantis Jazz Ensemble. They were formed back in 2013 by two members of the Souljazz Orchestra, who were looking for another avenue to work on some of their more out there modal compositions. That it’s taken them three years to release their debut shows the amount of work that has gone into honing and perfecting it. Oceanic Suite is a seven-part concept album depicting the sea and other nautical themes. Fans of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock won’t be disappointed.
Right, now this is the second jazz(-y) album on the list but hear me out. Please. I first picked up on BadBadNotGood via the soundtrack of the RZA (Wu-Tang) co-written, acted and directed film, “The Man with the Iron Fists”, back in 2012. Quite literally bridging the gap between jazz and hip-hop by playing jazz covers of hip-hop tracks, these four white boys from Toronto, Canada have made waves in just five short years since their debut, with this latest album IV voted as BBC 6Music’s Album of the Year. The connection between jazz and hip-hop goes back a long way (Stetsasonic’s Talking All That Jazz, anybody?) and BBNG are not about to let that connection fade. Leave your preconceptions at the door, and give them a go.
You can hear more of our musical suggestions, usually interspersed with some light hearted conversation* on the Pie At Night podcast.
*Agenda Driven Bollocks