Avant Music News Best of the First Half of 2017

These lists seem to only get longer and longer. 2017 is halfway over, and there have already been a great many remarkable releases from this year. This list is a representation of the recordings that have grabbed my attention through the last six months. It is not comprehensive or complete, and does not try to be. I’m sure that there a few albums sitting on my desk or computer that should be on this list, but I haven’t been able to get to putting them on.

Nonetheless, enjoy this list. Consider it to consist of pointers to music that is likely to be enjoyable to AMN readers. I’ll be back in January with the 2017 year-end “best of” posts.

Like this list? Feel free to peruse previous years’ lists.

Album of the Year Candidates:

Nathan Hubbard ER Quartet – Lattice Trust
Harris Eisenstadt – Recent Developments
Thinking Plague – Hoping Against Hope

Excellent Releases:

Jessica Ackerley Trio – Coalesce
Gonçalo Almeida / Rodrigo Amado / Marco Franco – The Attic
Björkenheim / Sopko / James / Laswell / Yamaki – Inaugural Sound Clash (For the 2 Americas)
Bubblemath – Edit Peptide
Chamber 4 – City of Light
Chicago / London Underground – A Night Walking Through Mirrors
Creation VI – Deus Sive Natura
DR MiNT – Voices in the Void
Haunted Me – Plague
Nathan Hubbard / Vinny Golia – Hunter’s Moon
Jazznoize – Obra Sintética
Reid Karris – Arbor Philosophica
Reid Karris – Divinatio Exitium
The League of Assholes – In Ogre Ate
Led Bib – Umbrella Weather
Miriodor – Signal 9
Nicole Mitchell – Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds
Nelson / Dahl / Podgurski – GRID
Dan Phillips Chicago Edge Ensemble – Decaying Orbit
Reflections in Cosmo (Thomas Strønen) – Reflections in Cosmo
Ben Richter – Panthalassa: Dream Music of the Once and Future Ocean
Brandon Seabrook – Die Trommel Fatale
Seven)Suns – For the Hearts Still Beating
Elliott Sharp / Gareth Davis / Ensemble Resonanz – Oceanus Procellarum
The Soundbyte – Solitary IV
TenHornedBeast – Death Has No Companion
Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet – Wisconsin Mining State
Robert Scott Thompson – Of Natural Magic and the Breathing of Trees
John Zorn – The Garden of Earthly Delights

Honorable Mentions:

9T Antiope – Isthmus
APUH! – Freedom of Peach
Peter Bjärgö, – Animus Retinentia
Bowditch – Southend Objectified
Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die
La Breiche – Le Mal des Ardents
Ellis Cage – Vinculum
Evan Caminiti – Toxic City Music
CARES – Coping Strategies
François Carrier / Michel Lambert / Alexey Lapin – Freedom is Space for the Spirit
François Carrier / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur – Oneness
George Christian – Exílios 1
Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones – Astrild Astrild
Daniel Corral – Refractions
Corsano / Courvoisier / Wooley – Salt Task
Sylvie Courvoisier / Mary Halvorson – Crop Circles
Crystal Mooncone – Listening Beam Five
Grant Cutler – Self Portrait
Dálava – The Book of Transfigurations
Dead Neanderthals – Craters
Dave Douglas – The New National Anthem
Dreadnaught – Hard Chargin’
Amir ElSaffar – Not Two
Alvin Fielder, / Frode Gjerstad / Damon Smith – A Shape Finds It’s Own Place
Foudre! – Earth
Satoko Fujii / Orchestra – Tokyo Peace
Galaxuu – Lathe (EP)
Miguel A. García,  & Miguel Souto – The Lurking Fear
Gaudi – Magnetic
Gordon Grdina, / F.Houle / K.Loewen / B.Delbecq – Ghost Lights
The Great Harry Hillman – Tilt
Grey Frequency – Exhibition
Rich Halley / Carson Halley – The Wild
Ross Hammond – Follow Your Heart
Hanging Hearts – Into a Myth
Hear in Now (Mazz Swift, Tomeka Reid, S.Bolognesi) – Not Living in Fear
Jeff Herriott / Third Coast Percussion – Due East
Humcrush (Thomas Strønen / Ståle Storløkken) – Enter Humcrush
Jü – Summa
Noah Kaplan Quartet – Cluster Swerve
Kenoma – The Tides Will Prevail
Khost – Governance
Dominic Lash Quartet – Extremophile
Joe McPhee / Damon Smith / Alvin Fielder – Six Situations
Radboud Mens & Matthijs Kouw – 1
Lisa Mezzacappa – AvantNOIR
Kate Mohanty – The Double Image
Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Loafer’s Hollow
Kyle Motl – Transmogrification
Mumpbeak – Tooth
Quinsin Nachoff – Ethereal Trio
Luca Nasciuti – Kishar
Keir Neuringer / Matthew Wright – Speak Cities
Sam Newsome – Sopranoville: New Works for Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone
nordBeck – Blenterop 1491
Northumbria – Markland
NYTT LAND – Fimbulvinter
Eivind Opsvik – Overseas V
Orthodox – Supreme
Ed Palermo Big Band – The Great Un-American Songbook, Volumes I & II
Mario Pavone – Vertical
Peregrine Falls – Peregrine Falls
Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp / William Parker – The Art of Perelman-Shipp Volume 1: Titan
Phurpa – Gyer Ro
Omar Rahbany – Passport
Eric Revis – Sing Me Some Cry
Steve Roach – Fade to Gray
Kristo Rodzevski – Bitter Almonds
Adam Rudolph / Moving Pictures – Glare of the Tiger
Charles Rumback / Jim Baker / John Tate – Threes
John Scott (Stereocilia) – A Late Spring Never Lies
She Spread Sorrow – Mine
Shelter (Vandermark, Wooley, Heather, Stadhouders) – Shelter
Skullflower – The Spirals of Great Harm
Sloth Racket – Shapeshifters Eng 2017
STAUB Quartet – House Full of Colors
Subversive Intentions – Every Sound is a Drone
Sult + Lasse Marhaug – Harpoon
Svartsinn – Collected Obscurities
Trouble Kaze – June
Vacuum Aeterna – Control Metamorphose
Biggi Vinkeloe / Amy K. Bormet / Tina Raymond – The Harold Trio
Cuong Vu / 4tet Ballet – The Music of Michael Gibbs
Andrew Weathers / Seth Chrisman – Ogallala
Anna Webber / Elias Stemeseder / Devin Gray – Jagged Spheres II
Doug Wieselman / Trio S – Somewhere Glimmer
Nate Wooley – Polychoral
Yarn/Wire – Currents Vol. 0
Kevin GanYuen – Uncloaked Infinite