Last year one of my favorite albums that was independently released was Daniel Caesar's Freudian. The Canadian R&B/Soul artist received a Grammy nomination for "Best R&B Album" in 2017 for his quiet-storm, gospel-inspired first full length LP. Freudian is a record filled with love songs, psychological reckonings, existential crises, and emotional epiphanies.
The Armenian jazz virtuoso pianist, Tigran Hamasyan is a powerhouse musical force to be reckoned with. In 2017, the 31-year-old composer released probably his most accessible and gorgeous album to date, An Ancient Observer. He manages to capitivate his listeners with his sheer raw talent and intricate melodies inspired by world-folk music and Eastern European traditional tunes. He also beatboxes and hums falsetto harmonies while shredding away on both a synthesizer and a grand piano.
I am looking at last year's Moonchild album called Voyager. This album infuses a chilled out mixture of neo-soul, jazz, lounge, electronic, and funk. The spacey, jazzy arrangements on this record are filled with softly strung harp chords, smooth Rhodes licks, funky bass lines, and tight drum samples.
This album reflects the fact that jazz is still going strong almost a century after the famous "Roaring 20's." Jazz has always had a pushing the envelope kind of sound to it, and this is why the future of jazz is certain to exist.