Music

The Best Classic R&B & Soul of 2017

Classic sounds and soulful vocals that never get old!
Zumic Staff

by Zumic Staff

Published March 8, 2019

This is part of our series, The Best of the Best Music of 2017.

Great R&B is all about the marriage of emotional vocals with a band that can groove.  Our favorites from 2017 are an eclectic list across generations, with lots of unconventional selections that incorporate sounds and influences from the worlds of classic soul, jazz, folk, rock, indie, and folk. 

For the jazz list, we selected 94 songs covering over 6 hours.

  • Benjamin Booker - "Believe"
  • Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy - "Ain't No Doubt About It"
  • Mavis Staples - "Build A Bridge"
  • Mavis Staples - "Little Bit"
  • Rhiannon Giddens - "Freedom Highway"
  • Rhiannon Giddens - "Better Get It Right the First Time"
  • Trombone Shorty - "Dirty Water"
  • Trombone Shorty - "Tripped Out Slim"
  • Trombone Shorty - "Where It At?"
  • Dumpstaphunk, Trombone Shorty - "Justice"
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - "Sail On!"
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - "Pass Me By"
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - "Searching for a New Day"
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - "Matter of Time"
  • Lee Fields & The Expressions - "Time"
  • Valerie June - "Got Soul"
  • Valerie June - "Slip Slide On By"
  • El Michels Affair, Lee Fields - "Snakes"
  • Robert Cray, Hi Rhythm - "You Must Believe in Yourself"
  • The Flying Stars Of Brooklyn NY - "My God Has A Telephone"
  • The Flying Stars Of Brooklyn NY - "Live On"
  • Bootsy Collins, Kali Uchis, World-Wide-Funkdrive, X-Zact - "Candy Coated Lover"
  • The Motet - "Supernova"
  • The Motet - "Get It Right"
  • October London - "One Shot to Love"
  • October London - "Somebody's Getting My Love"
  • October London - "Where's the Justice"
  • Nicole Willis, UMO Jazz Orchestra - "Still Got a Way to Fall"
  • Nicole Willis, UMO Jazz Orchestra - "Haunted by the Devil"
  • Nicole Willis, UMO Jazz Orchestra - "Together We Climb"
  • Rex Orange County, Benny Sings - "Loving Is Easy"
  • Rex Orange County - "Best Friend"
  • BADBADNOTGOOD, Samuel T. Herring - "I Don't Know"
  • Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White - "Look At What The Light Did Now"
  • John Mayer - "Moving On and Getting Over"
  • Samantha Fish - "Hello Stranger"
  • Samantha Fish - "Either Way I Lose"
  • Samantha Fish - "It's Your Voodoo Working"
  • Curtis Harding - "Wednesday Morning Atonement"
  • Curtis Harding - "On And On"
  • Curtis Harding - "Need Your Love"
  • Curtis Harding - "Till The End"
  • Southern Avenue - "Love Me Right"
  • Southern Avenue - "It's Gonna Be Alright"
  • Chris Stapleton - "I Was Wrong"
  • Nicole Atkins - "Listen Up"
  • Nicole Atkins - "Sleepwalking"
  • Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - "PTP"
  • Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - "Nature’s Natural"
  • Brian Fallon - "If Your Prayers Don't Get To Heaven"
  • Rhye - "Summer Days"
  • Dan Auerbach - "Malibu Man"
  • Jake Bugg, Noah Cyrus - "Waiting"
  • Robert Finley - "Get It While You Can"
  • Robert Finley - "Medicine Woman"
  • Robert Finley - "Real Love Is Like Hard Time"
  • Whitney Rose - "Can't Stop Shakin'"
  • Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield, Jolynda 'Kiki' Chapman - "Move On Ahead"
  • Kermit Ruffins, Irvin Mayfield - "Mystic"
  • Leslie Satcher and the Electric Honey Badgers, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow - "This Won't Take Long"
  • Vulfpeck, Antwaun Stanley, David T. Walker, James Gadson - "Grandma"
  • Vulfpeck, Antwaun Stanley - "Birds of a Feather, We Rock Together"
  • Amber Coffman - "No Coffee"
  • Chicano Batman - "Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)"
  • Son Little - "Mad About You"
  • Son Little - "The Middle"
  • Snoh Aalegra - "FEELS"
  • Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real - "Find Yourself"
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band - "Mad"
  • Kate Lush - "Yours or My Way"
  • Anderson East - "King For A Day"
  • Jonny Lang - "What You’re Made Of"
  • Lizz Wright - "What Would I Do Without You"
  • Júníus Meyvant - "Honey Babe, Don't Be Late"
  • Ephemerals - "If Love Is Holding Me Back"
  • Ephemerals - "And If We Could, We’d Say"
  • Earl St. Clair, PJ - "Ain't Got It Like That"
  • Earl St. Clair - "Feeling Alive"
  • FKJ - "Why Are There Boundaries"
  • Ani DiFranco - "Play God"
  • Rev. Sekou - "Resist"
  • Rev. Sekou - "Loving You Is Killing Me"
  • Sean Rowe - "Newton's Cradle"
  • Wild Adriatic - "Appleton"
  • Jacob Banks - "Part Time Love"
  • Gary Clark Jr. featuring Leon Bridges, Jeff Dazey - "Shake" (Live)
  • Whitney - "Southern Nights"
  • The Isley Brothers, Santana - "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)"
  • P.P. Arnold - "Medicated Goo"
  • Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, Noah Guthrie - "Sledgehammer"
  • Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, Kenton Chen - "Closer (NIN)"
  • Paul Shaffer And The World's Most Dangerous Band, Darius Rucker - "Why Can't We Live Together"
  • Mr Jukes, Charles Bradley - "Grant Green"
  • Ruthie Foster - "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"
     

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Here a big timeline of music genres we put together to help categorize all these tracks:

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