Seven Notes: Gilles Peterson’s top 10

Gilles Peterson

It’s fitting that one of London’s favourite adopted DJ’s, Gilles Peterson, DJ’ed at the final Seven Notes show in Clerkenwell.

From his Talkin’ Loud and Acid Jazz  labels to his most recent, Brownswood Recordings, Peterson has always had eclectic taste, mixing the primal roots of Africa to the bass culture of Jamaica via the urban soul of Detroit to the intricate stylings of the European new jazz generation. Here are his top 10 albums.

Big John Patton Let 'em roll

Big John Patton – Let ’em roll (blue note)

Straight up no messing quartet recording from one of the greatest catalogues in recorded history back in the days when jazz was the powerful commercial force the time and quality could be spent in the studio. Rudy Van Gelder at the controls – doesn’t get any better.


James Blake - Retrograde

James Blake – Retrograde

An essential listen for any audio fan. James manages to incorporate bass culture with his folk songs. A significant achievement as no one has yet managed to complete comprehensively like this.


Earth Wind and Fire - all 'n all

Earth Wind and Fire – All ‘n all (cbs)

I don’t think records will ever be able to be made like this again. This is the pinnacle of 70’s soul at its most prepared and satisfying. Great songs – killer arrangement – big sound.



Laura Mvula - Sing

Laura Mvula – Sing to the moon

Steve Brown is responsible for the production here. He’d previously worked on the Rumer stuff. Apart from the fact that Laura is a phenomenal new talent – the production and arrangements are tight and sublime in their execution.


The JB's - food for thought

The JB’s – Food for thought

Greatest funk band of all time? Quite possibly… check the tunes on this gimme some more…pass the peas… the grunt etc this album is responsible for so much… and the drums of Clyde Stubblefield couldn’t sound any tighter.


Neil Young - Harvest

Neil Young – Harvest

I always go back to this when the time is right, love the tight production especially the bass and drums of Tim Drummond and Kenny Buttrey (both from area code 615). Old Man is a tune and always works in the dance!


Gonzales - Solo-Piano

Gonzales – Solo piano

A piano and a microphone : simple, efficient mind altering doesn’t get simpler or better.



Nuyorican Soul - Nuyorican-Soul

Nuyorican Soul – Nuyorican soul

Possibly the most complete project I’ve had the pleasure to A+R; combining Latin soul from New York with heritage jazz and the deep pulse of Kenny Dope and Louie Vega. An album that manages to weave George Benson guitar with Eddie Palmieri’s keys and the New York club scene.



Portishead – Portishead

The record I most wished I’d signed. A breakthrough sound that best combined hip hop attitude with the ascending trip hop sound of the time. Has aged magnificently.



Arthur blythe - Basic blythe

Arthur Blythe – Basic Blythe

A stunning combination of strings and jazz and autumnal melancholia. Underrated alto sax player Blythe is  one of the finest exponents of contemporary blues with a deep swing.


  • Gunter S says:

    Gilles has been having a highly recognizable taste – from the early “Jazz Juice” albums to the more recent “Impressed with…” compilations until today. Funny enough I have not been able to characterize nor classify his musical choices, – but I must admit I have been enjoying them very much.

    The list given here is not too sophisticated, some of the albums have even been main stream at their time, but, what the hey, in this make-up they are typical Gilles…

  • Alexander Greim says:

    Thank you for the magnificent compilation. Just one correction: the album of James Blake is named “Overgrown”.

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