I’m convinced that, ten years from now, we’re going to look back at 2007 as an unusually fertile time in music and in drumming. True, these days the most intriguing musicians inevitably lurk in the under-reported corners of the music world–in tiny Manhattan jazz clubs, on Little Steven’s Sirius Radio show, in the review pages of Mojo, Punk Planet, and Wire magazines, and on myspace. But listeners willing to work a little to discover fresh and exciting music are generally rewarded for their efforts. When asked to contribute a list of their favorite drumming albums of 2007, Modern Drummer‘s Critique writers jumped all over it. Seems they’re as excited as I am by the new music they’ve been hearing lately. Check out their choices, you might be surprised by the healthy state of our musical planet. Adam Budofsky, Modern Drummer Critique Editor

Will Romano

DEVENDRA BANHART SMOKEY ROLLS DOWN THUNDER CANYON (OTTO HAUSER, GREGORY ROGOVE, PETE NEWSOME)
KINGS OF LEON BECAUSE OF THE TIMES (NATHAN FOLLOWILL)
DELTA SAXOPHONE QUARTET DEDICATED TO YOU…BUT YOU WEREN’T LISTENING: THE MUSIC OF SOFT MACHINE (NONE)
OS MUTANTES BARBICAN THEATER, LONDON 2006 (DINHO LEME)
PHILLIP WALKER GOING BACK HOME (RICHARD INNES)
LUTHER ALLISON UNDERGROUND (ROBERT PLUNKETT)
AKRON/FAMILY LOVE IS SIMPLE (SETH OLINSKY, MILES SEATON, DANA JANSSEN, RYAN VANDERHOOF)
PORCUPINE TREE FEAR OF A BLANK PLANET (GAVIN HARRISON)
FAIR TO MIDLAND FABLES FROM A MAYFLY: WHAT I TELL YOU THREE TIMES IS TRUE (BRETT STOWERS)
AQUALUNG MEMORY MAN (MATT HALES)

Drummer Will Romano is the author of biographies on Jimmy Reed and Hubert Sumlin.

Patrick Berkery

KINGS OF LEON BECAUSE OF THE TIMES (NATHAN FOLLOWILL)
SPOON GA GA GA GA GA (JIM ENO)
WILCO SKY BLUE SKY (GLENN KOTCHE)
CARIBOU ANDORRA (DANIEL VICTOR SNAITH)
ROBERT PLANT/ALISON KRAUSS RAISING SAND (JAY BELLEROSE)
BLITZEN TRAPPER WILD MOUNTAIN NATION (BRIAN ADRIAN KOCH)
WHITE STRIPES ICKY THUMP (MEG WHITE)
TRAVELING WILBURYS COLLECTION (JIM KELTNER)
DUNGEN TIO BITAR (GUSTAV EJSTES)
SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS 100 DAYS, 100 NIGHTS (HOMER STEINWEIS)

Patrick Berkery is the drummer with The Pernice Brothers.

Martin Patmos

KENNY WERNER LAWN CHAIR SOCIETY (BRIAN BLADE)
JOSHUA REDMAN BACK EAST (BRIAN BLADE/ERIC HARLAND/ALI JACKSON)
DAVE DOUGLAS LIVE AT THE JAZZ STANDARD (CLARENCE PENN)
RUSH SNAKES & ARROWS (NEIL PEART)
ARCH ENEMY RISE OF THE TYRANT (DANIEL ERLANDSSON)
MACHINE HEAD THE BLACKENING (DAVE MCCLAIN)
BLOOD RED THRONE COME DEATH (ANDERS HAAVE)
CHARLES MINGUS CORNELL 1964 (DANNIE RICHMOND)
MULGREW MILLER LIVE AT KENNEDY CENTER V.2 (RODNEY GREEN)
MEGADETH UNITED ABOMINATIONS (SHAWN DROVER)

Drummer Martin Patmos is a veteran contributor to Modern Drummer magazine.

Ilya Stemkovsky

TORI AMOS AMERICAN DOLL POSSE (MATT CHAMBERLAIN)
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME COLORS (BLAKE RICHARDSON)
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN MAGIC (MAX WEINBERG)
JOHN ZORN SIX LITANIES FOR HELIOGABALUS (JOEY BARON)
NINE INCH NAILS YEAR ZERO (JOSH FREESE)
ANTONIO SANCHEZ MIGRATION (ANTONIO SANCHEZ)
DREAM THEATER SYSTEMATIC CHAOS (MIKE PORTNOY)
JOHN ABERCROMBIE THE THIRD QUARTET (JOEY BARON)
JOHN SCOFIELD THIS MEETS THAT (BILL STEWART)
JOHN MEDESKI & BILLY MARTIN MAGO (BILLY MARTIN)

Ilya Stemkovsky is the drummer with Brothers Past.

Michael Dawson

WOLFGANG MUTHSPIEL & BRIAN BLADE FRIENDLY TRAVELER (BRIAN BLADE)
DAVID HOLMES OCEAN’S THIRTEEN S/T (ZACH DANZIGER)
WILCO SKY BLUE SKY (GLENN KOTCHE)
THE SEA AND CAKE EVERYBODY (JOHN MCENTIRE)
MINUS THE BEAR PLANET OF ICE (ERIN TATE)
GALACTIC FROM THE CORNER TO THE BLOCK (STANTON MOORE)
EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS AMERITOWN (GREG LYONS)
HELLA THERE’S NO 666 IN OUTER SPACE (ZACH HILL)
MICHAEL BRECKER PILGRIMAGE (JACK DEJOHNETTE)
BUMPS BUMPS (JOHN MCENTIRE, JOHN HERNDON, DAN BITNEY)

Michael Dawson is an associate editor of Modern Drummer magazine.

Jeff Potter

KENNY WERNER LAWN CHAIR SOCIETY (BRIAN BLADE)
VARIOUS ARTISTS GOIN’ HOME: A TRIBUTE TO FATS DOMINO (VARIOUS)
JOHN SCOFIELD THIS MEETS THAT (BILL STEWART)
SPOON GA GA GA GA GA (JIM ENO)
METHENY/MEHLDAU QUARTET (JEFF BALLARD)
THE CLAUDIA QUINTET FOR (JOHN HOLLENBECK)
HECTOR MARTIGNON REFUGEE (WILLARD DYSON, HORACIO HERNANDEZ, DAFNIS PRIETO, JEFF WATTS)
DAVID BUCHBINDER ODESSA/HAVANA (MARK KELSO, DAFNIS PRIETO)
MAVIS STAPLES WE’LL NEVER TURN BACK (JIM KELTNER)
WILCO SKY BLUE SKY (GLENN KOTCHE)

Jeff Potter is the long-time drummer with the New York production of Rent.

Mike Haid

PLANET X QUANTUM (VIRGIL DONATI)
MARCO MINNEMANN HOUSE WIFE DOG & TWO KIDS (MARCO MINNEMANN)
ALEX MACHACEK, JEFF SIPE, MATTHEW GARRISON IMPROVISION (JEFF SIPE)
HERBIE HANCOCK RIVER: THE JONI LETTERS (VINNIE COLAIUTA)
ANDERS MOGENSEN GIFTED YOUTH LIVE & BEYOND (ANDERS MOGENSEN)
FRANK ZAPPA BUFFALO (VINNIE COLAIUTA)
OZ NOY FUZZY (ANTON FIG, KEITH CARLOCK, VINNIE COLAIUTA)
MONDO TRIO (VINNIE COLAIUTA)
PAGAN’S MIND GOD’S EQUATION (STIAN LINDAAS KRISTOFFERSEN)
TAYLOR MILLS LULLAGOODBYE (TODD SUCHERMAN)

Mike Haid is a contributing writer for Modern Drummer magazine and freelance drummer in Atlanta.

Adam Budofsky

PINK FLOYD PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN 3-CD REISSUE (NICK MASON)
AMPLIFIED HEAT HOW DO YOU LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT (CHRIS ORTIZ)
THE WHITE STRIPES ICKY THUMP (MEG WHITE)
CELEBRATION THE MODERN TRIBE (DAVID BERGANDER)
THE SADIES NEW SEASONS (MIKE BELITSKY)
THE STABILISERS WANNA DO THE WILD PLASTIC BRANE LOVE THING? (FRANCIS BRAITHWAITE)
THE OCTOPUS PROJECT HELLO, AVALANCHE (TOT MIRANDA, JOSH LAMBERT, YVONNE LAMBERT)
HORACIO “EL NEGRO” HERNANDEZ ITALUBA II (HORACIO “EL NEGRO” HERNANDEZ)
MILES DAVIS THE COMPLETE ON THE CORNER SESSIONS (AL FOSTER, BERNARD PURDIE, JACK DEJOHNETTE, DON ALIAS, BADAL ROY, BILLY HART, MTUME
THE HIGH STRUNG GET THE GUESTS (DEREK BERK)

Adam Budofsky is the managing editor of Modern Drummer magazine, and the editor of The Drummer: 100 Years Of Rhythmic Power And Invention.

Ken Micallef

JEFF BABKO MONDO TRIO (VINNIE COLAIUTA)
ANTONIO SANCHEZ MIGRATION (ANTONIO SANCHEZ)
DUNGEN TIO BITAR (GUSTAV EJSTES)
ROY HAYNES A LIFE IN TIME: THE ROY HAYNES STORY (ROY HAYNES)
JOJO MAYER’S NERVE PROHIBITED BEATZ (JOJO MAYER)
RUDDER RUDDER (KEITH CARLOCK)
BLACK LIGHT BURNS CRUEL MELODY (JOSH FREESE)
JON LARSEN STRANGE NEWS FROM MARS (HAKON MJASET JOHANSEN)
BRUFORD BBC ROCK GOES TO COLLEGE (BILL BRUFORD)
BRUCE HORNSBY CAMP MEETING (JACK DEJOHNETTE)

Ken Micallef is the author of Classic Rock Drummers.

Finally, long-time MD writer Lauren Vogel Weiss leaves us with four of her favorite albums featuring classical and world percussion.

NEXUS WINGS
DAVID FRIEDMAN AND DAVE SAMUELS DOUBLE IMAGE LIVE IN CONCERT: MOMENT TO MOMENT
ANDY NARELL TATOOM: MUSIC FOR STEEL ORCHESTRA
NEY ROSAURO & THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY WIND ENSEMBLE CONCERTI FOR SOLO PERCUSSION AND WIND ENSEMBLE