Behold–a rather tentative list of 30 pretty damn decent releases from the 2019th year of our lord (is that right? asks the history-challenged heathen). I would not say that, so far, our musical high priests have laid a cornucopial spread before our weary, hungry, hopeful selves; I would say, however, that plenty of interesting stuff is at your fingertips. The following are in rough order of how much enjoyment I’ve gained from and willing repetition I’ve applied to each long-player. Certain of my regular prejudices are in play: Joe McPhee is a genius and a saint to me, musically and personally, and in his 79th year (50 or so of them as a devoted free-playing jazz multi-instrumentalist and happy noise-maker) he shows no signs of slowing down or having passed his sell-by date–I love all three of his new records, including all six discs of his “Nation Time!”-keyed live collaboration with DKV (that’s Hamid Drake, Ken Kessler, and Ken Vandermark); I come alive at the sound of a Tuareg guitar, no matter how familiar or how augmented by Western intrusion; I am certain Yugen Blakrok needs more recognition and I will bend over backwards to see that, at least within my very circumscribed social range, she gets it; I have a very soft spot for the hoarier artist. But I’d almost argue that those strong prejudices, built from high expectations, might just make me more likely than most to recognize why records therein don’t really cut it. Almost.
Also, I am being very strict about releases being from 2019. If I am not, I will get my wrists slapped.
If anything really obvious is missing (Sharon Van Etten, Future, Gary Clark, Jr.) it might well be assumed that I am immune to its spells.
Finally, I am including new releases of material recorded in bygone days (rather than listing those separately) because pickings are just that slim. So far. [Ex Hex, Mekons, Jamila Woods, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Royal Trux (Royal Trux?), Quelle Chris, hell, ol’ dead Marvin Gaye each have one in tha chamba for future firing.]
After the list is a YouTube playlist where you can test-drive some of the stuff if it’s unfamiliar to you.
- Harriet Tubman: The Terror End of Beauty
- DKV and Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time
- Yugen Blakrok: Anima Mysterium
- Heroes are Gang Leaders: The Amiri Baraka Sessions
- Various Artists: All the Young Droogs–60 Juvenile Delinquent Wrecks
- Various Artists: Travailler, C’est Trop Dure–The Lyrical Legacy of Caesar Vincent
- Que Vola: Que Vola
- Kel Assouf: Black Tenere
- Aesop Rock & TOBACCO: Malibu Ken
- Sir Shina Peters and His Internation Stars: Sewele
- Eric Dolphy: Musical Prophet
- Usted Saami: God is Not a Terrorist
- Joe McPhee / John Butcher: At the Hill of James Magee
- Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Miri
- People Under the Stairs: Sincerely, The P
- Powder: Powder in Space (DJ Mix)
- Hama: Houmeissa
- Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock
- Ill Considered: 5
- M’dou Moctar: Blue Stage Session
- CZARFACE & Ghostface Killah: Czarface Meets Ghostface
- Greg Ward and Rogue Parade: Stomping Off from Greenwood
- Matthew Shipp Trio: Signature
- Angel Bat Dawid: The Oracle
- Better Oblivion Community Center: Better Oblivion Community Center
- Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez: Duologue
- Bad Bunny: X 100PRE
- The Clifford Thornton Memorial Quartet (featuring Joe McPhee): Sweet Oranges
- Our Native Daughters: Songs of Our Native Daughters
- The Specials: Encore
A note on the playlist: two-three full albums are included (one of them a three-disker) because single tracks were not available, so you may want to be prepared to click past them after an initial taste. Or you may not…
5 thoughts on “Best Rekkids of ’19 – End of Febru-weary Edition”
A world of things of which I haven’t heard. So thanks for the playlist. But I don’t see the previously recorded / newly released in the list. Maybe I misunderstand.
The Dolphy, the glam box, the Sir Shina Peters.
This is great. I jumped right on several of them. Not all at once, although that would be an interesting sonic experiment.
Anyway, thanks for the good listening.
You’re welcome. I feel I am still behind on some listening, and some things people are hot for are leaving me cold! I appreciate the encouragement.