A Shelf of Witchcraft Books: Best Albums of 2022, January 1st to September 3rd

I’m updating on the the ol’ va-kay, so–you’ll be crushed–I’m gonna have to keep it brief. Plus, I’m (and my wife and our friends) are recovering from my drunken interpretative dance to The Sir Douglas Quintet’s “Song for Everyone,” so I can’t guaranteed being centered as I peck this out.

“Song of Everything / Has somethin’ / For somebody….”

Bleary Blips:

  1. Did some switching around of prior albums, as some have zoomed on me (Beyonce’s), others have receded nearly back under the horizon (I can’t remember their titles), and one I somehow didn’t have near the top from the word “go” (ol’ Willie’s). And Heroes Are Gang Leaders’ live tribute to Amiri Baraka made a big move–check it out, even if you’re not a big fan of the great but complicated poet.
  2. Tommy Womack needs to be your best friend. I’ve known of him for years, but then I READ him and was bedazzled by his new anthology on Schoolkids Records. On constant repeat play: “Fishstick Day”!
  3. Florian Arbenz is a Swedish drummer and percussionist whose multiple volume “Conversations” project is consistently bedazzling and varied–and underrated. I put his newest, Conversations # 5 and Conversations #6 and #7 together, and if you love high-but-still-inside improvisational jazz, you need to check it out.
  4. Rick Rosato’s Homage is not yet out, and when I received a review copy of it the PR of which advertised it as a solo bass tribute to early (Skip James-early) blues legends, I literally blanched. Yuck. Plus. it has one of those not-to-be-trusted seductive ECM cheesecloth-art covers. Plus…well…it’s a solo bass album. Thing is, it is really, really great.
  5. I have been following the career of New Orleans’ r&b/hip hop artist Charm Taylor for years. She’s also on the Crescent City’s Sinking City label, which is impervious to releasing anything dull. I liked her vision, drive, and look–but the music just left me a little (a little) underwhelmed. However, because I never give up on NOLA and Sinking City Records, I took a listen to her new record, which if I’m not mistaken compiles some of her best tracks from the last several years. I was more than whelmed. Whelmed +++.
  6. The post title? It comes, as usual, from a new addition on the list. Iapetus Records hosts one of my favorite MCs, South African Yugen Blakrock, who is the most Afro-Futuristic rapper I am aware of. The rap group known (I think) as WitchCraft, but seeming here to go as Witchcraft Books, plows the same field, and I’m just always going to be interested in that field.

New additions to the list are in bold.


  1. 75 Dollar Bill: Social Music at Troost, Volume 3–Other People’s Music (Black Editions Group)
  2. Rosalia: MOTOMAMI (Columbia)
  3. Beyoncé: Renaissance (Parkwood Entertainment)
  4. Willie Nelson: A Beautiful Time(Sony)
  5. Billy Woods: Aethiope(Backwoodz Studios)
  6. Tanya TagaqTongues (Six Shooter) 
  7. Ricky Ford: The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford—Paul’s Scene (Whaling City Sounds)
  8. Stro Elliot & James Brown: Black & Loud—James Brown Reimagined (Polydor)
  9. Tommy Womack: I Thought I Was Fine (Schoolkids Records)
  10. Wadada Leo Smith: The Emerald Duets (TUM)
  11. Superchunk: Wild Loneliness (Merge)
  12. Gonora Sounds: Hard Times Never Kill (Phantom Limb)
  13. Wet Leg: Wet Leg (Domino)
  14. Anitta: Versions of Me (Deluxe) (Warner)
  15. Amber Mark:Three Dimensions Deep (PMR / Interscope) 
  16. Morgan Wade: Reckless (Deluxe) (Ladylike) 
  17. Lady Wray: Piece of Me (Big Crown)
  18. Bob Vylan: Bob Vylan Presents The Price of Life (Ghost Theatre)
  19. Moor Mother: Jazz Codes(Anti-)
  20. Mark Lomax II: Prismatic Refractions, Volume I (self-released)
  21. Horace Andy: Midnight Rocker (On-U Sound)
  22. black midi: Hellfire (Rough Trade)
  23. Heroes Are Gang Leaders: LeAutoRoiGraphy (577 Records)
  24. Miranda Lambert: Palomino (Vanner)
  25. ensemble 0: Music Nuvulosa (Sub Rosa)
  26. Anna von HausswoolffLive at Montreaux Jazz Festival (Southern Lord) 
  27. Various Artists: Lespri Ka—New Directions in Gwoka Music from Guadeloupe (Time Capsule Sounds) 
  28. Ches Smith: Interpret It Well (Pyroclastic)
  29. Mark Lomax Trio: Plays Mingus (CFG Multimedia)
  30. Mdou Moctar: Niger EP Volume 1 (Matador)
  31. 700 Bliss: Nothing to Declare (Hyperdub)
  32. The Chats: Get Fucked (Cooking Vinyl)
  33. Dan Ex Machina: All is Ours, Nothing is Theirs (self-released)
  34. Jinx Lennon: Pet Rent (Septic Tiger)
  35. Freakons: Freakons (Fluff & Gravy)
  36. Florian Arbenz: Conversation #5—Elemental; Conversations #6 and 7
  37. Daniel Villareal: Panama ’77 (International Anthem)
  38. Mary Gauthier: Dark Enough to See the Stars (Thirty Tigers)
  39. Phelimuncasi: Ama Gogela (Nyege Nyege Tapes)
  40. Joy Guidry:Radical Acceptance (Whited Sepulchre)
  41. Etran de L’AirAgadez (Sahel Sounds)
  42. Kehlani: blue water road (TSNMI/Atlantic)
  43. Zoh Amba: O, Sun (Tzadik)
  44. Felipe Salles: Tiyo’s Songs of Life (Tapestry)
  45. Steve Lehman: Xaybu—The Unseen (Pi Recordings)
  46. Tom ZéLingua Brasiliera (Selo Sesc)
  47. Nancy Mounir: Nozhet El Nofous (Terrorbird)
  48. Rick Rosato: Homage (self-released)
  49. Javon Jackson & Nikki Giovanni: The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni (Solid Jackson) 
  50. Oumou Sangare: Timbuktu(World Circuit Limited)
  51. Various Artists: Hidden Waters—Strange and Sublime Sounds from Rio de Janiero (Sounds and Colours)
  52. Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity: Elastic Wave (ECM)
  53. Miguel Zeñon: Musica de las Americas (Miel Music)
  54. Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few: Lift Every Voice(Division 81 Records)
  55. Priscilla BlockWelcome to the Block Party (InDent)
  56. Serengeti: Kaleidoscope III (Audiocon)
  57. Kendrick Lamar: Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers(pgLang/Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath/Interscope)
  58. Charm Taylor: She Is The Future (Sinking City)
  59. OGJB: Ode to O (TUM) (Note: Band name – O = Oliver Lake, G = Graham Haynes, J = Joe Fonda, B = Barry Altschul / Title – O = Ornette) 
  60. Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, and Enrico Rava: Two Blues for Cecil (TUM) 
  61. Luke Stewart’s Silt TrioThe Bottom(Cuneiform) 
  62. Tyler Mitchell: Dancing Shadows (featuring Marshall Allen) (Mahakala Music)
  63. Wild Up: Julius Eastman, Volume 2—Joy Boy (New Amsterdam)
  64. The Paranoid Style: For Executive Meeting (Bar/None)
  65. Carl Stone: Wat Dong Moon Lek (Unseen Worlds)
  66. Meridian Brothers and El Grupo & Renacimiento (Ansonia)
  67. Mitski: Laurel Hell (Dead Oceans)
  68. Breath of Air: Breath of Air (Burning Ambulance Music)
  69. Immanuel Wilkins: The 7th Hand (Blue Note) 
  70. David Murray Brave New World Trio: Seriana Promethea (Intakt)
  71. Fulu MizikiNgbaka (EP)
  72. David Virelles: Nuna (Pi / El Tivoli)
  73. Leikeli47: Shape Up(Hardcover/RCA)
  74. Witchcraft Books: Volume 1—The Sundisk (Iapetus Records)
  75. Hurray for The Riff Raff: Life on Earth (Nonesuch)
  76. Rokia Koné and Jacknife Lee: Bamanan (3DFamily)
  77. Tomas Fujiwara: Triple Double (Firehouse 12)
  78. DJ Black Low: Uwami (Awesome Tapes from Africa)
  79. Ibibio Sound Machine: Electricity (Merge)
  80. Zoh Amba: O Life, O Light, Volume 1(577 Records)
  81. Burton/McPherson Trio: The Summit Rock Session at Seneca Village (Giant Step Arts)
  82. Kahil El’Zabar Quartet: A Time for Healing(Spirit Muse)
  83. Pastor Champion: I Just Want to Be a Good Man (Luaka Bop)
  84. Nduduzo Makhathini: In the Spirit of Ntu (Blue Note)
  85. Pusha T: It’s Almost Dry(G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam)
  86. Elza SoaresElza Ao Vivo No Municipal (Deck)
  87. Nilufer Yanya: Painless (ATO)
  88. Tommy McLain: I Ran Down Every Dream (Yep Roc)
  89. Satoko Fujii and Joe Fonda: Thread of Light (Fundacja Słuchaj)
  90. Charli XCX: Crash (Atlantic)
  91. Pete Malinverni: On the Town—Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein(Planet Arts) 
  92. David Friend & Jerome Begin: Post- (New Amsterdam)
  93. Dedicated Men of Zion: The Devil Don’t Like It (Bible & Tire)
  94. Tyshawn Sorey Trio: Mesmerism (Pi Recordings)
  95. Space AfrikaHonest Labour (Dais)
  96. Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul: Topical Dancer (DeeWee)
  97. Earl Sweatshirt: Sick! (Tan Cressida / Warner) 
  98. Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You (4AD)
  99. Jeff Arnal and Curt Cloninger: Drum Major Instinct (Mahakala Music)
  100. Tee Grizzley: Half Tee Half Beast (self-released)
  101. Hoodoo Gurus: Chariot of The Gods (Big Time Photographic Recordings)
  102. Natsuki TamuraSummer Tree (Libra)
  103. (D)ivo: Perelman, Berne, Malaby, Carter (Mahakala Music)
  104. Daniel Carter et al.: Telepatica (577 Records)
  105. Ghais Guevara: There Will Be No Super-Slave (self-released)
  106. Pierre Kwenders: Jose Louis and the Paradox of Love (Arts & Crafts)
  107. Manel Fortia: Despertar (Segell Microscopi/Altafonte)
  108. Ray Wylie Hubbard: Co-Starring Too (Big Machine)
  109. Various Artists: if you fart make it sound good (WA Records)
  110. Marta Sanchez: SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum)(Whirlwind)
  111. Earthgang: Ghetto Gods (Dreamville/Interscope)
  112. Mavis Staples & Levon Helm: Carry Me Home(Anti-)
  113. Panda Bear & Sonic Boom: Reset (Domino)
  114. Blue Reality Quartet: Ella’s Island (Mahakala Music)


  1. Los Golden Boys: Cumbia de Juventud (Mississippi Records)
  2. Albert Ayler: Revelations—The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght Recordings(Elemental)
  3. Cecil Taylor:The Complete Legendary Live Return Concert at the Town Hall (Oblivion)
  4. Tommy Womack: 30 Years Shot to Hell! An Anthology (Schoolkids Records)
  5. Various Artists: Lovers Rock—The Soulful Sound of Romantic Reggae (Trojan)
  6. Albert Ayler: La Cave Live 1966 (Ezz-Thetics) 
  7. Various Artists: Cumbia Sabrosa—Tropical Sound System Bangers From The Discos Fuentes Vaults 1961-1981 (Rocafort Records)
  8. Biluka y Los Canibales: Leaf-Playing in Quito (1960-1965) (Honest Jon’s)
  9. Various Artists: A Chat About the Beauty of the Moon at Night–Hawaiian Steel Guitar Masters 1913-1921 (Magnificent Sounds)
  10. The Rolling Stones: Live at the El Mocambo (Interscope)
  11. Son House: Forever on My Mind (Easy Eye Sound)
  12. Lavender Country:Blackberry Rose and Other Songs & Sorrows(Don Giovanni)
  13. Horace Tapscott Quintet: Legacies for Our Grandchildren (Dark Tree)
  14. Various Artists: The D-Vine Spirituals—Sacred Soul (Bible & Tire)
  15. Kabaka International Guitar Band: Kabaka International Guitar Band (Palenque Records)
  16. The Pyramids: AOMAWA—The 1970s Recordings (Strut)
  17. Hermeto Pascoal: Hermeto (Far Out Recordings)
  18. Sun Ra: Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab in Egypt (Strut)
  19. Asha Puthi: The Essential Asha Puthi (Mr. Bongo)
  20. Malik’s Emerging Force Art Trio: Time and Condition (moved-by-sound)
  21. Volta Jazz: Air Volta (Numero)
  22. Various Artists: From Lion Mountain—Traditional Music of Yeha, Ethiopia (Dust-to-Digital)
  23. Ronnie Boykins: The Will Come is Now (ESP-Disk)
  24. John Ondolo: Hypnotic Guitar of John Ondolo (Mississippi Records)
  25. Cecil Taylor: Respiration (Fundacja Stuchaj)
  26. Norma Tanega: Studio and Demo Recordings, 1964-1971(Anthology)
  27. Irma Thomas: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 1976(Good Time)
  28. Afrika Negra: Antologia, Volume 1 (Bongo Joe)
  29. Various Artists: Summer of Soul (Legacy)
  30. The Heartbreakers: LAMF—The ’77 Found Mixes (Jungle)

One thought on “A Shelf of Witchcraft Books: Best Albums of 2022, January 1st to September 3rd

  1. Wish I’d been there for your interpretive dance number. I often times feel the spirit of Sir Douglass Quintet way down deep in my bones and I too, must move.. Loving the lists as it closes in on the end to yet another insane year. Love it that not only Pastor Champion, Norma Tanega, Cecil Taylorcand Superchunk* on the list. Keep on doin’ that thing..

    *The title track to Wild Loneliness inspires me to jump around a bit and commit something akin to “dancing”. That sax! Terrific surprise of a record!

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