This Art Ain’t Languishin’: Best New Album Sounds and Dug-Up Tracks, January 1 – September 29


  1. Two of my pop music / freshman composition classes independently chose Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights for their first “Album Socratic,” and it a lil’ bit blew my mind. I am (or at least HAVE BEEN) TikTok-resistant, but I learned Steve’s swimming powerfully in that ocean. Even more fruitfully, the seminar made Lacy at least ten total new raving fans who previously hadn’t heard of him. That’s education! (P. S. The 8:00 am Socratic was regarding Lacy’s new one paired with Lucas Combs’ current release, which might seems like a spinach ice cream cone, but the contrast revealed much about artist personae, music marketing, and audience engagement.)
  2. I don’t know what 71-year-old reggae legend Horace Andy’s feeding himself, but I want some of it. I quite frankly am immune to most current rhythm music out of Jamaica, but Andy’s two 2022 records are miraculous medicine. Recommendation: turn up both volume and bass. Reassurance: Andy’s singing just fine.
  3. I barely squeezed Brownsville rapper Ka’s first of two brand-new releases under my deadline. It’s got an education thread that I had to pull on, and it held firm. Ka’s music reminds me of Sahel desert blues–it’s very marginally differentiated but irresistible. I’m listening to the second, and it is no slouch. It might make the list before I hit “Publish.”
  4. Just gotta say that I was very late to the virtues of Chicago’s electronic wonders The Bitchin’ Bajas, and even then figured the album I landed on (their previous one, a Sun Ra cover version flight) might be the only one I’d need. I was wrong. Actually, their new one is even more hypnotic and pleasing than their Sun One experiment.
  5. On the other hand, the brave and few who follow this blog may begin to think I have a vested interest in pushing ANYTHING Columbus, Ohio’s Mark Lomax II creates. Well, ok: first, he’s a master musician with a bursting heart, endless ideas, and a pretty flawless ear for supporting musicians; second, I simply haven’t heard an album of his that didn’t bear replaying and replaying (IF you’re a fan of jazz); third, when I learned he decided to cover the permanently instrumentally sidelined Sonny Rollins’ Freedom Suite, I honestly wondered if I needed to check it out: the original is a masterwork, and David S. Ware’s previous cover version was, um, titanic. Of course, I did check Dr. Lomax’s out, and reached the conclusion that it’s just not smart to doubt his commitment and feeling. It’s the best of the three-count ’em-three records he’s put out this year, and it befuddles me that what remains of the jazz press doesn’t seem to be that curious about them. Their loss.
  6. Last year, I stayed very hot and bothered listen after listen about Swedish bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten’s free-but-coherent-and-textured concept album Exit (Knarr). This year’s candidate for free-improv album that might Venus-flytrap the unconvinced is the not-quite-released album Micro Nap, by the Korean-born bassist SeaJun Kwon. It’s alternately–but not jarringly–meditative and raucous, as well as subtly tuneful in perfect tandem with thunderous and exciting cacophony.
  7. The Mr. Bongo label is having a great year. Did I say that last time?
  8. In a somewhat related development, the late, great, and extremely underappreciated Horace Tapscott’s rediscovery, the fuse of which was lit a few years back by Dark Tree Records and which has been helped along this year by–there they are again–Mr. Bongo, continues unabated. If you’ve never heard of Mr. Tapscott, in terms of composing, arranging, and playing jazz, and (even more important) nurturing a musical community across almost a half-century in South Central Los Angeles, he was a 20th century giant who unfortunately wasn’t all that motivated to push his own recordings out there. Perhaps the most famous record he’s been associated with, and which isn’t exactly canonized (though it should be) is Sonny Criss’ Sonny’s Dream: Birth of the New Cool, which he wrote and arranged but didn’t play on. Well, he cut some dandy slabs of impressive variety of format that got limited release and disappeared, but are now re-emerging. Dig in, jazzers.
  9. Unless the earth explodes before November, I’ll be able to see one of my favorite MCs, R.A.P. Ferreira in person, and maybe do Q & A with him. I was not expecting him to release a solo country blues album this month. It’s far from not-bad, from the selections to the faux-Crumb cover art.
  10. Need a dose of that very entertaining but Dixieland-stale stuff called rock and roll? The Mountain Goats have something for you.
  11. Bonus track: weird, ongoing wrestling match between 75 Dollar Bill and Rosalia. Somehow, creaky old Shotgun Guillermo got Beyoncé in a full-Nelson and moved up to #3.
  12. Hidden track: #82 is dedicated AND recommended to my pal Kevin Bozelka!

Note: 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. Willie Nelson: A Beautiful Time (Sony)
  4. Beyoncé: Renaissance (Parkwood Entertainment)
  5. Tanya TagaqTongues (Six Shooter) 
  6. Ricky Ford: The Wailing Sounds of Ricky Ford—Paul’s Scene (Whaling City Sounds)
  7. Stro Elliot & James Brown: Black & Loud—James Brown Reimagined (Polydor)
  8. Tommy Womack: I Thought I Was Fine (Schoolkids Records)
  9. Wadada Leo Smith: The Emerald Duets (TUM)
  10. Superchunk: Wild Loneliness (Merge)
  11. Gonora Sounds: Hard Times Never Kill (Phantom Limb)
  12. Wet Leg: Wet Leg (Domino)
  13. Anitta: Versions of Me (Deluxe) (Warner)
  14. Ka: Languish Arts (Iron Works)
  15. The Mountain Goats: Bleed Out (Merge)
  16. Sudan Archives: Natural Brown Prom Queen (Stones Throw)
  17. Lady Wray: Piece of Me (Big Crown)
  18. Bob Vylan: Bob Vylan Presents The Price of Life (Ghost Theatre)
  19. Horace Andy: Midnight Rocker (On-U Sound)
  20. black midi: Hellfire (Rough Trade)
  21. Heroes Are Gang Leaders: LeAutoRoiGraphy (577 Records)
  22. ensemble 0: Music Nuvulosa (Sub Rosa)
  23. Ches Smith: Interpret It Well (Pyroclastic)
  24. The Ogun Meji Duo: Freedom Suite (self-released)
  25. Phelimuncasi: Ama Gogela (Nyege Nyege Tapes)
  26. 700 Bliss: Nothing to Declare (Hyperdub)
  27. The Chats: Get Fucked (Cooking Vinyl)
  28. Dan Ex Machina: All is Ours, Nothing is Theirs (self-released)
  29. Jinx Lennon: Pet Rent (Septic Tiger)
  30. Steve Lacy: Gemini Rights (RCA)
  31. Freakons: Freakons (Fluff & Gravy)
  32. Mary Gauthier: Dark Enough to See the Stars (Thirty Tigers)
  33. Etran de L’AirAgadez (Sahel Sounds)
  34. Homeboy Sandman: I Can’t Sell These (self-released)
  35. Bitchin’ Bajas: Bajascillators (Drag City)
  36. Miranda Lambert: Palomino (Vanner)
  37. Horsegirl: “Billy” / “History Lesson, Part II” (Matador)
  38. Mark Lomax Trio: Plays Mingus (CFG Multimedia)
  39. Florian Arbenz: Conversation #5—Elemental; Conversations #6 and 7
  40. Moor Mother: Jazz Codes (Anti-)
  41. Mdou Moctar: Niger EP Volume 1 (Matador)
  42. Various Artists: Lespri Ka—New Directions in Gwoka Music from Guadeloupe (Time Capsule Sounds) 
  43. Billy Woods: Aethiope(Backwoodz Studios)
  44. Mark Lomax II: Prismatic Refractions, Volume I (self-released)
  45. James Brandon Lewis: MSM Molecular Systematic Music—Live (Intakt)
  46. Daniel Villareal: Panama ’77 (International Anthem)
  47. Kehlani: blue water road (TSNMI/Atlantic)
  48. Horace Andy: Midnight Scorchers (On-U Sound)
  49. Ka: Woeful Studies (Iron Works)
  50. Amber Mark:Three Dimensions Deep (PMR / Interscope) 
  51. Morgan Wade: Reckless (Deluxe) (Ladylike) 
  52. Zoh Amba: O, Sun (Tzadik)
  53. Whit Dickey: Root Perspectives (Tao Forms)
  54. Anna von HausswoolffLive at Montreaux Jazz Festival (Southern Lord) 
  55. Felipe Salles: Tiyo’s Songs of Life (Tapestry)
  56. Steve Lehman: Xaybu—The Unseen (Pi Recordings)
  57. Tom ZéLingua Brasiliera (Selo Sesc)
  58. Nancy Mounir: Nozhet El Nofous (Terrorbird)
  59. Rick Rosato: Homage (self-released)
  60. The Beths: Expert in a Dying Field (Carpark)
  61. Oumou Sangare: Timbuktu (World Circuit Limited)
  62. Various Artists: Hidden Waters—Strange and Sublime Sounds from Rio de Janiero (Sounds and Colours)
  63. SeaJun Kwon: Micro Nap (Endectomorph Music)
  64. Nduduzo Makhathini: In the Spirit of Ntu (Universal)
  65. Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity:Elastic Wave (ECM)
  66. Miguel Zeñon: Musica de las Americas (Miel Music)
  67. Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few: Lift Every Voice (Division 81 Records)
  68. Tyshawn Sorey: The Off-Off Broadway Guide to Synergism (Pi)
  69. Priscilla BlockWelcome to the Block Party (InDent)
  70. Serengeti: Kaleidoscope III (Audiocon)
  71. Kendrick Lamar: Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers(pgLang/Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath/Interscope)
  72. Makaya McCraven: In These Times (International Anthem)
  73. Charm Taylor: She Is The Future (Sinking City)
  74. OGJB: Ode to O (TUM) (Note: Band name – O = Oliver Lake, G = Graham Haynes, J = Joe Fonda, B = Barry Altschul / Title – O = Ornette) 
  75. Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, and Enrico Rava: Two Blues for Cecil (TUM) 
  76. Luke Stewart’s Silt TrioThe Bottom(Cuneiform) 
  77. Tyler Mitchell: Dancing Shadows (featuring Marshall Allen) (Mahakala Music)
  78. Wild Up: Julius Eastman, Volume 2—Joy Boy (New Amsterdam)
  79. Crow Billiken (aka R.A.P. Ferreira): If I don’t have red I use blue (self-released)
  80. The Paranoid Style: For Executive Meeting (Bar/None)
  81. Carl Stone: Wat Dong Moon Lek (Unseen Worlds)
  82. Joy Guidry:Radical Acceptance (Whited Sepulchre)
  83. Meridian Brothers and El Grupo & Renacimiento (Ansonia)
  84. Marxist Love Disco Ensemble: MLDE (Mr. Bongo)
  85. Mitski: Laurel Hell (Dead Oceans)
  86. Jockstrap: Jockstrap (Rough Trade)
  87. Breath of Air: Breath of Air (Burning Ambulance Music)
  88. Immanuel Wilkins: The 7th Hand (Blue Note) 
  89. David Murray Brave New World Trio: Seriana Promethea (Intakt)
  90. Fulu MizikiNgbaka (EP)
  91. David Virelles: Nuna (Pi / El Tivoli)
  92. Javon Jackson & Nikki Giovanni: The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni (Solid Jackson) 
  93. Leikeli47: Shape Up (Hardcover/RCA)
  94. Witchcraft Books: Volume 1—The Sundisk (Iapetus Records)
  95. Hurray for The Riff Raff: Life on Earth (Nonesuch)
  96. Rokia Koné and Jacknife Lee: Bamanan (3DFamily)
  97. Tomas Fujiwara: Triple Double (Firehouse 12)
  98. DJ Black Low: Uwami (Awesome Tapes from Africa)
  99. Ibibio Sound Machine:Electricity (Merge)
  100. Zoh Amba: O Life, O Light, Volume 1 (577 Records)
  101. Burton/McPherson Trio: The Summit Rock Session at Seneca Village (Giant Step Arts)
  102. Kahil El’Zabar Quartet: A Time for Healing (Spirit Muse)
  103. Pastor Champion: I Just Want to Be a Good Man (Luaka Bop)
  104. Nduduzo Makhathini: In the Spirit of Ntu (Blue Note)
  105. Pusha T: It’s Almost Dry (G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam)
  106. Elza SoaresElza Ao Vivo No Municipal (Deck)
  107. Nilufer Yanya: Painless (ATO)
  108. Tommy McLain: I Ran Down Every Dream (Yep Roc)
  109. Satoko Fujii and Joe Fonda: Thread of Light (Fundacja Słuchaj)
  110. Charli XCX: Crash (Atlantic)
  111. Pete Malinverni: On the Town—Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein(Planet Arts) 
  112. JID: The Forever Story (Dreamville)
  113. Dedicated Men of Zion: The Devil Don’t Like It (Bible & Tire)
  114. Tyshawn Sorey Trio: Mesmerism (Pi Recordings)
  115. Space AfrikaHonest Labour (Dais)
  116. Charlotte Adigery & Bolis Pupul: Topical Dancer (DeeWee)
  117. Earl Sweatshirt: Sick! (Tan Cressida / Warner) 
  118. Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You (4AD)
  119. Jeff Arnal and Curt Cloninger: Drum Major Instinct (Mahakala Music)
  120. Tee Grizzley: Half Tee Half Beast (self-released)
  121. Hoodoo Gurus: Chariot of The Gods (Big Time Photographic Recordings)
  122. Natsuki TamuraSummer Tree (Libra)
  123. (D)ivo: Perelman, Berne, Malaby, Carter (Mahakala Music)
  124. Daniel Carter et al.: Telepatica (577 Records)
  125. Ghais Guevara: There Will Be No Super-Slave (self-released)
  126. Pierre Kwenders: Jose Louis and the Paradox of Love (Arts & Crafts)
  127. Manel Fortia: Despertar (Segell Microscopi/Altafonte)
  128. Ray Wylie Hubbard: Co-Starring Too (Big Machine)
  129. Various Artists: if you fart make it sound good (WA Records)
  130. Marta Sanchez: SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum) (Whirlwind)
  131. Sonnyjim & The Purist: White Girl Wasted (Duape)
  132. Earthgang: Ghetto Gods (Dreamville/Interscope)
  133. Mavis Staples & Levon Helm: Carry Me Home (Anti-)
  134. Panda Bear & Sonic Boom: Reset (Domino)
  135. 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. Mal Waldron: Searching in Grenoble—The 1978 Solo Piano Concert (Tompkins Square)
  14. Horace Tapscott Quintet: The Quintet (Mr. Bongo)
  15. Horace Tapscott Quintet: Legacies for Our Grandchildren (Dark Tree)
  16. Various Artists: The D-Vine Spirituals—Sacred Soul (Bible & Tire)
  17. Kabaka International Guitar Band: Kabaka International Guitar Band (Palenque Records)
  18. The Pyramids: AOMAWA—The 1970s Recordings (Strut)
  19. Hermeto Pascoal: Hermeto (Far Out Recordings)
  20. Sun Ra: Sun Ra Arkestra Meets Salah Ragab in Egypt (Strut)
  21. Asha Puthi: The Essential Asha Puthi (Mr. Bongo)
  22. Malik’s Emerging Force Art Trio: Time and Condition (moved-by-sound)
  23. Volta Jazz: Air Volta (Numero)
  24. Blondie: Against the Odds—1974-1982 (3-CD Rarities Version) (UMe / Numero Group)
  25. Various Artists: From Lion Mountain—Traditional Music of Yeha, Ethiopia (Dust-to-Digital)
  26. Charles Stepney: Step-on-Step (International Anthem)
  27. Ronnie Boykins: The Will Come is Now (ESP-Disk)
  28. John Ondolo: Hypnotic Guitar of John Ondolo (Mississippi Records)
  29. Luciano Luciani y sus Mulatos: Mulata, vamos a la Salsa (Vampisoul)
  30. Cecil Taylor: Respiration (Fundacja Stuchaj)
  31. Norma Tanega: Studio and Demo Recordings, 1964-1971 (Anthology)
  32. Irma Thomas: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 1976 (Good Time)
  33. Afrika Negra: Antologia, Volume 1 (Bongo Joe)
  34. Various Artists: Summer of Soul (Legacy)
  35. The Heartbreakers: LAMF—The ’77 Found Mixes (Jungle)

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