Marion Brown – Afternoon of a Georgia Faun

featuring Chick Corea, Anthony Braxton, Bennie Maupin, Andrew Cyrille, etc…

Style: Modern Creative, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Mysterious, Suspenseful, Nature, Abstract, Surreal, Kinetic, Visceral, Earthy, Swirling, Pastoral (Side A)

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Sparse, Acoustic, Atonal, Experimental Vocals, Extended Techniques, Dissonant, Percussive, Homemade Instrument

Anthony Braxton – New York, Fall 1974

Featuring Jerome Cooper, Julius Hemphill, Dave Holland, Leroy Jenkins, Kenny Wheeler…

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Modern Creative, Post-Bop
Vibe: Knotty, Angular, Complex, Cerebral, Exploratory, Serious, Bustling (Side A), Mysterious (Side B)
Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Extended Technique, Improvisation, Thematic, Instrumental

John Carter – Fields

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Country-Jazz, Jazz Theater

Vibe: Rural, Historical, Sombre, Resolute, Intertwined, Passionate, Storytelling, Determined, Resolute, Heartfelt, Complex, Theatric, Conceptual

Musical Qualities: Suite, Acoustic, Progressive, Collective Improvisation, Polyphonic, Dynamic, Technical

Jackie-O Motherfucker – Liberation

Style: Free Folk, Mystical Americana, Drone, Free Improvisation, Post-Rock

Vibe: Weary, Hopeful, Rustic, Communal, Spiritual, Ragged, Eerie, Melancholy, Deconstructed, Hypnotic, Communal, Haunting, Raw, Suspenseful, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Lo-Fi, Atmospheric, Droney, Group Vocals, Dub FX

Instrumentation: Electric Guitars, Vibraphone, Flute, Drums, Violin, Cello, Clarinet, Saxophone, Banjo, Melodica, Sitar, Electronics, Turntable, Keyboards, Trumpet, Electric Bass

Leonard Cohen – New Skin for the Old Ceremony

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Chamber Folk

Vibe: Poetic, Bittersweet, Conversational, Sexual, Dry Humor, Brooding, Melancholy, Longing, Tender, Introspective, Breakup

Musical Qualities: Lush, Lyrical, Groovy, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Electric Bass, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Backup Vocalists, Trombone, Jaw Harp, Woodwinds, Strings, Banjo, Mandolin, Trumpet, Drums, Percussion, Keyboards

Eiko Ishibashi – Imitation of Life

Style: Chamber Pop, Prog-Pop, Jazz Pop, Singer-Songwriter

Vibe: Lush, Warm, Sunny, Sci-Fi, Playful, Philosophical, Surreal, Energetic, Imaginative

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Dense, Catchy, Complex, Melodic, Dense, Technical, Rhythmic

Instrumentation: Piano, Vibraphone, Drums, Flute, Rhodes, Electric & Acoustic Bass, Saxophone, Clarinet, Violin, Cello , Synthesizers, Steel Drum, French Horn

Jackie-O Motherfucker – Fig 5.

Style: Mystical Americana, Free Folk, Post-Rock, Drone

Vibe: Haunting, Meandering, Rootsy, Rustic, Nocturnal, Mysterious, Deconstructed, Ragged, Communal, Murky, Abstract, Lethargic, Hallucinogenic, Raw

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Instrumental (except B1,C1), Loose, Lo-fi, Dynamic, Droney, Noisy, Group Vocals (B1), Harmonies (B1, C1)

Horace Tapscott & the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra – The Call

Style: Avant-Garde Big Band, Spiritual Jazz, Vocal Jazz (A2)

Vibe: Spiritual, Communal, Epic, Passionate, Active Listening, Energetic, Religious, Triumphant

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Complex, Dense, Acoustic, Thematic, Improvisation, Melodic, Technical, Orchestral

Wadada Leo Smith – Spirit Catcher

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Chamber Jazz, Modern Creative Music

Vibe: Intertwined, Open, Patient, Flowing, Noir, Suspenseful, Spiritual, Communal, Abstract

Musical Qualities: Poly-Free Improvisation, Polyphonic, Acoustic, Complex, Instrumental, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Trumpet (muted), Harp, Vibraphone, Upright Bass, Clarinet, Trombone, Wooden Flute, Drums, Saxophone, Flugelhorn

Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis

Style: Singer/Songwriter, Ambient Chamber Jazz, Post-Rock

Vibe: Peaceful, Intimate, Introspective, Spiritual, Reflective, Meditative, Melancholy, Mellow, Sentimental, Ethereal, Autumnal

Musical Qualities: Soft, Sparse, Acoustic, Atmospheric


Instrumentation: Voice, Bassoon, Clarinet, Piano, Upright Bass, Flute, Trumpet, Guitar

Land of Kush – Sand Enigma

Style: Avant-Garde Big Band, Arabic/Egyptian Folk, Psychedelic Jazz

Vibe: Intense, Sombre, Cathartic, Psychedelic, Complex, Ritualistic, Communal

Musical Qualities: Dense, Progressive, Dissonant, Acoustic, Percussive

Instrumentation: Santur, Upright Bass, Piano, Saxophones, Vocals, Percussion, Drums, Clarinet, Flute, Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello), Keyboards, Synthesizer, lap Steel Guitar, Electronics, Harp

Damon Locks’ Black Monument Ensemble

Style: Creative Music, Black Liberation Music, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Communal, Triumphant, Conscious, Earthy, Futuristic, Passionate, Political, Rebellious, Theatric

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Spoken Word, Suite, Percussive, Progressive, Live, Group Vocals

Charles Mingus – The Great Concert of Charles Mingus

Format: LPx3

Style: Post-Bop, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Bombastic, Passionate, Energetic, Intense, Manic, Playful

Musical Attributes: Complex, Dynamic, Live, Improvisation, Acoustic, Instrumental, Polyphonic, Progressive, Rhythmic

The Sea Ensemble – We Move Together

An obscure release from the great creative label ESP-Disk, containing exploratory, mysterious and playful improvisations from The Sea Ensemble—the husband/wife duo of Zusaan Fasteau and Donald Rafael Garrett. While they are both trained musicians and multi-instrumentalists, an uninhibited childish spirit permeates this release, as can be seen in Donald’s crude but visionary cover drawing; Yet the recording also feels imbued with ancient wisdom, as heard in their primal and instinctive vocalizations throughout the album

Human Behavior – Kedumim

Religious allegory, profane thoughts, and lustful confessions intertwine on Human Behavior’s third LP; Kedimum is a brooding suite of psychological chamber folk that introspects into a conflicted mind, struggling to reconcile matters of indoctrinated faith, natural human desires, and internalized guilt. Primary songwriter Andres Parada is joined by a sympathetic cast of vocalists to create a vivid sonic drama complete with choral vocals and spoken word passages to complement his haunting narrations. The intricate and shadowy arrangements blend distorted electronic beats with a wide array of acoustic instrumentation, including banjo, clarinet, accordian, acoustic guitar, violin, ehru, and cello.

Black Ox Orkestar – Ver Tanzt? Yeah

These impassioned, and often mournful, renditions of klezmer folk songs (both traditional and original) are infused with elements of free jazz, drone, and chamber music to create something both rooted and urgently modern (Even 15 years after its release). The mostly acoustic band features violinist Jessica Moss (also of Silver Mt. Zion) and upright bassist Thierry Amar (asmz, GY!BE) in addition to singer/multi-instrumentalist Scott Levine Gilmore and Clarinetist/Guitarist Gabe Levine.

Human Behavior – Bethpage

The apocalyptic chamber-folk of Bethpage soundtracks multiple chapters of cryptic storytelling, mixing one’s darkest thoughts with religious imagery and allegory through banjo sing-alongs and haunting spoken word passages. The heavy climaxes are whirlwinds of bombastic drums, driving bass, fiddle, clarinet, and banjo that often recall the communal chamber-punk of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. While many tracks feel seeped in shadow and darkness, a heavenly light occasionally floods in through some truly serene and beautiful passages.