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

Maleem Mahmoud Ghania with Pharoah Sanders – The Trance of Seven Colors

Style: Gnawa, Spiritual Jazz

Vibe: Ceremonial, Hypnotic, Communal, Ritualistic, Spiritual, Uplifting, Serpentine, Warm, Desert, Tribal

Musical Qualities: Polyrhythmic, Acoustic, Repetitive, Chants, Improvisation, Microtonal

Instrumentation: Guimbri, Tenor Saxophone, Percussion, Group Vocals, Clapping

Sunburned Hand of the Man — The Trickle-Down Theory of Lord Knows What

Style: Free-Psych, Ritual Folk, New Weird Americana

Vibe: Ceremonial, Communal, Hallucinogenic, Mysterious, Amorphous, Earthy, Cathartic, Primal, Murky, Ritualistic, Surreal

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Lo-fi, Free-Form, Atmospheric, Dissonant, Group Vocals, Repetitive, Chants, Percussive

Sunburned Hand of the Man – Headdress

Style: Free Rock, Ritual Psych

Vibe: Communal, Mystical, Ritualistic, Meandering, Warm, Cathartic, Psychedelic, Primal, Fuzzy

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Percussive, Suite, Chants, Lo-fi, Loose, Repetitive

Akron/Family – Set Em Wild, Set Em Free

These guys are my favorite American Rock band. Every album they’ve released explores different sides of rock, folk, experimental and psychedelic music in such a natural, unforced way that my mind usually envisions them jamming by a campfire in the woods. What’s even better is I imagine I’m there with them singing along and worshipping the great creative spirit that inspires their music. There’s such an unpretentious, inclusive sense of community and spirituality in their music that I can’t help but feel welcomed and embraced into the family.

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)

Jackie O Motherfucker – Change [Tour Edition]

Style: Free Folk, Mystical Americana, Post-Rock

Vibe: Ragged, Deconstructed, Rustic, Warm, Communal, Ritualistic, Messy, Raw, Triumphant, Mystical, Eerie

Musical Qualities: Group Vocals, Collective Improvisation, Acoustic, Loose, Lo-fi

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vibraphone, Slide Guitar, Fiddle, Saxophone, Drums, Upright Bass

Don Cherry – Organic Music Society

Style: World Fusion, Spiritual Jazz, Avant-Folk

Influences: Raga, Brazilian Folk, Minimalism, Turkish Folk, African Music

Vibe: Utopian, Communal, Spiritual, Warm, Hindu, Hypnotic, Colorful, Meditative, Sunny, Uplifting, Peaceful

Musical Qualities: Repetitive, Percussive, Acoustic, Polyrhythmic

Irreversible Entanglements – Open the Gates

Style: Free Jazz, Future Jazz, Jazz Poetry, Liberation Music

Vibe: Ritualistic, Triumphant, Aquatic, Communal, Futuristic, Philosophical, Poetic, Anthemic, Cerebral, Confident, Conscious, Determined, Epic, Existential, Groovy, Healing, Heavy, Liberation, Political, Powerful, Rebellious, Evocative, Mystical, Intertwined

Musical Qualities: Thematic, Collective Improvisation, Acoustic Instrumentation, Spoken Word, Progressive Structures, Rhythmic, Polyphonic, Dynamic, Complex, Dub Fx

Jamire Williams – But Only After You Have Suffered

Style: Future Jazz, Organic Beat Music, Jazz Rap, Collage Pop

Vibe: Triumphant, Spiritual, Quilted, Poetic, Communal, Conscious, Christian

Musical Qualities: Sound Collage, Vignettes, Sampling, Beats, Rapping, Spoken Word, Rhythmic, Polished, Loops

Ben Lamar Gay – Open Arms to Open Us

Style: Creative Music, Future Jazz, Organic Beat Music, Pan-Americana, Art Pop

Vibe: Romantic, Sci-Fi, Determined, Triumphant, Colorful, Eclectic, Communal, Futuristic, Groovy, Rootsy, Spiritual, Warm

Musical Qualities: Thematic, Polyphonic, Percussive, Polyrythmic, Percussive, Improvisation, Electro-Acoustic, Progressive

Pelt – Reticence / Resistance

Style: Psychedelic Drone, Free Folk

Vibe: Ritualistic, Hypnotic, Cathartic, Earthy, Psychedelic, Communal

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Drone, Improvisation, Live, Dissonant, Instrumental, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Piano, Fiddle, Harmonium, Gong, Bells, Singing Bowl, Percussion, Banjo

Carlos Niño & Friends – More Energy Fields, Current

Featuring Laraaji, Shabaka Hutching, Sam Gendel, Jamire Williams, Aaron Shaw, Sharada, Jamael Dean, Nate Mercereau, Jira ><, Adam Rudolph, Devin Daniels

Style: Ambient Jazz, Ambient Beats, New Age

Vibe: Healing, Airy, Soothing, Woozy, Peaceful, Hypnotic, Aquatic, Communal, Spiritual

Musical Qualities: Atmospheric, Improvisation, Beats, Sampling, Sound Sculpture, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Field Recordings

Charlie Haden / Liberation Music Orchestra – Ballad of the Fallen

Style: Experimental Big Band, Avant-Garde Jazz, Flamenco

Vibe: Mournful, Communal, Political, Anthemic, Conceptual, Conscious, Liberation, Sombre, Traditional

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Suite, Acoustic, Complex, Dynamic, Thematic Improvisation, Instrumental, Orchestral, political, Technical

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

Archie Shepp – Attica Blues

Style: Soul-Jazz, Avant-Garde Big Band, Vocal Jazz

Vibe: Conscious, Communal, Political, Passionate, Poetic, Groovy, Lush

Musical Qualities: Suite, Orchestral, Improvisation, Rhythmic, Spoken Word

Gunter Christman, Torsten Muller, LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams – White Earth Streak

Style: Free Improvisation

Vibe: Abstract, Frenetic, Responsive, Primal, Active Listening, Surreal

Musical Qualities: Atonal, Collective Improvisation, Percussive, Acoustic

Instrumentation: Trombone, Upright Bass, Viola, Violin, Banjo, Experimental Vocals, Electric Guitar

Sturgill Simpson – Cuttin Grass – Vol. 2 (Cowboy Arms Sessions)

Style: Progressive Bluegrass, Americana, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Energetic, Heartfelt, Rootsy, Communal, Passionate, Sunny, Warm

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Lyrical, Fast, Technical

Instrumentation: Mandolin, Fiddle, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Banjo, Upright Bass

David Crosby – If Only I Could Remember My Name…

Style: Folk Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Cosmic Americana

Vibe: Dreamy, Hippy, Longing, Bittersweet, Airy, Autumnal, Warm, Loose, Peaceful, Ethereal, Introspective, Psychedelic, Hypnotic, Mellow, Meandering, Stoned, Communal

Musical Qualities: Vocal Harmonies, Heavy Reverb, Jams

Cecil McBee – Mutima

Style: Free Jazz, Spiritual Jazz, Post-Bop

Vibe: Mysterious, Nocturnal, Adventure, Spiritual, Communal, Eclectic, Epic, Meditative

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Improvisation, Progressive, Thematic

Don Cherry – Om Shanti Om

Style: Ecstatic Folk-Jazz, Devotionals

Vibe: Communal, Spiritual, Ritualistic, Uplifting, Earthy, Intertwined, Mystical, Religious, Warm

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Chants, Collective Improvisation, Percussive

Earthforce – Earthforce

Released in 2021 on Lion Productions Recorded 1977, Archival Release Format: LP, includes 12-page 12″ booklet Style: British Folk, Psych … More

Mourning [A] BLKstar – The Cycle

Style: Avant-Soul, Psychedelic Funk, Trip-Hop

Vibe: Heartfelt, Passionate, Raw, Reflective, Communal, Intimate, Afrofuturism, Nocturnal, Political, Mournful, Eclectic, Powerful

Musical Qualities: Progressive, Groovy, Dynamic, Beats

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!

Style: Chamber Rock, Post-Rock

Vibe: Climactic, Triumphant, Epic, Anti-Imperialist, Anthemic, Communal, Apocalyptic, Suspenseful

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Instrumental, Atmospheric, Field Recordings, Progressive, Suite, Droney

Between – And the Waters Opened

Style: Psychedelic Chamber Music, Kosmische Musik, Ritual-Folk, Global Fusion

Vibe: Spiritual, Meditative, Communal, Psychedelic, Earthy, Forest, Ritualistic, Tribal

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Atmospheric, Chamber, Droney, Raga, Percussive, Chants

Instrumentation: Oboe, Keyboards, Conga, Acoustic Guitar, Bamboo Flute

Bardo Pond – Volume 8

Style: Free Psych, Space Rock, Jam Band, Shoegaze

Vibe: Adventurous, Communal, Cathartic, Murky, Epic, Psychedelic, Exploratory, Monolithic, Stoned

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Droney, Atmospheric, Fuzzy, Loose, Riffs

75 Dollar Bill – Live at Tubby’s

Style: Psychedelic Jazz, Jam Band, Post-Minimalism, Free Rock

Influences: Tishoumaren, Free Jazz, Kosmische Musik, Minimalism

Vibe: Hypnotic, Communal, Psychedelic, Earthy

Musical Attributes: Collective Thematic Improvisation, Live, Loose, Microtonal, Odd Time Signatures, Repetitive, Percussive

Pharoah Sanders – Wisdom Through Music

Style: Spiritual Jazz



Vibe: Joyful, Passionate, Spiritual, Uplifting, Warm, Love, Colorful, Communal, Cosmic, Earthy, Energetic, Groovy



Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Chants, Africa-Influenced, India-Influenced, Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Percussive

The Awakening – Hear, Sense and Feel

Style: Soul Jazz, Spiritual Jazz

Vibe: Uplifting, Joyful, Anthemic, Communal, Groovy, Spiritual, Spring

Musical Attributes: Complex, Improvisation (Chordal), Rhythmic, Technical, Thematic

Instrumentation: Piano, Upright Bass, Trumpet, Saxophone (Tenor), Flute, Drums, Trombone

Pharoah Sanders – Live at the East

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Free Jazz

Vibe: Ritualistic, Spiritual, Triumphant, Uplifting, Warm, Cathartic, Communal, Cosmic, Energetic, Intense, Passionate

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Acoustic, Live, Polyphonic, Percussive, Multiple Drummers

Decolonize Your Mind Society – A Courteous Invitation to an Uninhabited Anabatic Prism

Style: Psychedelic Rock, Free Rock, Jam Band, Tishoumaren-Influenced

Vibe: Groovy, Hypnotic, Colorful, Ritualistic, Communal, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Microtonal (Just Intonation), Improvisation (Collective), Instrumental, Progressive, Repetitive, Rhythmic, Thematic

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

Sunburned Hand of the Man – Fire Escape

The free-form psychedelia and tribal “group therapy” of Sunburned Hand of the Man are in great hands with producer Kieran Hebden (Four Tet)—his dubs and cuts transform their usually lo-fi, meandering jams into something much more immediate, without losing any of their exploratory and spontaneous energy. Recommended for fans of polyrhythmic Afro-inspired percussion, dubbed out production, communal sound rituals, and dense psychedelia.

Sly & the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On

Style: Psychedelic Funk

Vibe: Triumphant, Energetic, Anthemic, Communal, Rebellious, Groovy, Sunny, Psychedelic, Powerful, Confident, Eclectic, Complex

Pharoah Sanders – Village of the Pharoahs

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Free Jazz
Vibe: Communal, Earthy, Energetic, Hypnotic, Intense, Loose, Mystical, Passionate, Spiritual, Tribal, Uplifting, Warm, Dance
Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Complex, Collective Improvisation, Percussive, Dense, Thematic, Suite

Ornette Coleman Double Quintet – Free Jazz

Style: Free Jazz

Vibe: Communal, Bombastic, Complex, Energetic, Passionate, Chaotic

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Dense, Instrumental, Acoustic, Dynamic, Polyphonic

James Holden & the Animal Spirits – The Animal Spirits

These communal sound rituals express a digital-era longing to reconnect to the Earth. The grooves here are circular and ceremonial, not rooted to any specific musical traditions but borrowing from many, including cosmic jazz, kosmische musik and undoubtedly inspired by Holden’s collaboration with legendary Gnawa musician Maleem Mahmoud Ghania. Drums and percussion ground the proceedings while muscular sequencer and fiery saxophone arpeggiations hypnotically intertwine.  The sounds of fluttering recorder and modular synthesizer swirl through the air like offerings to the cosmos. 

Recommended for fans of The Comet is Coming, Tonto’s Exploding Head Band, Maleem Mahmoud Ghania & Pharoah Sander’s Trance of Seven Colors, Natural Information Society, Colin Stetson

Irreversible Entanglements – Who Sent You?

Irreversible Entanglements follows up the scathing fire music of their debut with regenerative and ritualistic earth music. “Who Sent You?”, is a record that looks not only to the violent “rhythms of oppression”, past and present, that need to be burnt to the ground, but to a future built from the ashes of these unjust systems. Irreversible Entanglements are simply one of the most powerful bands in existence, building their symbiotic improvisations with fervent passion, hypnotic rhythm, and urgent truths.

Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings

Released in 2018 on International Anthem Recording Co. Format: LPx2

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.

Creative Construction Company – CCC

Featuring some of Chicago’s finest musicians and founding members of the AACM, (Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Richard Davis, Wadada Leo Smith, and Steve McCall), this 36 minute spontaneous composition doesn’t focus on soloing or instrumental technicality or rambunctious improvisIng, but creating and progressing an initially suspenseful, mysterious mood through focused, cohesive movements, with new sounds, moods, and melodies around every corner. Most of the musicians here play multiple instruments to sustain a versatile color palette.

Exuma – Exuma

Exuma’s first album is a powerful and ritualistic masterpiece of spiritual folk from the Bahamas. Exuma, the Obeah Man, is a master storyteller and preacher, sharing visions, myths, and prayers. His expressive, soulful voice takes on many tones as he delivers his musical sermons, from smooth to raspy, soft to confident. A group of singers, percussionists, whistlers, and toads join him and his acoustic guitar, making me imagine them all circled around a large fire in communal worship and grateful that they let us listeners in on it.

Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids – An Angel Fell

An Angel Fell is a call to action for protecting and healing our planet, using folklore, group vocals, uplifting themes, deep grooves, and expressive improvisations to deliver the message. While not as wild and loose as the dense free jazz the Pyramids made back in the 70s, this record is an organic and vibrant fusion of spiritual jazz, dub, and Afrobeat that will give fans of musical geniuses such as Sun Ra, King Tubby, Fela Kuti, and Pharoah Sanders plenty to vibe to.

Irreversible Entanglements – Irreversible Entanglements

“Four relentless bouts of inspired fire music forged from the true spirit of free jazz, driven by searing poetic narrations of Black trauma, survival and power” (from press release)

Click for review

Charlie Haden – Liberation Music Orchestra

“The music in this album is dedicated to creating a better world; a world without war and killing, without racism, without poverty and exploitation; a world where men of all governments realize the vital importance of life and strive to protect it rather than destroy it. We hope to see a new society of enlightenment and wisdom where creative thought becomes the dominant force in all people’s lives” – Charlie Haden