Aquiles Navarro & Tcheser Holmes

Style: Future Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: History, Collage, Futuristic, Eclectic, Complex

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Percussive, Electro-Acoustic, Spoken Word, Suite

King Crimson – Islands

Style: Progressive Rock, Jazz-Rock, Chamber Music

Vibe: Pastoral, Mythical, Mysterious, Epic, Bombastic, Mellow, Aquatic, Dreamy

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Progressive, Complex, Improvisation, Uncommon Time Signatures

Instrumentation: Electric Guitar, Mellotron, Saxophones, Flute, Piano, Drums, Electric Bass, Upright Bass, Cornet, Oboe

Embryo – We Keep On

Style: Jazz-Rock, Prog, Kosmische, Psychedelic Jazz, Space Rock

Vibe: Exploratory, Triumphant, Adventurous, Cosmic, Epic, Groovy, Spacey, Playful, Psychedelic

Musical Qualities: Polyphonic, Complex, Improvisation, Percussive, Polyrhythmic, Progressive, Raga, Technical

Instrumentation: Saxophones (Soprano & Alto), Flutes, Nadaswaram, Mallet Percussion (Vibraphone, Marimba, Hammered Dulcimer), Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Drums, Percussion, Saz, Keyboards (Piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet)

Ilyas Ahmed & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – You Can See Your Own Way Out

Style: Drone, Tape Music, Ambient, Drone-Folk

Vibe: Nocturnal, Haunting, Hypnotic, Ethereal, Meditative, Warm, Nature, Nostalgia

Musical Qualities: Sound Collage, Instrumental, Field Recordings, Collage, Electro-Acoustic, Noisy, Home Recording, Vignettes

Instrumentation: Tapes, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Piano, Drum Machine, Synthesizers, Bass, Keyboard, Percussion, Bass Clarinet (B2)

Meg Baird – Don’t Weight Down the Light

Style: Psychedelic Folk, Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Flowing, Dreamy, Nocturnal, Mellow, Soothing, Introspective, Haunting, Pastoral, Airy, Ethereal, Intimate Bittersweet, Melancholy, Contemplative, Loner, Peaceful, Soft

Musical Qualities: Vocal Harmonies, Acoustic, Lush, Melodic, Sparse, Reverb

Muhal Richard Abrams – Colors in Thirty-Third

Style: Creative Music, Chamber Jazz, Free Jazz, Post-Bop

Vibe: Colorful, Sentimental, Impressionistic, Eclectic, Energetic, Introspective

Musical Qualities: Acoustic, Dynamic, Poly-free Improvisation, Complex, Spacious

Cecil Taylor / Buell Neidlinger – New York City R&B

Style: Free-Bop, Avant-Jazz

Vibe: Jubilant, Kinetic, Energetic, Abstract, Chaotic, Rootsy

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Acoustic, Polyphonic, Complex, Live

Peter Hammill – The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage

Style: Progressive Songwriter, Art Rock

Vibe: Dramatic, Intimate, Longing, Existential, Theatric, Lonely, Alienation, Ambitious

Musical Qualities: Dynamic, Complex, Progressive, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Piano, Vocals, Guitars (Acoustic & Electric), Organ, Horns, Flute, Keyboards, Saxophone, Flute, Drums, Mellotron

Califone – Heron King Blues [Deluxe]

Style: New Weird Americana, Warped Folk Rock, Psych Folk

Vibe: Twangy, Cryptic, Mythic, Surreal, Mysterious, Rustic, Mellow, Warm, Rootsy

Musical Qualities: Percussive, Loops, Electro-Acoustic, Rhythmic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Improvisation

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Percussion, Organ, Piano, Vocals, Electronics, Cello, Electric Guitar, Pump Organ, Bass

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

Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah – Ancestral Recall

Style: Organic Beat Music, Spiritual Jazz, Cybernetic Jazz, Progressive Jazz

Vibe: Ritualistic, Triumphant, Poetic, Tribal, Afro-Futurism, Epic, Moody, Earthy

Musical Qualities: Beats, Structured Improvisation, Polyrhythmic, Progressive, Percussive

Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man

Style: Soul Jazz, Singer/Songwriter, Jazz-Funk

Vibe: Conscious, Bittersweet, Political, Uplifting, Sunny, Warm, Urban, Sombre, Poetic, Contemplative, Observant, Passionate, Determined, Confident

Musical Qualities: Groovy, Lush, Spoken Word, Technical

Eberhard Weber’s Colours – Silent Feet

Style: Chamber Jazz, ECM Jazz

Vibe: Impressionistic, Peaceful, Lush, Triumphant, Climactic, Open, Airy, Bright

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Acoustic, Instrumental, Melodic, Improvisation (Structured, Chordal), Dynamic, Technical

Instrumentation: Upright Bass, Soprano Sax, Piano, Drums

Mulatu Astatke – Timeless

Style: Ethio-Jazz, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Jazz Funk

Vibe: Serpentine, Groovy, Warm, Mysterious, Lush

Musical Attributes: Live, Rhythmic, Improvisation, Live, Percussive, Technical

Gastr Del Sol – Camofleur

Style: Post-Rock, Avant-Rock, Experimental Singer/Songwriter, Chamber-Folk

Vibe: Cryptic, Warm, Cerebral, Spring, Exploratory, Eclectic, Melancholy

Musical Attributes: Odd Time Signatures, Progressive Structures, Melodic

Robert Wyatt – Shleep

Style: Surreal Pop, Imaginative Singer/Songwriter, Prog-Pop, Canterbury Scene

Vibe: Dreamy, Ethereal, Airy, Floating, Surreal, Eclectic, Introspective, Complex, Mellow, Imaginative, Atmospheric

Musical Attributes: Progressive, Melodic, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Active listening, Jazz-Influenced

Robert Wyatt – Old Rottenhat

Style: Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Art Pop, Canterbury Scene, Jazz-Rock

Vibe: Political (Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Imperialist), Satirical, Conscious, Melancholy, Hypnotic

Musical Attributes/Instrumentation: Sparse, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Layered Vocals, Digital Keyboards, Drum Machines, Percussion, Synthesizers, Piano

Yves Jarvis – The Same but by Different Means

Style: Psychedelic Gospel Folk, Bedroom Soul, Experimental Singer/Songwriter

Vibe: Woozy, Imaginative, Cryptic, Warm, Ethereal, Stoned

Musical Attributes: Lo-fi, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Vocal Harmonies, Vocal Manipulation, Eclectic, Collage

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

Califone – All My Friends Are Funeral Singers

Style: New Weird America, Alt-Country, Psychedelic Americana, Chamber Folk

Vibe: Rustic, Rootsy, Bittersweet, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Chamber, Percussive, Studio-as-an-instrument, Rhythmic, Electro-Acoustic, Loops

Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Fiddle, Mallet Percussion, Horns, Electronic Percussion, Upright Bass, Electric Bass, Piano

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

Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra – Dimensional Stardust

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Experimental Big Band

Vibe: Cosmic, Energetic, Passionate, Colorful

Musical Attributes: Complex, Dynamic, Progressive, Suite, Polyrhythmic, Spoken Word

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

John Surman, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Karl Berger, Stu Martin – Where Fortune Smiles

Style: Free Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Triumphant, Energetic, Epic, Exploratory, Loose, Spiritual, Suspenseful, Angular, Chaotic

Musical Attributes: Polyphonic, Progressive, Complex, Dissonant, Dynamic, Technical, Acoustic, Improvisation (Collective, Thematic), Instrumental

Doug Carn – Spirit of the New Land

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Black Liberation Music, Vocal Jazz

Vibe: Triumphant, Uplifting, Conscious, Groovy, Passionate, Poetic, Cathartic, Spiritual

Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Dynamic, Acoustic, Progressive, Rhythmic, Technical, Melodic, Complex

Sixteen Horsepower – Folklore

Style: Gothic Country, Americana, Chamber Folk
Vibe: Rustic, Sombre, Murky, Rootsy, Ominous, Loner, Western, Melancholy, Moody, Dark
Musical Attributes: Acoustic Instrumentation (Banjo, Upright Bass, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Accordion, Piano), Atmospheric, Droney, Slow, Lyrical
Lyrical Themes: Alienation, Religious, Christian, Storytelling

Lonnie Holley – Mith

Style: Experimental Singer-Songwriter, Soul Blues, Psychedelic Soul

Vibe: Imaginative, Bluesy, Cathartic, Conscious, Cosmic, Spiritual, Heartfelt, Passionate, Psychedelic, Rootsy, Bittersweet, Poetic

Lyrical Themes: Existential, Afro-Futurism, History, Racism, Reflective

Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Lyrical, Improvisation, Raw, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Vocals, Piano, Synthesizers, Keyboards, Saxophone, Trombone, Percussion

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.

John Coltrane – Live at the Village Vanguard Again!

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Free Jazz
Vibe: Passionate, Spiritual, Exploratory, Triumphant, 
Musical Attributes: Complex, Modal, Thematic, Acoustic, Live, Improvisation, Dynamic, Instrumental

Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness

Style: Chamber Pop, Art Pop
Vibe: Lush, Ethereal, Imaginative, Sensual, Storytelling, Surreal, Intricate, Airy, Dreamy
Instrumentation: Vocals, Keyboards (Piano, Harpsichord, etc), Upright Bass, Strings, Drums, Saxophone

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

Gruppe Nuova Consonanza – Improvisationen

Style: Free Improvisation, Experimental, Tape Music

Vibe: Suspenseful, Active Listening

Musical Attributes: Collective Improvisation, Atonal, Sparse, Dynamic

Instrumentation: Trumpet, Upright Bass, Cello, Trombone, Percussion, Piano, Electro-Magnetic Tape

The Necks – Vertigo

Style: Free Improvisation, Post-Minimalism, Trance Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Suspenseful, Hypnotic, Epic, Anxious, Impressionistic

Musical Attributes: Atmospheric, Repetitive, Droney, Dissonant, Electro-Acoustic, Collective Improvisation, Minimalistic

Cecil Taylor – Conquistador

Style: Free Jazz
Vibe: Abstract, Energetic, Passionate, Complex
Musical Attributes: Improvisation, Polyphonic, Polyrhythmic, Dissonant, Poly-Free

Anthony Davis – Epistēmē

Style: Poly-Free Improvisation, Modern Classical, Avant-Garde Big Band

Vibe: Complex, Hypnotic, Intense, Suspenseful, Cerebral

Musical Attributes: Polyrhythmic, Polyphonic, Odd Time Signatures, Acoustic, Poly-Free Improvisation, Repetitive

Instrumentation: Orchestral, Mallet Percussion (Marimba, Vibraphone, etc) Violin, Cello, Piano, Trombone, Drums, Flute, Bass Clarinet

Cecil Taylor – Unit Structures

Album Information: Originally released in 1966 on Blue Note Records Recorded May 19, 1966 1973 Reissue Format: LP Personnel: Cecil … More

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Tracing Back the Radiance

Washes of piano, harp, and other ephemeral sonic artifacts float through Ledesma’s peaceful, almost static atmospheres like a night breeze through the quiet woods.

Circle – Paris-Concert

While more cerebral than emotive, this live set is a frenzied demonstration of what four virtuosic musicians sound like when they give in to the intuitive whims of collective improvisation. Even when playing a composition, this quartet will stretch and mutate the melody into every possible pattern without ever playing it directly. The group interplay is often bombastic and can be overwhelming, but thankfully they vary the dynamics through mellower sections, as well as solo and duo pieces.