Julius Hemphill – Dogon A.D.

Style: Free Jazz

Vibe: Hypnotic, Ritualistic, Driving, Intertwined, Fire, Mystical, Powerful, Complex

Musical Qualities: Ostinato, Collective Improvisation, Thematic, Uncommon Time Signatures, Acoustic, Repetitive, Polyphonic, Rhythmic

Instrumentation: Alto Saxophone, Cello, Trumpet, Drums, Flute

John Coltrane – Sun Ship

Style: Spiritual Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz

Vibe: Cathartic, Transcendent, Triumphant, Passionate, Intense, Chaotic, Powerful, Adventure, Searching, Spiritual

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dense, Dynamic, Complex, Acoustic, Thematic, Dissonant, Technical

King Khan – The Infinite Ones

Style: Psych-Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Spiritual Jazz, Afrobeat

Vibe: Sunny, Mysterious, Triumphant, Groovy, Serpentine, Psychedelic, Warm, Spiritual, Ancient, Cosmic, Eclectic, Energetic, Mystical, Retro-Futuristic

Musical Qualities: Rhythmic, Percussive, Thematic, Polyphonic, Suite

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

Angel Bad Dawid – Transition East

Style: Organic Beat Music, Spiritual Jazz, Cosmic Folk

Vibe: Intertwined, Hypnotic, Earthy, Warm, Spiritual, Cosmic

Musical Qualities: Polyrhythmic, Percussive, Acoustic, Improvisation, Electro-Acoustic, Beats

Instrumentation: Clarinet, Keyboards, Piano, Drum Machine, Percussion, Cornet, Upright Bass, Pocket Trumpet

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)

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

Luke Stewart & Jarvis Earnshaw Quartet

Style: Free Jazz

Vibe: Powerful, Energetic, Cosmic, Kinetic, Driving

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Dynamic, Acoustic, Instrumental

Instrumentation: Upright Bass, Sitar (w/ Electronics), Drums, Saxophone

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

Jahari Massamba Unit – Pardon My French

Style: Black Classical Music, Spiritual Jazz, Organic Beat Music

Vibe: Kinetic, Spiritual, Playful, Groovy, Exploratory, Elegant, Intertwined, Retro, Loose

Musical Qualities: Improvisation, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Percussive, Acoustic, Rhythmic, Dubbed Out

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

Rob Frye – Exoplanet

Style: Kosmische Jazz, Analogue Electronic

Vibe: Exploratory, Hypnotic, Adventurous, Mystical, Focused, Spacey

Musical Qualities: Pulse, Improvisation, Instrumental, Headphone Album, Odd Time Signatures, Polyphonic, Progressive

Instrumentation: Flute, Cornet, Organ, Wurlitzer, Synthesizers, Woodwinds, Double Drummers

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

Natural Information Society with Evan Parker – descension (Out of Our Constrictions

Style: Avant-Garde Jazz, Ecstatic Post-Minimalism, Psychedelic Trance Music, Gnawa-Influenced

Vibe: Hypnotic, Meditative, Psychedelic, Ecstatic, Spiritual, Cathartic, Mosaic,

Musical Qualities: Collective Improvisation, Live, Minimalistic, Acoustic, Instrumental, Polyphonic, Polyrhythmic, Repetitive

Instrumentation: Guimbri, Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Harmonium, Drums

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

Josh Abrams & Natural Information Society

Style: Psychedelic Jazz, Creative Music, Post-Minimalism

Influences: Gnawa, Kosmische Music, Spiritual Jazz, Minimalism

Vibe: Earthy, Hypnotic, Exploratory, Mysterious, Ritualistic, Psychedelic

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Improvisation, Minimalistic, Percussive, Polyrhythmic

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

Shabaka & the Ancestors – We Are Sent Here by History

Style: South African Jazz, Spiritual Jazz, Progressive Jazz

Vibe: Conscious, Intense, Ritualistic, Cathartic

Lyrical Themes: History, Politics, Death, Spirituality

Musical Attributes: Acoustic, Complex, Spoken Word, Technical

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

Albert Ayler – New Grass

One can only imagine how Ayler bringing more commercial styles like R&B, Rock, and Gospel into his avant-garde music messed with critics and fans alike when it came out—the way it looked like commercial pandering to the Free Jazz listeners but was probably still too weird for new listeners. It helps to remember that Ayler came from R&B and went straight to the Free Spiritual Jazz of the early 60s, making Jazz critics highly skeptical skeptical by not climbing the bebop ranks like Coltrane before plunging into freedom. On New Grass, Ayler really started to synthesize the spiritual elements of many forms of Great Black Music, making more accessible music not as a way of selling out, but a way of sharing his beautiful spiritual message and sound with a wider audience. Plus this thing has Bernard Purdie on drums so of course it slaps.
If you dig this LP, I think he succeeded in this sound direction even more on his following albums Love Cry and Music is the Healing Force of the Universe. Albert Ayler was a pure soul that left this world too soon, grateful for the gifts of music and wisdom he left behind.

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

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

Herbie Hancock – Mwandishi

Released in 1971 on Warner Bros. Format: LP, white label promo

Natural Information Society & Bitchin Bajas – Automaginary

On Automaginary, the Gnawa-inspired cosmic jazz of Natural Information Society is augmented by the flowing textures of Chicago new age trio Bitchin Bajas to create an album of enveloping drones and trance-inducing rhythms. (Follow link for full Review)

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.

Kamasi Washington – The Epic

Kamasi Washington and his band The Next Step, pick up where their forefathers and mothers left off by making spiritual jazz that respects the jazz canon without getting stuck in the past. This album ranges from free to groovy to melodic without losing sight of its mission. The inclusion of such a large band, an orchestra, a choir, and even a turntablist allows an infinite, colorful array of tonal and dynamic possibilities. 

John Coltrane – Interstellar Space [Review]

A couple of months before his death in 1967, John Coltrane went into the studio with drummer Rashied Ali to record some of the most free recordings he’s ever made, the freest of free jazz. Perhaps this freeness is due to the absence of other tonal instruments, leaving Coltrane untethered to harmony and 100% free to play whatever raw, unhindered creativity flows through him.