My Fav-O-Rite New and Old Records of 2017, Considered from the Position of Listening to Them to Ward Off Fear and Despair

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What can I tell you? I’d hoped things (i. e., our American life) would be much better by now, since I last posted a lazy list–for the time being, I cannot write, a kind of impotence I am sure is related to political distraction. However, “fury and fire” are the order of the day, so I guess I’ll be leaning even harder on music to get me from rising from my pillow in the morning to lowering my head back upon it at night. These records keep me believing in a decent future, and in a humanity that continues to evolve. Big ups to St. Louis’ Black Artists Group contingent, my research into which has been exciting; to the Golden Pelicans, who are the Black Oak Arkansas of hard-ass punk rock; to the ebullient Eno Williams, who powers the exultant Ibibio Sound Machine; to Tyshawn Sorey, who is always looking for a way forward; and to the indefatigable musical exploration of John Corbett, who’s damn-near supplanted every other music writer in my esteem. I’ve taken the time to link all the new releases to clips for you to enjoy (that is, except for Jay Z, because, as nice as his old-dude album is technically and artistically, I’m done for now with caring about the lives of the very rich), and I did my best to do the same for the older rekkids I am digging, but…shit, you know how to get to YouTube, correct?

TOP 70 New Releases of the First 2/3rds of 2017:

  1. Zeal and Ardor: Devil is Fine
  2. Ibibio Sound Machine: Ibibio Sound Machine
  3. Orchestra Baobab: Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng
  4. Harriet Tubman: Araminta
  5. Various Artists: Miracle Steps (Music from The Fourth World 1983-2017)
  6. Golden Pelicans: Disciples of Blood
  7. William Parker: Meditation – Resurrection
  8. Preservation Hall Jazz Band: So It Is
  9. Tyshawn Sorey: Verismilitude
  10. Rhiannon Giddens: Freedom Highway
  11. The Perceptionists: Resolution
  12. Steve Earle and The Dukes: So You Wannabe an Outlaw?
  13. Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for The South Side
  14. Mostly Other People Do The Killing: Loafer’s Hollow
  15. Sarah Shook and the Disarmers: Sidelong
  16. Angaleena Presley: Wrangled
  17. Various Artists: Battle Hymns
  18. Obnox: Niggative Approach
  19. Aram Bajakian: Dalava–The Book of Transfigurations
  20. Syd: Fin
  21. Steve Lacy: Steve Lacy’s Demo (EP) (Not the late jazz soprano master Steve Lacy, BTW!)
  22. Kendrick Lamar: Damn
  23. Sampha: Process
  24. Jens Lekman: Life Will See You Now
  25. Thurst: Cut to the Chafe
  26. Filthy Friends: “Any Kind of Crowd”/”Editions of You”
  27. Cloud Nothings: Life Without Sound
  28. Arto Lindsay: Cuidado Madame
  29. Body Count: Blood Lust
  30. Les Amazones D’Afrique: Republique Amazone
  31. Oddisee: The Iceberg
  32. Tamikrest: Kidal
  33. Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit: The Nashville Sound
  34. John Escreet: The Unknown
  35. James Luther Dickinson: I’m Just Dead I’m Not Gone (Lazarus Edition) READ THE BOOK!
  36. (The Late) Mariem Hassan: La Voz Indominata
  37. Trio 3: Visiting Texture
  38. Jay-Z: 4:44
  39. Burnt Sugar: All You Zombies Dig The Luminosity
  40. Alice Coltrane: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
  41. Shabazz Palaces: Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star
  42. New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions
  43. Garland Jeffreys: 14 Steps to Harlem
  44. Tony Allen: A Tribute to Art Blakey
  45. Randy Weston: African Nubian Suite
  46. Gato Preto: Tempo
  47. Tinariwen: Elwan
  48. Shina Williams: Agb’oju L’Ogun
  49. Let’s Eat Grandma: I, Gemini
  50. Hurray for the Riff Raff: The Navigator
  51. Various Artists: Mono No Aware
  52. Karreim Riggins: Headnod Suite
  53. Various Artists: Outro Tempo–Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992
  54. Omou Sangare: Mogoya
  55. Daddy Issues: Can We Still Hang?
  56. Nots: “Cruel Friend” / “Violence”
  57. Bob Dylan: Triplicate
  58. Damaged Bug: Bunker Funk
  59. Tomasz Stanko: December Avenue
  60. Black Lips: Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art
  61. Chuck Berry: Chuck
  62. Joe King Cologbo & High Grace: Sugar Daddy
  63. Don Bryant: Don’t Give Up On Love
  64. Public Enemy: Nothing is Quick in the Desert
  65. Shabazz Palaces: Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines
  66. David S. Ware: Live in New York City 2010
  67. Thundercat: Drunk
  68. Elliott Sharp, Mary Halvorson, and Marc Ribot: Err Guitar
  69. Erica Falls: Home Grown
  70. Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: Ruler Rebel

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65 Great Older Releases That I’ve Bought in ’17 That I Still Can’t Get Enough Of

(If it’s bolded, I’ve been hooked on the thing quite seriously)

  1. Allison, Mose: I’m Not Talkin’—The Song Stylings of Mose Allison 1957-1972
  2. Avengers: Died for Your Sins
  3. Les Amazones de Guinée: Au coeur de Paris & M’mah Sylla (Bolibana Collection)
  4. Anderson, Fred, and Hamid Drake: …together again
  5. Astatke, Mulatu: Mulatu of Ethiopia
  6. Black Artists Group: In Paris 1973
  7. Blythe, Arthur: Illusions
  8. Bowie, David: Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74)
  9. Carmichael, Hoagy: Music Master
  10. Case, Neko: The Tigers Have Spoken
  11. Cochran, Wayne: Wayne Cochran!
  12. Cohran, Philip: Armageddon
  13. Coursil, Jacques: Trails of Tears
  14. The Creation: Action Painting
  15. Curtis, King: Instant Soul–The Legendary King Curtis
  16. Davis, Anthony: Episteme
  17. Dion: Kickin’ Child–The Lost Album 1965
  18. Dion and The Belmonts: Together Again
  19. d/j Rupture: Minesweeper Suite
  20. E: E
  21. Eggleston, Cozy: Grand Slam
  22. Evans, Bill: Some Other Time–The Lost Session from the Black Forest
  23. Fela: The Best of Black President, Volume 2
  24. Fela: Live in Detroit
  25. Gibbs, Melvin: Ancients Speak(all hail Pete Cosey!)
  26. Gonzalez, Dennis: Idle Wild
  27. Gonzalez, Dennis: Nile River Suite
  28. Hemphill, Julius: Coon Bidness
  29. Human Arts Ensemble: Whisper of Dharma
  30. Ink Spots: These Cats Are High
  31. Instant Composers Pool: Aan & Uit
  32. Jamal, Ahmad: The Awakening
  33. JJ DOOM: Bookhead
  34. King: We Are King (would have been in my 2016 Top Ten had I been on the ball)
  35. Kyle, K. Curtis: The Collected Poem for Blind Lemon Jefferson
  36. London Jazz Composers Orchestra: Theoria
  37. McGann, Bernie: Playground
  38. McPhee, Joe: “The Loneliest Woman”
  39. Monk, Thelonious: Soundtrack to Les Liaisons Dangereuses
  40. Orchestra Regionale De Mopti
  41. Various Artists: Spiritual Jazz #7—Islam
  42. Patrick, Pat, and Baritone Retinue: Sound Advice
  43. Perry, Lee Scratch: Dub Triptych
  44. Perry, Lee Scratch: Presents African Roots
  45. Perry, Lee Scratch: Voodooism
  46. Prince: Purple Rain – 2017 Deluxe Remaster
  47. Prince Jazzbo: Ital Corner
  48. Pullen, Don, and Beaver Harris: A Well-Kept Secret
  49. Revelators: …we told you not to cross us (20th Anniversary Edition)
  50. Spontaneous Music Ensemble: Face to Face
  51. Stanko, Tomasz: Leosia
  52. Sun Ra: The Space Age Is Here to Stay
  53. This Heat: Out of Cold Storage
  54. Thomas, Luther, and Human Arts Ensemble: Funky Donkey Vols. 1 & 2
  55. Thornton, Clifford: The Panther and The Lash
  56. Morgan, Lee: Live at The Lighthouse
  57. Various Artists: After-School Special—The 123s of Kid Soul
  58. Various Artists: Hanoi Masters–War is A Wound, Peace is a Scar
  59. Various Artists: Killed by Death #5
  60. Various Artists: The Original Sounds of Mali
  61. Various Artists: The Poppyseeds–The Sound of Crenshaw
  62. Various Artists: Songs from Saharan Cell Phones, 1 & 2
  63. Washington, Dinah: Live at Newport 1958
  64. White, Ruth: Flowers of Evil
  65. Wray, Link: Three-Track Shack