by Jason Boucher
There were so many wonderful reissues made available in 2022. Here are the 25 reissues, or re-releases of the year.
Little Feat Waiting For Columbus (Rhino)
“The platinum-certified double album WAITING FOR COLUMBUS cemented Little Feat’s reputation as one of the premier live bands of the 1970s. Touching on songs from all six of the studio albums the group released between 1971 and 1977, the dynamic performances showcase the sextet’s inimitable fusion of blues, country, jazz and New Orleans R&B…” – Rhino.com
Al Cisneros Sinai Dub Box: 2012-2022 (Drag City)
From Sleep and Om, Cisneros knows stoner rock and doom metal. Dub also fits in right? “7×7” box set containing three unreleased tracks plus remastered songs originally released on Sinai,ZamZam and Drag City labels. Also includes Sinai patch and sticker.” – dragcity.com
Branko Mataja Over Fields and Mountains (Numero Group)
“Recalling Ennio Morricone spaghetti westerns, the electrified belly dance music of Omar Khorshid, and ’90s bedroom psychedelia at once, the music of Branko Mataja is from its own epoch. Snatched from the streets of Belgrade as a teenager, Mataja spent World War 2 in a German work camp, escaping the insanity of post-war Europe to settle in North Hollywood to live out the American Dream to its fullest. Crafting handmade music on homemade guitars throughout the 1970s, Mataja taught himself to play in order to pay homage to his ancestral home of Yugoslavia, a place he would never return to except through these guitar meditations.” – numerogroup.com
Bear’s Sonic Journals: The Foxhunt, The Chieftains Live in San Francisco 1973 & 1976 (Owsley Stanley Foundation)
“The 1973 recording finds The Chieftains on their first tour in the U.S., playing an unscheduled gig at Jerry Garcia’s invitation to open for his bluegrass band, Old & In The Way. The evening presented the perfect pairing of Irish traditional music, and its cousin, American bluegrass. The 1976 recording includes a second complete concert recorded by Bear, this time at the Great American Music Hall. If The Chieftains arrived in San Francisco as relative unknowns in ’73, they returned in ’76 as a global sensation, headlining before a sold-out crowd at a larger venue.” – Owsley Stanley Foundation
Sonic Youth In/Out/In (Three Lobed Recordings)
“A collection of almost entirely instrumental tracks recorded during Sonic Youth‘s final decade, would make for a crucial record if it was the only thing they ever recorded. For this writer, who worshiped at their guitar-driven noise-pop altar in the 1980s and then more or less wrote them off as washed-up careerists by the mid-1990s, hearing this collection is a joy. It also shows that songs they had forgotten along their late-career path present a band far from irrelevant, tired, or bereft of ideas. Like their SYR series, In/Out/In allows Sonic Youth to explore while offering a few surprises along the way.” – popmatters.com
Various Artists Studio One Music Lab (Soul Jazz)
This collection on Soul Jazz Records delves deep into a melting pot world of reggae and funk and dub created at the music laboratory of 13 Brentford Road, Kingston in the 1970s – an intense collaboration of crack musicians, singers, DJs and engineers under the guidance of producer Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd. – Sounds of the Universe
Pat Matshikiza Sikiza Matshikiza (We Are Busy Bodies)
“Recording for the As-Shams/The Sun label in the 1970s, Pat Matshikiza released the collaborative album Tshona! with sax giant Kippie Moeketsi in 1975. The album was followed in 1976 by Sikiza Matshikza, Pat’s solo debut with Moeketsi appearing as a featured artist. The personnel on the album were an early iteration of the group that would become Spirits Rejoice in 1977, with Duke Makasi on tenor sax, George Tyefumani on trumpet, Sipho Gumede on bass, Gilbert Mathews on drums and Sandile Shange on guitar.” – We Are Busy Bodies
Various Artists WaJazz: Japanese Jazz Spectacle Vol.I – Deep, Heavy & Beautiful Jazz from Japan 1968-1984, The Nippon Columbia Masters selected by Yusuke Ogawa (Universounds)
“From blazing hard bop to free jazz, to introspective saxophone solos and massive big band sounds, renowned Japanese jazz expert Yusuke Ogawa presents an essential 14 track collection of “WaJazz” music taken from the Nippon Columbia vaults. Featuring Jiro Inagaki, Minoru Muraoka, Hiroshi Suzuki, Hozan Yamamoto, Count Buffalo, Takeshi Inomata, and much more!” – lightintheattic.net
Ferkat Al Ard Oghneya (Habibi Funk)
“An absolutely legendary album from Lebanon by Issam Hajali’s group Ferkat Al Ard, “Oghneya” stands out as one of the great musical gems of the Arab world. A groundbreaking release from 1978 that represents the meeting point of Arab, jazz, folk and Brazilian styles with the talent of Ziad Rahbani, who did the albums arrangements. Filled with a variety of sounds and genres, from Baroque Pop to Psych-Folk to flashes of Bossa Nova, Tropicalia and MPB, “Oghneya” is like if Arthur Verocai took a trip to Beirut in the 70’s to record an album.” – Habibi Funk
The Pyramids AOMAWA: The 1970s Recordings (Strut)
“Box set bringing together the incredible 1970s recordings of Afrofuturism pioneers The Pyramids, led by saxophonist Idris Ackamoor. The set features the remastered LPs Lalibela, King Of Kings and Birth / Speed / Merging alongside the first ever vinyl issue of their live session for KQED TV in 1975. The accompanying 12-page 12”-sized booklet features extended interviews with The Pyramids by Francis Gooding and a host of unseen photos.” – Strut
Alhaji K. Frimpong Abrabo (Hột Casa)
“Classic and essential Hi-life & Afro funk album from one of the greatest Ghanaian singers and composers, reissued for the first time. The legendary Alhaji Kwabena Frimpong’s fantastic rare album was recorded in 1984 in Hamburg, Germany. As a prolific songwriter and singer, the reissue of this amazing album, which is a modern fusion of Hi-life and Soul, includes the famous Cubanos Fiesta Band with members of Vis-A-Vis and more.
Neu! 50! (Grönland)
“Krautrock pioneers NEU! have unveiled the NEU! 50! box set to mark the 50th anniversary of their self-titled debut album. This collection includes a tribute album of re-workings and covers by The National, Idles, Mogwai, They Hate Change, and more.
NEU! 50! compiles the first three albums released by the German duo — comprised of Michael Rother and the late Klaus Dinger — along with the NEU! Tribute Album. The CD set also includes NEU ’86, the long-delayed reunion album last revived in 2010 for their most recent box set.” – Consequence.net
Various Artists Jazz Dispensary: Haunted High LP (Craft Recordings)
Jazz Dispensary’s Record Store Day favorite compilation series came back on Black Friday with exploration into the furthest depths of outer space… and one’s mind. Features tracks by Flora Purim, Mongo Santamaría, Barbara Lewis and much more. Available on pink splatter vinyl.
Miles Davis That’s What Happened 1982-1985: The Bootleg Series Vol. 7 (Columbia / Legacy)
“Includes two discs of previously unreleased studio material–from the Star People, Decoy and You’re Under Arrest sessions–and a third disc showcasing Miles Davis Live in Montreal on July 7, 1983; the collection comes in a slipcase with individual album mini-jackets and a booklet featuring liner notes by Marcus J. Moore and revelatory new interviews with Miles’ 80’s players including Vince Wilburn, Jr. (drummer and bandmate), John Scofield (electric guitarist), Darryl Jones (bassist), Marcus Miller (bassist) and Mike Stern (guitarist).
Also features Miles Davis Live at Theatre St. Denis in Montreal, Canada on July 7, 1983. The recording showcases one of Miles Davis’ final great bands including John Scofield on guitar, Bill “The Other Bill Evans” Evans on saxophones, flute and electric piano, Darryl Jones on bass, Al Foster on drums and percussionist Mino Cinélu. Miles was back in amazing form (“incandescent and iridescent as ever”) when he mounted the stage at the Theatre St-Denis during the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal in July 1983.” – MilesDavis.com
Blondie Against the Odds, 1974 – 1982 (Numero Group)
“In what has become another major year for Blondie, the New York legends mark a career milestone with the release of the first ever authorized and in depth archive in their history, a rarity for a band almost 50 years into their career with 40 million records sold. The set is available in 4 different configurations.” – Numero Group
Various Artists John Sinclair Presents: Detroit Artists Workshop (Strut)
“Art Yard and Strut present the culmination of a 7-year project researching the archives of author, DJ and activist John Sinclair with the first ever retrospective of the influential Detroit Artists Workshop spanning 1965 to 1978.
Between the mid-‘60s and the early ‘80s, Sinclair amassed a huge archive of recordings from the Workshop concerts featuring Detroit residents like Moore’s Contemporary 5, Ron English and Lyman Woodard alongside many other US jazz luminaries including Donald Byrd, Sun Ra Arkestra and Herbie Hancock. Dormant in the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit for many years, Strut and Art Yard began their research into the archives in 2015. This first compilation of Detroit Artists Workshop is a revelation for any fan of jazz, featuring previously unreleased recordings by Byrd, Moore, English, Woodard, Bennie Maupin and Teddy Harris accompanied by extensive sleeve notes from John Sinclair, Robin Eichele and Herb Boyd.” – Strut
Thus All of Thus (Guersson)
This is one of the rarest teen-garage albums on Century Records. Fantastic original songs and imaginative covers (walk on by). From garage-punk to folk-rock, beat, even psych. Not too bad for four high school kids from Victor, NY who pressed only 256 copies of this record … and then got noticed later that year by some of the record labels. Such a great recording!
Charles Stepney Step on Step (International Anthem)
“A double LP collection of home recordings marking the de-facto eponymous debut album by enigmatic producer, arranger, and composer Charles Stepney (1931-1976). The music that makes up Step on Step was created by Stepney alone, in the basement of his home on the Southside of Chicago, sometime in the late 1960s and early 1970s, before his untimely death in 1976.
A Chicago born and bred arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Stepney is known for his work with Earth, Wind & Fire, Denice Williams, and Ramsey Lewis, and as a staff producer for Chess Records in the 1960s, where he was an essential creative force behind seminal recordings by Rotary Connection, Minnie Riperton, Marlena Shaw, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Terry Callier, The Dells, The Emotions, and many more.” – International Anthem
Raphaël Stop, Look, Listen (Sdban Records)
“Genre-defying jazz album originally released on library label Selection Records in 1972. American pianist and composer Phil Raphaël was born in New York where he played with Charlie Parker, Jon Eardley and Howard McGhee, but a 1951 recording with Red Rodney for Prestige Records is the single remaining trace of his bebop days. Raphaël appeared under unknown circumstances in Belgium in the 1960s, playing among others at the 1966 Jazz Bilzen festival, and he eventually settled in Brussels. A multifaceted musician, he did not limit himself to jazz and also worked in pop groups, directed the music for the spectacle Hair, and even had a brief residency at Pol’s Jazz Club where he played the music of Johann Sebastian Bach four nights per week.
His album ‘Stop, Look, Listen’, which was recorded with the rhythm section of Babs Robert’s group, consists of four long genre-defying tracks colored by the dreamlike vocals of opera singer Rose Thompson. A surreal blend of genres, hard to pin down. It’s highly imaginative jazz, that much is sure. Raphaël shifts from serene late night piano jazz to more free or even spiritual passages, magnificently paired with the otherworldly vocals of Rose Thompson.” – Sdban Records
Teddy Lasry Funky Ghost 1975-1987 (Hot Mule)
“From the blissfully evocative meditations of ‘Raising Sun In Bali’ to the hypnotic mallet strikes of ‘Birds Of Space’, the album is compelling throughout, revealing hidden secrets with each listen. Among the most immediate of the titles are the heavy funk flex and jazz flute solos of ‘Los Angeles’, the rolling swagger and cosmic charm of ‘Krazy Kat’, and the faintly spooky but altogether jaunty atmospherics of the compilation’s title track. Elsewhere, the prog-leaning virtuosity of ‘Chamonix’ leaves an indelible mark, while the unabated jazz flute of Blue Theme’ provides yet another triumph. Last but not least, the cinematic scope of ‘Back To Amazonia’ glides like a Golden Eagle, as emotive pads and sparse percussion evoke images of morning mist rising over virgin rainforest.” – Juno Daily
“One of the great reissues of the year.” – BBC 6 Music
Grateful Dead In and Out Of The Garden: Madison Square Garden ’81, ’82, ’83 (Rhino)
“Numbered and limited to 12,500, this 17 CD set celebrates the band’s rich history at “the world’s most famous arena,” introducing six previously unreleased shows recorded at MSG between 1981 and 1983. It offers a front-row seat to the Dead in the early 80s, an overlooked and underestimated era of rebirth for the band. At the time of the recordings, the group featured Brent Mydland. Mydland’s vocal power and colorful keyboard palette energized the band, invigorating older material like “The Wheel,” “Truckin’” and “Eyes of The World.” He also gave the band more musical flexibility, which encouraged them to dust off rarely aired treasures like “Dupree’s Diamond Blues” and “Crazy Fingers.” -dead.net
Various Artists Excavated Shellac: An Alternate History of The World’s Music (Dust to Digital)
“This compilation features 100 recordings and 100 stories in an extensive, beautifully-illustrated, 186-page book with detailed, contextual mini-histories about both musical origins and the beginnings of the recording industry. The writing addresses the complexities of colonialism, economic agendas, and cultural tourism.” – Dust To Digital
Various Artists PUNK 45: I’m A Mess! D-I-Y Or Die! Art, Trash & Neon: Punk 45s In The UK 1977-78 (Soul Jazz)
“This new collection of punk and D-I-Y rare 45s from the UK were made as a one-off pressing limited-edition double LP for Record Store Day 2022. Soul Jazz Records’ long-lasting Punk 45 series are high-quality editions of early punk 45s. While previous editions have focused on LA, Cleveland, Akron, France, and proto-punk, this new edition focuses on mainly self-released 45s made in the UK.” – Sounds of the Universe
R.E.M. Adventures in Hi Fi (Warner / Craft)
“25th-anniversary edition of R.E.M.’s tenth studio album, New Adventures in Hi-Fi. First released in 1996, the album was R.E.M.’s last studio recording with founding member Bill Berry who left amicably the following year. As the band’s fifth collaboration with long-time producer Scott Litt (Green, Out of Time, Automatic for the People and Monster), the album experiments with new sonic textures, filled with cinematic imagery, dissonant notes and haunting effects. The platinum-selling title includes the singles “Electrolite,” “E-Bow the Letter” (featuring Patti Smith) and “Bittersweet Me,” and represents R.E.M.’s longest studio release with a total run time of 65 minutes.” – roughtrade.com
Yasuaki Shimizu Kiren (Palto Flats)
“This month sees the release of Kiren, an unreleased album from 1984 on which Shimizu’s saxophone is pitted against an array of hiccuping samples, marimbas, off-kilter drum programming, and spiky melodies.” – Bandcamp Daily