(In order, however — notable gap between first and last as aesthetic objects as opposed to object of temporal pleasure.)
Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, One Night Stand! (RCA/Columbia, 2005) I somehow missed (addy change?) that this set had been so sound-upgraded from my 1984 original vinyl. I thought that the fusion of CBS and RCA was one of the only merger-mad moves that was wholly good. RCA had been doing a wretched job with its back catalogue for decades. And the Harlem Square Club show had been hard to find. If you need me to tell you how important it is to hear the only recorded session of Cooke being loose in front of a [secular] black audience, you’re reading the wrong blog.
Siria, Mestre Cupijo e seu Ritmlo (Analog Africa) This was a first listen to an Xgau pick. Lively and idiomatic horn charts do lead the way. Which counts. Yes, varied fun, track after track. Wish I knew what it was about. Nothing too extreme, I suspect.
Eljuri, La Lucha (Manovill/self-released). Those guitar runs. The new/old-school hooks. Important for the 2016 list. Determined to write about this.
Elza Soares. S/T A collection or a something from 1974 which is perfectly enjoyable, interesting and fun enough all the way through — unless you have 100s of records that do the same thing better. Does cut down on the need to ever hear it again.