InitiateGoing through literally thousands of albums over a 20-year span to choose a mere 20 albums is a difficult task. This was daunting enough, so I set up some guidelines. My choices had to be new albums at the time; no reissues or 'lost' albums seeing release for the first time. (It was really difficult to remove the Residents' Cube E Box set from the list, so I'm cheating and mentioning it in the text.) So, for perhaps the first time, there are no Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, or Sun Ra albums on one of my lists. Also, they had to be albums that knocked me out on first listen and are still being played frequently either at home or on my radio show, not just something I liked when I first listened to it. There are bound to be glaring oversights. If time allowed, I could probably do this again and come up with a completely different list. Then there are the albums that weren't on the lists that I looked through that have already escaped my mind and are therefore not in contention. So here are my choices, in no order whatsoever.

Kazutoki Umezu – Eclecticism
The Nels Cline Singers – Initiate
Boris with Michio Kurihara – Rainbow
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Apocalypse Inside of an Orange
John Zorn – O’o
Kiss Me Screaming – Kiss Me Screaming
Granfaloon Bus – Schlafwagen (Sleeping Car)
Danny! - Where is Danny?
Tipographica – God Says I Can't Dance
Mike Keneally – Hat
Bad Livers – Delusions of Banjer
Elliott Sharp's Terraplane – Blues for Next
Jonas Hellborg/Shawn Lane/Apt. Q-258 – Temporal Analogues of Paradise
Vernon Reid – Mistaken Identity
Horace Silver – Prescription for the Blues
Dieselhed – Elephant Rest Home
Mushroom –Analog Hi-Fi Surprise
Roads to Space Travel – Ballad Jazz Waltz
Salo – Sundial Lotus
Ghost – Hypnotic Underworld
DJ Q-Bert – Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Music
Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Party Intellectuals