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Gilad Hekselman - This Just In (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz


Artist: Gilad Hekselman
Title: This Just In
Genre: Jazz
Label: © Jazz Village | Harmonia Mundi
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 50:37
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Michael Perez-Cisneros at Peter Karl Studios, December, 2011 - January, 2012


This Just In is the compelling fourth studio album by Gilad Hekselman. It plays out like a news broadcast, peppered with short, improvised news breaks that highlight his compositions and their openness to a multitude of influences. Jazz, rock, folk, African, Israeli and North Indian classical music are dispersed throughout the album where Gilad’s harmonic creativity and rhythmic mastery prove to be natural elements of the melodic virtuosity that has become his trademark. Leading his powerful trio with Joe Martin on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums and guest saxophonist Mark Turner, Gilad Hekselman’s deliciously dynamic music truly shines.
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Florence + the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Florence + the Machine
Title: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Genre: Pop Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Blues Rock, Left-Field Pop, Baroque Pop
Label: © Island Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:09:52
Recorded: 2014


The result is How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, a collection of songs, written and recorded over the course of 2014. Produced by Markus Dravs (Björk, Arcade Fire, Coldplay) with contributions from Paul Epworth, Kid Harpoon and John Hill, the third album by Florence + the Machine is live-sounding, tune-rich, unhinged in all the right places and powerful in all the best ways. In voice and, ultimately, outlook Florence has never sounded better.
Markus has done a few Arcade Fire albums, Florence tells us, and he s done Björk s Homogenic, which is a huge record for me. And I felt he had that balance of organic and electronic capabilities, managing those two worlds. And, you know, he s good with big sounds. And I like big sounds. And he s good with trumpets, and I knew I wanted a brass section on this record, she adds of a group of musicians who were arranged by Will Gregory of Goldfrapp.
And with Markus, Florence continues, clarifying, I wanted to make something that was big but that had a gentleness to it. That had a warmth, that was rooted. I think that s why we went back more to the live instruments. Something that was band-led almost.
A prime example is the future Florence classic Ship To Wreck: it opens the album, and showcases Florence and Dravs enthusiasm for reframing her distinctive voice.
Ship To Wreck was written with Kid Harpoon, the London-based songwriter/producer with whom she d written Ceremonials Grammy-nominated Shake It Out , during a month-long creative furlough in Los Angeles that also yielded first single What Kind Of Man : a full-force ear-pinning anthem of uplifting defiance.
Kid Harpoon is one of a clutch of old collaborator friends who reunited to help marshal these most personal of songs. Ceremonials producer Paul Epworth helped create the album closing psychedelic blues explosion Mother, while the inner-circle of her nearest and dearest was rounded out by her bandmate and long-time studio right-hand-woman Isa Summers, with whom she wrote the epic title track.
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was the first song I wrote for this record, literally as I just came off tour, she explains, and then I went off and had this incredibly chaotic year, and that all went into the record. But in the end, the feeling of How Big How Blue is what I came back to.
The trumpets at the end of that song that s what love feels like to me. An endless brass section that goes off into space. And it takes you with it. You re so up there. And that s what music feels like to me. You want it just to pour out endlessly, and it s the most amazing feeling.
It s alchemy. It s magic. It s the return of Florence + the Machine.
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Ella Fitzgerald - Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! (1961/2012) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
Title: Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!
Genre: Jazz, Standards, Traditional Pop, Vocal Jazz, American Popular Song
Label: © Verve Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1961/2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ISO SACD
Duration: 50:26
Recorded: 22-23 June 1961 in Los Angeles
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound


Fourteen numbers from the heyday of swing, composed sometime between 1930 and 1945, played and sung time and time again in ballrooms, or on the radio to advertise biscuits or war bonds, were recorded by Ella Fitzgerald in completely new and personal interpretations in 1961.
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! is absolutely top notch as regards to musicality; perfect recording quality, superb accompaniment by a small ensemble, with room for improvisations; it offers a wonderful opportunity to discover something new in these evergreens. The songs of this recording conjure up bygone days, with listeners in the 21st century being offered a highly personal homage to one of the most successful periods in the 100-year history of jazz!
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Einojuhani Rautavaara - The Journey - Lahti Symphony Orch, Osmo Vanska (2004) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Сomposer: Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928)
Artist: Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä
Title: Einojuhani Rautavaara - The Journey
Genre: Classical
Label: © BIS Records AB
Release Date: 2004
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: eclassical.com
Duration: 56:41
Recorded: September 2001 (Violin Concerto) and January 2002 (Symphony No. 8) at the Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland


Einojuhani Rautavaara, the grand old man of Finnish music, became instantly famous when his 7th Symphony, Angel of Light (BIS-CD- 1038), became a great success in Europe and the USA. The composer’s highly individual mix of modernism, mystical romanticism and love of the natural world has struck a deep chord with the audiences, and what in a Gramophone review of a recent disc of his songs (BIS-CD-1141) was called “Rautavaara’s genius as a communicator” will be obvious in the present programme too.

The composer, in his own liner notes, writes about Symphony No.8 ‘The Journey’: “Composed in the last year of the twentieth century, it might be described as a parallel process to the passage of time; to be a journey through the century – not a programmatic illustration, but a similar journey through time and through the world.” The Violin Concerto is an earlier work, from the end of the 1970s, the exuberant ending of which was inspired by the fact that it was composed in New York: “when from my studio window I saw the Downtown skyscrapers, with their thousands of windows in which lights were switched on and off incessantly through the day and night, when I heard Fifth Avenue’s constantly changing, unending current of sound, I knew that the violin solo had to live its last moments passionately, persistently piercing the orchestral texture right to the end.”

The two scores are in the more than capable hands of Osmo Vänskä and his Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Famed for their interpretations of Sibelius’s music, the team has also had great success with the works of more modern compatriots such as Joonas Kokkonen and Kalevi Aho. Jaakko Kuusisto, the soloist in the violin concerto, will be familiar to all BIS followers for his recordings of the chamber music of Sibelius, as well as for his acclaimed performance of the solo violin part in Kalevi Aho’s Third Symphony (BIS-CD-1186).
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Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges - Side By Side (1959/2012) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges
Title: Side By Side
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Swing, Mainstream, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Verve Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1959/2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ISO SACD
Duration: 46:14
Recorded: August 14, 1958 at Nola Studios, New York City; February 20, 1959 at Columbia Studios, New York
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound


When Norman Granz signed Johnny Hodges to a recording contract in 1951, it was a prelude to Hodges' leaving the Duke Ellington orchestra to lead his own small band. Four years later Hodges was back in the Ellington fold, but he continued to record for Granz under his own name. Side By Side, recorded in 1958 and 1959, is a throwback to the small-group sessions Ellington recorded with Hodges and other members of his orchestra in the Thirties, but with a couple of important differences: the absence of Ellington himself on several cuts (with Billy Strayhorn taking over on piano), and the presence of such notable non-Ellingtonians as drummer Jo Jones and trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Harry "Sweets" Edison.
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Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges Play the Blues - Back To Back (1959/2012) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges
Title: Back To Back - Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges Play the Blues
Genre: Jazz, Swing, Louisiana Blues, Piano Blues
Label: © Verve Records | Analogue Productions
Release Date: 1959/2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ISO SACD
Duration: 47:15
Recorded: Columbia Studios, New York, NY, February 20, 1959
Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound


Back to back, or side by side, Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges form a duo which, in terms of sustained jazz artistry, has never been rivaled. The Ellington fanciers will be well rewarded, for there are many passages of Duke’s unusual and charming solo improvisations. “Johnny Hodges,” Duke said, “has complete independence of expression. He says what he wants to say on the horn, and that is it. He says it in his language, from his perspective, which is specific, and you could say that his is pure artistry.” Hodges carries most of the melodic statements of well-known blues standards, but gets in his share of ad lib choruses along with the swinging trumpet of Harry “Sweets” Edison. This is one of the most thoroughly relaxed, conversational jazz sessions ever recorded.
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Dele Sosimi - You No Fit Touch Am (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Dele Sosimi
Title: You No Fit Touch Am
Genre: Jazz Funk, Afrobeat, Fela Kuti, Nigeria, World
Label: © Wah Wah 45s
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: delesosimi.bandcamp.com
Duration: 53:04


Wah Wah 45s are very proud to present the first full-length album in almost a decade from vocalist, keyboard player, Fela Kuti collaborator and afrobeat legend, Dele Sosimi!
You No Fit Touch Am represents where Dele is today – something of an untouchable force in the music scene that he has always been such a vital part of. The title is an uncompromising message that this man means business, and with his mammoth afrobeat orchestra on board that is definitely the case. Recorded at the Fish Market Studios in North-West London by Benedic Lamdin (AKA Nostalgia 77) the album provides a musical representation of Dele’s strong socio-political opinions, as well as delivering classic song-writing that could have come straight out of 1970s Lagos!
Born in Hackney, East London, but soon to return to his parents’ native Nigeria at the age of four, Dele Sosimi was schooled and raised in Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s shadow at the height of early 70s afrobeat. Having been chosen by Fela to join his band at somewhat of a tender age, he was still a young man when sharing Fela’s Glastonbury stage in 1984, and became both Musical Director for both Fela’s Egypt 80 and Femi Kuti’s Positive Force.
After Fela’s passing in 1997, Dele went on to concentrate on his own solo career and, with diligent patience, carved out his own afrobeat crown. In London, where he now resides, his Afrobeat Vibration all-nighters are charged with his passion, labours and his unrelenting spirit.
Following on from his first two studio albums, Turbulent Times and Identity, this third long-player is sure to cement Dele Sosimi’s position as a major player within afrobeat and beyond!
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D'Angelo And The Vanguard - Black Messiah (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: D'Angelo And The Vanguard
Title: Black Messiah
Genre: R&B, Soul, Jazz Funk
Label: © RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 56:01
Recorded: M.S.R. Studios, Hydra SF, Henson Studios, The Plant, Sear Sound, Avatar Studios and Quad Studios. Mixed at M.S.R. Studios and Henson Studios.


D'Angelo and The Vanguard’s highly anticipated and much buzzed about brand new album, Black Messiah. Nearly 15 years in the making, Black Messiah contains 12 tracks of timeless music with poignant and provocative lyrics that requires repeat listening at maximum volume! On the album, D’Angelo is joined by his band, The Vanguard, alongside Pino Palladino, James Gadson and Questlove on various tracks on the album. All lyrics were written by D’Angelo in addition to Q-Tip and Kendra Foster who both wrote lyrics on several songs.
D’Angelo had this to say about Black Messiah in the album’s forward: "‘Black Messiah’ is a hell of a name for an album. It can be easily misunderstood. Many will think it’s about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I'm calling myself a Black Messiah. For me the title is about all of us. It's about the world. It's about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah. It’s about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and everyplace where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It's not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them. Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are) but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where these songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It's a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader."
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Commodores - United (1986/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Commodores
Title: United
Genre: Soul, Funk, R&B, Quiet Storm, Disco
Label: © Polydor Records
Release Date: 1986/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:43:45
Recorded: 1986, Soundcastle, Conway Studios, Motown Recording Studios


After over a decade at Motown, the Commodores moved to Mercury/PolyGram with 1986's United. By that time, the group's lineup consisted of British singer J.D. Nicholas (a Heatwave graduate who came on board in 1984) and original members Walter Orange (lead vocals, drums), William King (percussion, trumpet, synthesizers), and Milan Williams (keyboards). Lionel Richie (who was selling millions of records as a solo artist), Thomas McClary, and Ronald LaPread were all gone. An abundance of studio musicians and outside songwriters are employed on this high-tech, pop-minded urban contemporary outing, and not surprisingly, the Commodores no longer sound distinctive. Orange (who shares the lead vocals with Nicholas) is still recognizable, but even so, United doesn't really sound like a Commodores album. Although wildly uneven, the record has its moments. "Goin' to the Bank" (which climbed to number two on Billboard's R&B singles chart) and "Take It From Me" (both of which feature Orange) are infectious synth-funk items, and Nicholas has a pleasant spot on the adult contemporary ballad "United in Love." But most of the material (which was produced by Dennis Lambert, James Carmichael, and others) is forgettable. Again, United has its moments, but it pales in comparison to 1970s classics like Movin' On, Caught in the Act, and Hot on the Tracks. --Alex Henderson
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Chris Potter, Underground Orchestra - Imaginary Cities (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz


Artist: Chris Potter, Underground Orchestra
Title: Imaginary Cities
Genre: Jazz, Modern Creative, Experimental Big Band, Post-Bop, Orchestral Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:11:11
Recorded: December 2013 Avatar Studios, New York


Imaginary Cities, an album of great power and expressive range, is the recording premiere of saxophonist Chris Potter’s new Underground Orchestra. At the core of this larger ensemble is the personnel of his long-established Underground quartet – with Adam Rogers, Craig Taborn and Nate Smith – now joined by two bassists, a string quartet, and Potter’s old comrade from Dave Holland Quintet days, vibes and marimba virtuoso Steve Nelson.
The title composition is a suite, panoramic in its reach, with movements subtitled “Compassion”, “Dualities”, “Disintegration” and “Rebuilding”. The scope of the work, and its contrasting moods and thematic continuity, inspire some of very Potter’s finest playing, including some extraordinary solos. His saxes fly high above his imaginary cityscapes or launch into dialogues or group improvising with its gifted inhabitants. Four further pieces – “Lament”, “Firefly”, “Shadow Self” and “Sky” – extend the feeling of the suite, successfully combining both tightly written material and very open areas involving all members of the orchestra. References are multi-idiomatic and multicultural, and Potter, who counts Charlie Parker with Strings amongst his formative enthusiasms, had Arabic and Indian string sections in mind, as well as contemporary composition, when shaping this material. The track “Shadow Self”, meanwhile, reflects the influence of Béla Bartók.
Potter assembled the Underground Orchestra originally in response to an invitation to present music at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York. “There was an idea that it could be something that I hadn’t done before. So I started with the Underground quartet, with Craig Taborn on acoustic piano in this case [as opposed to the Fender Rhodes he usually plays in the small group] and then kept adding more and more players. No bass player in the Underground group? Well, I’ll have two this time. In my mind I was hearing a real thick rhythm section sound, also with vibraphone and piano. The way Fima [Ephron] and Scott [Colley] play together and improvise together makes a lot of things work in this music. And then the strings … eight or nine years ago I’d done an album called Song for Anyone where I’d written a little for strings. I didn’t want a classical-meets-jazz feeling. I wanted it all to be completely integrated. And, in places, the lines between the written material and the improvised material would be a little blurred, and the strings would improvise, too.” Not the least of the achievements of Imaginary Cities is the way in which Potter has extended the tremendous rhythmic drive of his Underground band into his music for the larger group.
The concept of the four movement structure of “Imaginary Cities” emerged slowly: “It really evolved from the writing. I had this idea of imaginary cities, a non-specific utopian idea of how the modern city could be better. Not that I’m writing a manifesto of what I think urban planning could be…It just seemed like a compelling way to organize my thoughts. It started out just being one tune and then I saw how one theme could migrate to another mood and continue it and be another aspect of the same thing. So it ended up being four movements with thematic development through the whole thing.” Potter says that he conceives of the whole album – the suite and the four additional songs arranged for the same musicians – as one unified sound.
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