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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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Chris Botti - Impressions (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Chris Botti
Title: Impressions
Genre: Jazz, Standards, Contemporary Jazz, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: AacousticSounds
Duration: 01:03:04
Recorded: Ocean Way Recording; Chartmaker Studio; Newman Scoring Stage; Record One, Los Angeles; Air Lyndhurst Hall; The House; British Grove


Trumpeter Chris Botti follows up his 2007 classical-themed album Italia and his smash 2009 concert album Live in Boston with 2012's Impressions. In many ways, Impressions combines the best of those two earlier albums by featuring more of the classical crossover and Latin-inflected style of Italia with a few pop reinterpretations and a handful of guest vocalists as in much of his previous work. Produced by famed fusion drummer and longtime Botti associate Bobby Colomby, Impressions is a languid and expertly crafted album in which Botti's burnished, lyrical trumpet tone is often framed against lush orchestrations via arrangers including Vince Mendoza, Gil Goldstein, and others. To these ends, we get a gorgeous take on Frédéric Chopin's Prelude No. 20 in C Minor, a duet with opera star Andrea Bocelli on the David Foster/Botti composition "Per Te [For You]," and a moving, Miles Davis-inspired duo version of R. Kelly's "You Are Not Alone" featuring guitarist Leonardo Amuedo. Also intriguing are such cuts as Botti's brooding and sultry collaboration with jazz piano legend Herbie Hancock on "Tango Suite," his yearning, cinematic take on Astor Piazzolla's "Oblivion" with violinist Caroline Campbell, and his stark duet on the Gershwin standard "Summertime" with pianist Foster. Elsewhere, we get a Broadway-inspired rendition of Randy Newman's "Losing You" featuring country singer Vince Gill, a re-pairing with guitarist Amuedo on the classic "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and an inspired interpretation of the Louis Armstrong number "What a Wonderful World" featuring guitarist/singer Mark Knopfler. As with most of Botti's oeuvre, Impressions is a lyrical, romantic, and impeccably produced album that makes the most of the trumpeter's generous skills. --Matt Collar
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Cher - Closer To The Truth (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Cher
Title: Closer To The Truth
Genre: Pop, Electronic, Club/Dance, Dance Pop
Label: © Warner Bros. Records
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 53:46
Recorded: July 2011 – April 2013


Closer to the Truth is the twenty-sixth solo studio album by American singer-actress, Cher. Released in September 2013, it is her first record since Living Proof nearly 12 years earlier. This marks the longest gap in Cher's six-decade album release history. The first single from Closer to the Truth, "Woman's World" was released in the US and Canada on June 18, 2013. Closer to the Truth includes songwriting from Timbaland and P!nk, plus performances by the latter as well as the Scissor Sisters and Jake Shears.
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Charles Lloyd - Manhattan Stories (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Charles Lloyd
Title: Manhattan Stories
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Hard Bop, Avant-Garde, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Resonance Records
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:25:52
Recorded Live At Judson Hall, NYC, September 3, 1965 & Slugs' Saloon, NYC, 1965


Manhattan Stories is a trip back in time, a journey to a long gone and long-missed era. It's a window into the great Charles Lloyd's art at a period of transition. The shows presented on this beautifully packaged two-disc set—one recorded at the infamous Slugs' Saloon in the summer of 1965, the other recorded at Judson Hall in September of the same year—took place shortly after Lloyd left the employ of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and before he became a cross-over sensation and hero to hippies, moving a million units of Forest Flower: Charles Lloyd At Monterey (Atlantic, 1966).
In terms of chronology and discography, these shows line up best with Of Course, Of Course (Columbia, 1965), an album that was recorded across multiple sessions in 1964 and 1965. Said album, in its original state, featured Lloyd alongside bassist Ron Carter, guitarist Gabor Szabo, and drummer Tony Williams; when Mosaic Records reissued the album in 2006 as part of its Mosaic Singles line, bonus tracks from October of 1965 were added, with bassist Albert Stinson and drummer Pete La Roca replacing the Carter-Williams combination on two tracks—"Island Blues" and "Sun Dance"—and guitarist Robbie Robertson making an appearance on the latter number. Here, on both sets, it's Lloyd, Szabo, Carter and La Roca—the Charles Lloyd Quartet of the time—making magic.
The Judson Hall show, one part of the 1965 edition of Charlotte Moorman's New York Festival of the Avant-Garde, is Lloyd at his finest. He plays like a man possessed during a lengthy "Sweet Georgia Bright," a number which features some awe-inspiring exchanges and overlaps between his saxophone and Szabo's brittle-toned guitar. "How Can I Tell You" is a tender musical expression with memorable solo work, but it doesn't play out as expected. When La Roca's drums are in full bloom they push against the dreamy nature of the piece. The quartet finishes off with Szabo's "Lady Gabor," a mystery-laced number. The show only lasts a bit longer than forty minutes, but these men make every second count. And while it would be decades before Lloyd would take on the mantle of musical spirit guide on his ECM releases, traces of that artist-to-be can be found here, both during his saxophone cadenza toward the end of "How Can I Tell" and through his flute wanderings on "Lady Gabor."
The set from Slugs' Saloon starts out as a snapshot of a noisy room, but the music quickly reorients the ears. The program starts out with "Slugs' Blues," a loping number with a slightly Monk-ish quality that heats up as it moves on. "Lady Gabor" comes next, coming across as a more intriguing alternative to the version from Judson Hall. Szabo's trance-inducing guitar work steals the show, La Roca is nimble and deft, and Carter provides ballast throughout; his bass is heard and felt here. The final number from this performance is a "Dream Weaver" that flows and grooves.
The sound quality police—yes, those persnickety people who split hairs and then split them again—will probably quibble over trivial things on this one, but the sound quality is actually remarkably good considering the circumstances of these recordings. No matter how you slice it, this is significant music that needs to be heard in order to fully appreciate the full scope of an important artist's work. This is musical manna, not from heaven, but from the horn(s) of Charles Lloyd. --Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
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Cannonball Adderley with Milt Jackson - Things Are Getting Better (1958/2004) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Cannonball Adderley with Milt Jackson
Title: Things Are Getting Better
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Soul Jazz, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Riverside Records | Fantasy
Release Date: 1958 (RLP 12-286)/2004
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ISO SACD
Duration: 00:52:33
Recorded: October 28, 1958, Reeves Sound Studio, New York City

This title provides ample evidence why alto Cannonball Adderley is considered one of the masters of his craft. Here he joins forces with Modern Jazz Quartet co-founder Milt Jackson on vibes to create a variety of sonic atmospheres. They are backed by the all-star ensemble of Wynton Kelly on piano, Percy Heath on bass, and the one and only Art Blakey on drums. The moody "Blues Oriental" opens the set with Jackson immediately diving in with his trademark fluid runs and shimmering intonation. Adderley counters with a light and lively line that weaves between the rhythm section. The optimistic "Things Are Getting Better" is a good-natured romp as the co-leads trade and cajole each other into some downright rollicking exchanges. This directly contrasts with the sultry "Serves Me Right," which allows the combo members to demonstrate their collective musical malleability. The interaction between Adderley and Jackson sparkles as they entwine their respective playing with an uncanny singularity of spirit. The cover of Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" contains another spirited performance with some thoroughly engaging improvisation, especially during Adderley's voracious solos. "Sidewalks of New York" bops freely as Jackson unleashes some sublime licks against a hearty and equally boisterous sax. Adderley's "Sounds for Sid" demonstrates his uncanny ability to swing with a strong R&B vibe. With drop-dead timing and profound instrumental chops, this cut is undoubtedly one of the best from Adderley's earliest canon. The album concludes with a jumping reading of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things." While Wynton Kelly has been uniformly solid, his interjections stand out here as he bridges and undergirds the two as they banter with flair and aplomb. This set can be recommended without hesitation to all manner of jazz enthusiast, as it quite literally offers something for every taste. --Lindsay Planer
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Bryan Ferry - Avonmore (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Bryan Ferry
Title: Avonmore
Genre: Pop Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Electropop
Label: © BMG Rights Management
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: 7digital.com
Duration: 00:39:01
Recorded: Studio One, London; 4th Street Recording; Saltlands Studio


Avonmore is the fourteenth studio album by the British singer Bryan Ferry, released in the United Kingdom on 17 November 2014.
The title of the album was named after the location of Ferry's studio in London where it was recorded. The album was announced on 23 September 2014 with a preview of the song "Loop De Li". The album was produced by Ferry with longterm collaborator Rhett Davies, who has produced several albums for Ferry and Roxy Music. The album also features Ferry regulars such as Fonzi Thornton, Nile Rodgers, Marcus Miller, and Johnny Marr (who co-wrote the track "Soldier of Fortune"). The album includes two cover versions, a rendition of Stephen Sondheim's "Send In The Clowns" and a version of "Johnny and Mary", originally by Robert Palmer. The latter track was a collaboration with the Norwegian DJ/producer Todd Terje and first appeared on Terje's album It's Album Time which was released earlier in 2014.
Avonmore peaked at number 19 on the UK Album Chart, and number 72 on the US Billboard 200.
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Johannes Brahms - Violin Concerto, Double Concerto - Julia Fischer, Nederlands Kamerorkest, Yakov Kreizberg (2007) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Сomposer: Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)
Artist: Julia Fischer, Nederlands Kamerorkest, Yakov Kreizberg
Title: Brahms - Violin Concerto, Double Concerto
Genre: Classical
Label: © PentaTone Classics
Release Date: 2007
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: pentatonemusic.com
Duration: 72.59
Recorded: Yakult Hall, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, December 2006, Violin Concerto; December 2005, Double Concerto



Is violinist Julia Fischer in the same league as David Oistrakh in her recording of Brahms' Violin Concerto? Are Fischer and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott in the same league as Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich in their recording of Brahms' Double Concerto? No: Oistrakh and Rostropovich are playing big, muscular, and heroic music while Fischer and Müller-Schott are playing intimate, sensuous, and lyrical music. Fischer's tone is lovely, her technique is impeccable, but best of all his interpretation of the Violin Concerto is sweet, smiling, and joy-filled. Müller-Schott's tone is warm, his technique is impressive, but best of all his interpretation of the Double Concerto with Fischer sounds like a love duet from an Othello written by a German. Together with the lush and enveloping accompaniment of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra Amsterdam led by Yakov Kreizberg, Fischer and Müller-Schott turn in performances that aren't in the same league as Oistrakh and Rostropovich -- they're in a wonderfully seductive league of their own. PentaTone's super audio digital sound is rich, full, deep, and just about real. --James Leonard, AllMusic
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Billie Holiday - All Or Nothing At All (1959/2012) High-Fidelity DSF 2.0 Mono DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Billie Holiday
Title: All Or Nothing At All
Genre: Jazz, Swing, Blues, Traditional Pop, Vocal Jazz
Label: © Verve Records
Release Date: 1959/2012
Quality: DSF 2.0 Mono DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ISO SACD
Duration: 51:12
Recorded: Radio Recorders and Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California on August 14 & 18, 1956 and from January 3-9, 1957


Recorded in 1956 and 1957, All Or Nothing At All was one of Billie Holiday's last releases before her death in 1959. A collection of jazz and pop standards by the Gershwins, Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington, among others, the album was produced by legendary producer Norman Granz. Holiday runs the emotional gamut from summery optimism (Love Is Here To Stay) to pathos-rich musings (Ill Wind) backed by a strong studio lineup of veterans including Red Mitchell on bass and Ben Webster on tenor saxophone.
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