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Jimmy Smith - The Cat (1964/2014) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Jimmy Smith
Title: The Cat
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Soul Jazz
Label: © Verve Records | Universal Music Japan
Release Date: 1964 (V6 8587)/2014
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ISO SHM-SACD
Duration: 00:33:16
Recorded: April 27 & 29, 1964 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey


The Incredible Jimmy Smith, that's what it says so confidently on the cover of his 1964 Verve release The Cat, alongside a picture of a black cat, as superstitious a figure as you can get. The law demands that what is promised must be delivered and a record collector is no less demanding. The fact that Smith moved the Hammond organ from the dance floor to the jazz scene and upgraded it to become a fully-fledged improvisation instrument is to be found in every good dictionary of music.

But what resulted must be heard to be believed. If you know someone who says they don’t get Jimmy Smith, just play them this album. It is consummate Hammond B3 playing with the added vibrancy of Lalo Schifrin’s arrangements for big band. “Basin Street Blues” eschews 1960s’ sophistication, while the appropriately super cool “Delon’s Blues” is dedicated to the French actor Alain Delon, who Smith had befriended while on tour in Europe in 1963. This is a joyful, fabulous album that probably got more people listening to jazz than many of its contemporaries. Incredible indeed!
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Jethro Tull - Aqualung (1971/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Jethro Tull
Title: Aqualung
Genre: Rock, Art Rock, Hard Rock, Prog Rock
Label: © Chrysalis Records
Release Date: 1971/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 43:31
Recorded: December 1970 - February 1971 at Island Studios, Basing Street, London



Aqualung is the fourth studio album by the rock band Jethro Tull. Released in 1971, Aqualung, despite the band's disapproval, is regarded as a concept album featuring a central theme of "the distinction between religion and God". The album's "dour musings on faith and religion" have marked it as "one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners". Aqualung‍‍ '​‍s success marked a turning point in the band's career, who went on to become a major radio and touring act.
Recorded at Island Records' studio in London, it was their first album with John Evan as a full-time member, their first with new bassist Jeffrey Hammond and last album featuring Clive Bunker on drums. Something of a departure from the band's previous work, the album features more acoustic material than previous releases; and—inspired by photographs of homeless people on the Thames Embankment taken by singer Ian Anderson's wife Jennie—contains a number of recurring themes, addressing religion along with Anderson's own personal experiences.
Aqualung has sold more than 7 million units worldwide according to Anderson, and is thus Jethro Tull's best selling album. The album was generally well-received critically, and has been included on several music magazine best of lists. The album spawned one single, "Hymn 43".
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Jackie Evancho - Awakening (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Jackie Evancho
Title: Awakening
Genre: Classical Сrossover, Vocal Pop
Label: © Portrait/Sony Masterworks
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 49:39
Recorded: Audible Images in Pittsburgh, PA and Shine Studios in London, England.


Fourteen-year-old vocal sensation Jackie Evancho's new album, Awakening, signals some new directions for the platinum-selling artist. Without foregoing the beautiful and lush classical-crossover compositions for which Evancho has became famous, she also extends her stylistic reach with contemporary material on songs such as the haunting folk song "The Rains of Castamere" from HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones." Jackie also takes a bigger step forward on her version of U2's "With or Without You," and also sings a few original songs including the anthem "Take Me There" and "Open Fields of Grace," which were written especially for her. Produced by Nick Patrick, "Awakening" also features the ethereal ballad "Memories" by the Dutch band, Within Temptation, and the popular classic "Think of Me" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. Rounding out the album are the classical standards "Ave Maria" and Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise." Says Evancho about Awakening, "I feel that my singing style has matured, and it's easier for me to feel comfortable onstage." Jackie will be filming a new PBS pledge special that will air nationally in December and will be touring throughout the U.S. starting in November 2014.
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Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1988/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 00:44:05
Recorded: Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany, February – March 1988


Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the last great Iron Maiden album, reconnecting with the band's prog rock roots and reversing the signs of decline that had been evident on their previous record. By this point, Maiden had earned the respect of metalheads the world over with their steadfast adherence to unadulterated metal and their grandiose aesthetic. They'd made concessions neither to pop-metal nor to thrash, and their passionate fan base would never have tolerated a radical reinvention. But what do you do when your epic ambition itself has become a formula? You go even bigger and make a concept album, of course, and that's what Maiden does here, breaking out of the creative rut they'd fallen into on Somewhere in Time. The concept is based on the European folklore which held that the seventh son of a seventh son would be born with special powers that could be used for good or evil (and probably also in part by fantasy author Orson Scott Card, who'd touched on this idea in his own work). As such, the lyrics are Maiden at their most gothic, obsessed with supernatural mysticism of all stripes; the story line concerns the title character, born with a gift for prophecy but mistrusted by his village, which ignores his warnings of apocalyptic doom and makes him a tormented Cassandra figure. Musically, this is Maiden at their proggiest, with abrupt, stop-on-a-dime transitions between riffs, tempos, time signatures, and song sections. Yet nearly every song has a memorable chorus, with only "The Prophecy" falling short in that department. They've also switched from the guitar synths of Somewhere in Time to full-fledged keyboards, which are used here more to add atmosphere rather than taking center stage; this restores the crunch that was sometimes lacking in the shinier production of the previous album. No less than four of this album's eight songs reached the British Top Ten in some version (concert standard "Can I Play with Madness," "The Evil That Men Do," "The Clairvoyant," and "Infinite Dreams"), while the album became the band's first U.K. chart-topper since The Number of the Beast. The title track is this album's extended epic (though the songs are longer in general), and it's moved out of the closing spot in yet another subtle statement about shaking things up. If Seventh Son doesn't epitomize their sound or define an era the way the first three Dickinson albums did, it nonetheless ranks among their best work. Adrian Smith left the band after this record, closing the book on Maiden's classic period and heralding a dire -- and distressingly immediate -- creative decline. --Steve Huey



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Iron Maiden - Fear Of The Dark (1992/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Fear Of The Dark
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1992/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 00:58:37
Recorded: 1991 – April 1992 at Barnyard Studios, Essex, England



While 1992's Fear of the Dark was definitely more of a return to form for Iron Maiden, it still wasn't quite on par with their exceptional work from the '80s. Easily an improvement over 1990's lackluster No Prayer for the Dying (both musically and sonically), the album debuted on the U.K. charts at number one. The opening "Be Quick or Be Dead" proved Maiden could easily hold their own with younger thrash metal bands, "From Here to Eternity" contained lyrics that seem better fitted for Mötley Crüe, while the expected epic album-closing title track would become a concert staple (all three tracks were released as U.K. singles). While Maiden records of the past would contain an album's worth of first-rate material, Fear of the Dark is again weighed down with too many drab compositions -- "Childhood's End," "Chains of Misery," "Judas Be My Guide," and more. The serene "Wasting Love" proves to be one of Maiden's better ballads of the '90s, while the rockers "Fear Is the Key" and "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" are also standouts. Fear of the Dark would be singer Bruce Dickinson's final studio album with the band (until their late-'90s reunion), as he publicly voiced that he felt the band had run its course. --Greg Prato
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Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death (2006/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: A Matter Of Life And Death
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 2006/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo
Duration: 01:12:04
Recorded: 1 March – 4 May 2006 at Sarm West Studios, London


2003's Dance of Death marked the triumphant return of old-school Iron Maiden. Gone were the murky, over-produced set pieces that clogged 2000's Brave New World and in their place fell blistering slabs of Piece of Mind-era metal. That trend continues with their 14th full-length album, Matter of Life and Death, a more elaborate and meandering experience than Dance of Death, but a rewarding one for fans willing to indulge the group's occasional excess. At over 70 minutes, Matter of Life and Death is closer to 1988's woefully underrated Seventh Son of a Seventh Son than it is to Piece of Mind, but with far less keyboard tickling. Recorded live in the studio, epics like "Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg," "Brighter Than a Thousand Suns," and the brutal "Longest Day" -- the whole record is a loosely-knit song cycle with war at its core -- exhume prog rock complexity and discipline yet manage to bristle with the kind of small-club intensity usually reserved for acts half their age. At just over four minutes, opener "Different World" -- a near twin of Dance of Death's "Wildest Dreams" -- is the only cut that screams single, but it's also the most misplaced. On a record that positions beloved avatar Eddy on top of a tank with a machine gun leading a weary troop of skeletal soldiers to their doom, any act of brevity, no matter how expertly crafted, sticks out like a saxophone solo. --James Christopher Monger
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INXS - The Swing (1984/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: INXS
Title: The Swing
Genre: Pop Rock, Electronic, Dance Rock, New Wave, Punk, Indie Rock
Label: © Atlantic Records
Release Date: 1984/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 42:49
Recorded: September 1983, Power Station, New York City; December 1983, The Manor Studio, Oxfordshire


The Swing was released in 1984 and is INXS' fourth studio album. The album features the single “Original Sin”, which was the first INXS single to go #1 in Australia and remained in this position for two whole weeks, shortly followed by reaching #1 in both Argentina and France. The Swing enjoyed long-term success on the Australian music charts, remaining in the top 50 selling albums for over 2 years.
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INXS - Shabooh Shoobah (1982/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: INXS
Title: Shabooh Shoobah
Genre: Pop Rock, Electronic, Dance Rock, New Wave, Punk, Indie Rock
Label: © Atlantic Records
Release Date: 1982/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 35:26
Recorded: January 1982, Paradise Studios; June 1982, Rhinoceros Studios


One of their first massively popular albums, Shabooh Shoobah was a groundbreaking venture for INXS back in 1982. Kicking off with their new wave anthem rock smash "The One Thing", the song truly resonated with the times and immediately helped INXS develop their fan base both here and abroad further. More rock of the 80’s tracks like the powerfully rhythmic "Soul Mistake", the slamming "Golden Playpen" and the follow-up single hit "Don’t Change" also became major contenders, taking this album into the upper rungs of the rock and pop album charts. This time-honored new wave classic would go on to become a truly enduring album in INXS’s huge catalog of music.
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Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove - Directions in Music: Celebrating Miles Davis and John Coltrane ' Live at Massey Hall (2002/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove
Title: Directions in Music: Celebrating Miles Davis and John Coltrane ' Live at Massey Hall
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Modal Music, Piano Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 2002/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:18:23
Recorded live at Massey Hall, Toronto, October 25, 2001. Digitally editited at Wonderland, Nyack, NY, Jan. 27, 28 and Feb. 1, 3, 4, 2002. Mixed at Avatar Studios, New York, Feb. 6, 7, 2002. Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York, Feb. 15, 2002.



A double-milestone year for jazz, 2001 marked the 75th anniversary of the births of both Miles Davis and John Coltrane. With that in mind, Herbie Hancock went on tour with a quintet modeled after his V.S.O.P. bands of the '70s and '80s and the Tribute to Miles band of the '90s, which in turn were modeled after the 1965-1968 Miles Davis Quintet. The question this disc proposes: Can you go home yet again? Hancock preferred to dodge that one, saying that he was attempting to push the music onward in the Davis/Coltrane spirit of adventure rather than play for nostalgia. But essentially, despite the often unblinkingly hard-nosed soloing and the sometimes radical reworking of the old tunes, the conception of this idiom is that of Miles, and Michael Brecker's often brilliant, searching tenor sax work owes its soul to the example of Trane. Although the quintet's Los Angeles gig on October 11, 2001, was rather disappointing, the Toronto concert recorded here was a big improvement, with two weeks of roadwork evidently having the desired tightening effect. Though Hancock's piano gradually became more abstract and disconnected with its surroundings over the years, here he is in touch with his colleagues. Brecker provides the most fervent individual statement with an unaccompanied rendition of "Naima" that amounts to a virtual encyclopedia of tenor saxophone technique. Roy Hargrove does a serviceable job on trumpet and flügelhorn, trying to fill some heavy shoes, and as accomplished as the rhythm team of John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) is, you miss the irreplaceable combustion of Ron Carter and especially the late Tony Williams (compare the original Davis recording of "The Sorcerer" with this inward, less dynamic, less driving version). The most strikingly reworked cover tune is a slow, drawn-out, mournful take on "Impressions," almost an elegy for Coltrane, and Brecker delivers the eulogy with fire in the belly. There is new material from Hargrove ("The Poet"), Brecker ("D Trane"), and the three headliners ("Misstery"), none of which expands much beyond the parameters of the Davis and Coltrane models. While this quintet does not kick over old boundaries, it does make good, uncompromisingly intelligent music. --Richard S. Ginell, AllMusic
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Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage (1965/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Herbie Hancock
Title: Maiden Voyage
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Modal, Piano Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records
Release Date: 1965 (BLP 4195/BST 84195)/2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 00:42:03
Recorded: March 17, 1965 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Mastered: Alan Yoshida and Robin Lynn at Blanche DuBois, April 2012


"In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you've set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder's studio!" - Blue Note President, Don Was.

GRAMMY Award-winning artist and music icon Herbie Hancock unleashed a monumental work in 1965 with Maiden Voyage. The captivating concept album displayed his intuitive talents as a pianist, composer and innovator. The release was a ground-breaking demonstration of lyrical jazz blended with riveting hard bop. This star-studded affair includes music legends Freddie Hubbard, George Coleman, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Influenced by his experience with the Miles Davis Quintet, the album featured provocative solos, tonal textures and rich harmonies. Included on the album are the now standards, "Maiden Voyage," "The Eye of the Hurricane," and "Dolphin Dance." In 1999, the album was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame.
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