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Jakob Bro - Gefion (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Jakob Bro
Title: Gefion
Genre: Jazz, Modern Creative, Guitar Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:39:42
Recorded: November 2013, Rainbow Studio, Oslo


Gefion is Danish guitarist Jakob Bro’s first ECM album as leader, following recordings for the label as sideman with Paul Motian and Tomasz Stanko. Like the work of those masters Bro’s balladeering distils a sense of jazz history in its specific and highly personal atmospheres. The open forms of Bro’s compositions leave plenty of space for his companions – drum legend Jon Christensen and creative bassist-of-the-moment Thomas Morgan - to make their statements, interactively and in parallel. And there is space too for the listener’s imagination to follow the flow and the delicate melodic tracery of Bro’s electric guitar in this thoughtful and poetic album. Gefion was recorded in Oslo’s Rainbow Studio in November 2013 and produced by Manfred Eicher.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - The English Suites, BWV 806-811 - Richard Egarr (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz


Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Richard Egarr
Title: Bach: The English Suites, BWV 806-811
Genre: Classical
Label: © 2012 harmonia mundi usa
Release Date: 2012
Quality: Studio Master FLAC Stereo 88.2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 02:20:55
Recorded: September 2011 at Potton Hall, Suffolk, England



Whatever the elusive truth may be regarding the ‘Englishness' of these 'Six Suittes avec leurs Preludes', there is no denying the imagination of the keyboard writing. Each Suite is headed by a Prelude of substantial proportions, followed by wonderfully varied dance movements, all perfectly suited to showcase the joyful brilliance of Richard Egarr's harpsichord skill.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Orchestral Suites - Freiburger Barockorchester (2011) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Freiburger Barockorchester
Title: J.S. Bach - Orchestral Suites
Genre: Classical
Label: © Harmonia Mundi
Release Date: 2011
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:33:25
Recorded: janvier-février 2011, Freiburg, Paulussaal


Called ‘Ouvertüren' in Germany, because they began with a large-scale overture à la française, Bach's Suites for orchestra offer a unique synthesis of the French and the Italian styles. The Leipzig Cantor did not content himself with a mere set of amiable dances for his ‘Collegium Musicum': he revived the genre in his own manner, accenting the contrasts, refining the orchestration, and introducing a hitherto unknown contrapuntal element. Two centuries later these admirable orchestral works continue to represent an indispensable treasure of the Baroque.
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Iva Bittova - Iva Bittova (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz


Artist: Iva Bittová
Title: Iva Bittová
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde, Classical, Modern, Czech, European Folk
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 41:43
Recorded: February 2012, Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano


Czech singer/player/composer Iva Bittová has said: “The violin is a mirror reflecting my dreams and imagination. I believe there are fundamentals to my performance, such as the music’s vibration and resonance between violin and my voice.” That relationship is beautifully explored on this album – recorded at Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano, and produced by Manfred Eicher – which expresses the essence of Bittova’s unique and extraordinary solo work. The pieces here, modestly-titled ‘Fragments I-XII’ resist definition. An idiosyncratic ‘folk’ music, contemporary composition, improvisation, any and all of these may apply from moment to moment. Bittová’s music is a living, changing thing: “Deciding on a name for my style of music is far from over yet”. Iva Bittová was previously showcased in 2007 on the widely-acclaimed ECM album “Mater” by composer Vladimír Godár. This eponymously-titled disc now marks her solo debut for the label.
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Iron Maiden - No Prayer For The Dying (1990/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: No Prayer For The Dying
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1990/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo.com
Duration: 00:44:05
Recorded: June – September 1990 at Barnyard Studios, Essex, England


With their first album of the '90s, Iron Maiden wanted to return to basics. Comparable to their more straightforward early work, No Prayer for the Dying quickly shot up the charts all over the world, but it was clear that the songwriting wasn't up to snuff when compared to such classics as Killers or Number of the Beast. The album also signaled the debut of new guitarist Janick Gers, best known for his stint in Ian Gillan's solo band and on Bruce Dickinson's solo album, Tattooed Millionaire. Featuring a pair of U.K. hit singles -- the anti-televangelist diatribe "Holy Smoke" and Maiden's lone number one, the controversial "Bring Your Daughter...to the Slaughter" (which was banned by the BBC) -- plus another that should have been issued as a single (the opener, "Tailgunner"), No Prayer as a whole doesn't measure up to the hits. The title track contains an opening too reminiscent of their 1988 single "Infinite Dreams," while other tracks such as "Fates Warning," "Run Silent Run Deep," and "Hooks in You" never catch fire. And even though the epic closer "Mother Russia," "Public Enema Number One," and "Fates Warning" are standouts, they just don't hold up well when compared to past classics. While Maiden retained their solid following elsewhere in the world, No Prayer for the Dying would prove to be their last gold-certified album in the U.S. --Greg Prato
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Iron Maiden - Live After Death (1985/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Live After Death
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1985/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo.com
Duration: 01:42:52
Recorded: 8, 9, 10 and 12 October 1984, and 14–17 March 1985; Long Beach Arena, California; Hammersmith Odeon, London



Iron Maiden's World Slavery Tour was one of the longest and most extensive tours ever undertaken by a rock band. Lasting from August 9, 1984, to July 5, 1985, and visiting such countries as Poland, Austria, Hungry, Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, England, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Japan, and the U.S., the show included a mammoth setup that replicated the intricate ancient Egyptian scenery of the Powerslave album cover. As a "thank you" to the hundreds of thousands of fans who packed arenas the world over, the double-disc live set Live After Death was issued in 1985. Disc one is comprised of selections from a four-night stand at L.A.'s Long Beach Arena, with disc two comprised of performances from London's Hammersmith Odeon. The album is essentially a best-of of sorts, since most of their singles released up to this point are featured in all of their high-decibel glory: "Aces High," "2 Minutes to Midnight," "The Trooper," "Flight of Icarus," "The Number of the Beast," "Run to the Hills," and "Running Free." Also included are such strong album tracks as "Wrathchild," "22 Acacia Avenue," "Children of the Damned," "Phantom of the Opera," "Hallowed Be Thy Name," "Iron Maiden," plus their two epics, "Powerslave" and "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," making it a near-complete overview. Live After Death is easily one of heavy metal's best live albums. --Greg Prato
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Iron Maiden - Killers (1981/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: Killers
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, British Metal
Label: © Parlophone Records
Release Date: 1981/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-onkyo.com
Duration: 00:38:47
Recorded: Battery Studios, London, November 1980 – January 1981


Iron Maiden's sophomore effort, Killers, is mostly composed of pre-existing material that had been left off the debut, with just a few new additions. It's certainly a better-sounding release than the debut, with new producer Martin Birch beefing up the band's studio presence and lending their instrumental attack a newfound clarity that throws their considerable skills into sharp relief. In fact, this helps mask the fact that the songwriting isn't quite as strong overall as it was on the debut. But the teaming of new guitarist Adrian Smith with Dave Murray forms the most formidable twin-guitar attack in heavy metal, outside of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing. Plus, bassist Steve Harris' busy, driving lines are now consistently audible in the mix. The resulting instrumental fireworks are what truly make the album tick. That said, there's a much smaller percentage of catalog standards here than on the previous album. "Wrathchild" is the standout, re-recorded here with Smith on guitar from an earlier version for the Metal for Muthas compilation. There's a fair bit of unity in the lyrical themes, with a parade of murderers, fugitives, and characters otherwise torn from their roots. "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a first-person retelling of the Poe short story, and the title track is another highlight, with Paul Di'Anno turning in an especially menacing performance. The single "Purgatory" has a catchy singalong chorus and a tempo worthy of Motörhead, while "Twilight Zone" (not included on the U.K. issue, but added to subsequent releases) scraped the bottom of the British charts. The biggest departure here is the almost Supertramp-like prog-pop of "Prodigal Son," a melodic, uptempo offering with an arrangement based around acoustic guitars. Despite some inconsistency in the material, Killers is clearly the work of a top-notch ensemble, and in order to take the next step forward, their musical ambitions were clearly going to require a vocalist as technically accomplished as the band. It's worth noting that some Maiden fans actually prefer the rawness of the Di'Anno years to the polish of the Bruce Dickinson era (though, it should also be noted, they're in the minority). --Steve Huey
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Herbie Hancock - Mwandishi (1971/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Herbie Hancock
Title: Mwandishi
Genre: Jazz, Fusion, Jazz-Funk, Post-Bop, Piano Jazz
Label: © Warner Bros. Records
Release Date: 1971 (WS 1898)/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 45:05
Recorded: December 1970, Wally Heider Recording Studio C, San Francisco



"With the formation of his great electric sextet, Herbie Hancock's music took off into outer and inner space, starting with the landmark Mwandishi album recorded in a single session on New Year's Eve. Ever the gadgeteer, Herbie plays with electronic effects devices -- reverb units, stereo tremelo, and Echoplex -- which all lead his music into spacier, open-ended directions very much influenced by Miles Davis' electric experiments, rendering it from post-bop conventions. There are just three tracks: the insistent 15/4-meter Afro-electric-funk workout 'Ostinato (Suite for Angela),' the inquisitive 'You'll Know When You Get There' with its ethereal Hancock voicings, and trombonist Julian Priester's 'Silent Way'-influenced 'Wandering Spirit Song,' which eventually dips into tumultuous free form. Eddie Henderson emerges as a major trumpet soloist here, probing, jabbing, soliloquizing; Bennie Maupin comes over from Lee Morgan's group to add his ominous bass clarinet and thoughtful alto flute; and Buster Williams' bass and Billy Hart's flexible drums propel the rhythm section. Santana's José Chepitó Areas and Leon 'Ndugu' Chancler also add funky percussive reinforcement to 'Ostinato,' along with guitarist Ron Montrose. The group's collective empathy is remarkable, and Hancock had only begun to probe the outer limits with this extraordinary music." —Richard S. Ginell, AllMusic
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Herbie Hancock - Gershwin's World (1998/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz


Artist: Herbie Hancock
Title: Gershwin's World
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Contemporary Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © The Verve Music Group
Release Date: 1998/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:07:22
Recorded: Right Track Recording, Sony Music Studios, The Hit Factory, Masters at Work Studios, RPM Sound Studios in New York, March - April 1998; Ocean Way Recording and O'Henry Sound Studios in Los Angeles, June 1998



Herbie Hancock’s career as a recording artist is graced by a series of astonishing musical landmarks. Few other musicians of the 20th century have exhibited the wide range of interests and mastery of various genres that this jazz legend has brought to his remarkable body of work. The wedding of that ambitious artistic vision to his extraordinary musical versatility put Hancock in the perfect position to approach his 1998 Verve recording, Gershwin's World, a far-reaching tribute to the life and times of the great composer who did so much to popularize the jazz and blues idioms.
"I have always loved Gershwin’s music," Hancock explained. "I want to give respect and tribute to all of George Gershwin’s musical origins. The particular genres that Gershwin chose - classical music, jazz, and pop - are ones that I’ve explored, too." Featuring performances by vocal superstars Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, and Kathleen Battle, and the instrumental contributions of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, pianist Chick Corea, saxophonists Wayne Shorter, James Carter, and Kenny Garrett, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, and bassist Ira Coleman, Gershwin’s World finds Hancock applying his unique piano genius not only to classic songs by Gershwin, but to pieces by contemporaries closely associated with Gershwin - stride piano master James P. Johnson, blues popularizer W. C. Handy, classical composer Maurice Ravel, and jazz giant Duke Ellington.
Just as Gershwin etched an unmistakable identity while shaping the sound of the Broadway show tune, the Hollywood movie score, and the American opera, Hancock has sustained a unique musical voice while influencing the course of mainstream jazz, film soundtracks, and pop-funk fusions in his own time. In the year of Gershwin’s centennial, Gershwin’s World became yet another historic landmark in the rich and uncommonly diverse catalog of another American master, Herbie Hancock. To top it off, Gershwin's World won three Grammys in 1999, including Best Traditional Jazz Album and Best R&B Vocal Performance for Stevie Wonder's "St. Louis Blues."
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George Frideric Handel - Ombra cara - Bejun Mehta, Freiburger Barockorchester, Rene Jacobs (2010) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Сomposer: George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Artist: Bejun Mehta, Freiburger Barockorchester, René Jacobs
Title: Handel - Ombra cara
Genre: Classical
Label: © Harmonia Mundi
Release Date: 2010
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:11:37
Recorded: mars 2010, Freiburg im Breisgau (DE), Paulussaal


If Handel's arias enjoy such success today, perhaps it is because they lie at the intersection between past and present, light and shadow. They might very well illustrate on their own the entire range of possibilities offered by the voices of his time. On this 2010 recital album, countertenor Bejun Mehta has chosen most of the ‘hits' from the repertoire of the famous castrato Senesino. From shadow (Ombra cara) to light (Sento la gioia), Grammy-winner René Jacobs conducts the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra in perfect accompaniment to Lewis.
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