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Grace Potter - Midnight (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Grace Potter
Title: Midnight
Genre: Pop Rock, Singer Songwriter, Alternative/Indie Rock
Label: © Hollywood Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 44:36

Leaving behind her longtime band the Nocturnals -- in name, at least; a fair number of the members show up here, including her drummer/husband Matt Burr -- Grace Potter also leaves country in the dust on her first solo album, Midnight. Teaming with Los Angeles-based producer Eric Valentine -- he's best known for heavier stuff like Queens of the Stone Age (he even brought in Nick Oliveri to sing some backup vocals here) but also has done work with progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek -- Potter dives headfirst into pure pop with Midnight, creating a gleaming confection that, at its best, could be mistaken for late-'80s AOR. Such submersion in gloss is bound to alienate fans who've long favored her Americana authenticity but Midnight bears the same considered construction as her four albums with the Nocturnals; the surface just happens to sparkle. At first, that sheen seems blinding: the neo-new wave synths grin along with glam stomps and disco allusions, guitars play to the rafters but are still overshadowed by vocal hooks halfway between Heart and Stevie Nicks or perhaps informed by the urgent revivalism of HAIM or even memories of early Madonna. Potter isn't posturing here. She's embraced every cliché that comes with this retro album rock and that enthusiasm certainly gives Midnight panache -- she's every bit as passionate here as she was on the rawer The Lion the Beast the Beat -- but what gives the album resonance is how her clever songs keep Valentine's supremely SoCal production from playing like aural candy. Both Potter and Valentine delight in celebrating and inverting the clichés of overblown '80s AOR and that's what makes Midnight such a fun trip. --AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Benjamin Godard - Piano Concertos - Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Benjamin Godard (1849-1895)
Artist: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Howard Shelley
Title: The Romantic Piano Concerto ~ 63: Godard - Piano Concertos
Genre: Classical
Label: © Hyperion Records
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: hyperion-records
Duration: 70 minutes 11 seconds
Recorded: April 2013, Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


In sharp contradistinction to the rest of the composers in this series, all of whom look like walruses, Benjamin Godard looks quite a lot like Johnny Depp in his daguerreotype. We should be marketing this directly to teenage girls.
Howard Shelley directs the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from the piano in this latest volume of The Romantic Piano Concerto series. As ever, they perform unknown music with consummate style and deep understanding, making the best possible case for the works. We have reached Volume 63 and the works of French composer Benjamin Godard, a figure who is almost totally forgotten today. He is described by Jeremy Nicholas in his booklet note as ‘a composer who combines the sentimental melodic appeal of Massenet with the fecundity and technical facility of Saint-Saëns’.
Among Godard’s oeuvre, well over seventy opus numbers are devoted to works for solo piano, ranging from Les contes de Perrault, Op 6, to Valse No 15, Op 153. His Hommage à Chopin can be found on Hyperion CDA67803, performed by Jonathan Plowright. Much of the enormous amount of music he produced followed in the tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann (his admiration for the latter inspired a string quartet arrangement of Kinderszenen in 1876). With the emergence of more innovative composers, Godard’s conservative idiom meant his reputation faded before his early death in Cannes on 10 January 1895. However, in the three works presented here his writing for the piano exceeds the technical range of his two idols, and is often reminiscent of the bravura demands found in the concertos of Liszt and Rubinstein.
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Fourplay - Fourplay (1991/2011) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz


Artist: Fourplay
Title: Fourplay
Genre: Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Pop, Smooth Jazz
Label: © Warner Bros. Records
Release Date: 1991/2011
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:02:32
Recorded: 1991, Ocean Way Studios, Hollywood, California


The success of Fourplay, an all-star pop-jazz unit featuring keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Lee Ritenour, drummer Harvey Mason, and bassist Nathan East, offers further proof that history recycles itself. In the '70s, James, Ritenour, and Mason were busy laying the groundwork for a genial mode of pop-jazz fusion that would become hugely successful by the late '80s. At a time when there are many pretenders to the throne, these veterans still show how it's done on Fourplay, with music that is perfectly hummable, perfectly polished, and perfectly harmless. Melodic nuggets are neatly laid over pillowy funk grooves and solos are pithy and polite. The aura of calculated pleasantness occasionally yields to unusual musical twists, such as the slalom-course arrangement of James' 'Quadrille'.
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Fourplay - Esprit De Four (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz


Artist: Fourplay
Title: Esprit De Four
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Fusion, Smooth Jazz
Label: © Heads Up International
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 54:39
Recorded by Ken Freeman at Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA

For over 20 years, the collaborative ensemble Fourplay has grown ever more cohesive in its approach to modern jazz. When the three founding members added guitarist Chuck Loeb to the lineup for 2010's Let's Touch the Sky, the group attained perfect dialogic balance. Fourplay had made fine records before, but the guitar chair always felt either under- or overutilized. Though the long established leader, Loeb's writing, arranging, and playing are more ensemble-oriented than either of his two predecessors, Lee Ritenour or Larry Carlton. On Esprit de Four, Fourplay display themselves as among the most intuitive, forward-thinking, and focused groups in modern jazz -- yet remain very accessible. While their aesthetic has been and remains contemporary, they employ classic approaches to composition, melodic improvisation, rhythm, and harmony. Loeb's "December's Dream" kicks things off. It's an airy composition that weaves together folk, pop, jazz, and even Americana. The shimmering cymbal work of Harvey Mason highlights the interplay between Bob James and Loeb, while Nathan East's bassline instills the melody with an irresistible groove. On "Sonnymoon," his bassline is deeply funky, preceding a fine exchange between the rich colors in Loeb's chords and the warm texture of James' electric piano, all given weight by Mason's trademark breaks. The latter's title tune presents a Brazilian groove illustrated by Loeb's acoustic guitar atop unobtrusive background synth and organic percussion. James supports with fills and subtle timbral voicings. Vocals have been prevalent on past Fourplay records, but here they are upfront only on the bluesy nocturnal soul of East's "All I Wanna Do," and the closer, a vocal version of James' "Put Our Hearts Together," sung beautifully by Seiko Matsuda. The rest are used as wordless textures, like another instrument in the mix. The tune, originally an instrumental, was written by James for a concert in Japan right after the earthquake and tsunami. His daughter Hilary heard it and asked to write lyrics for an abbreviated version. Both are present here. The instrumental commences as a haunting, pop-classical piece that gives way to a weave of lyric conversation that eventually becomes a swinging post-bop jam with an excellent solo by James. Esprit de Four is a shining example of jazz as a collaborative endeavor; these well-established soloists play as equals in a band that communicates on a level that most groups only dream of. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Emilie-Claire Barlow - The Beat Goes On (2010/2015) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Emilie-Claire Barlow
Title: The Beat Goes On
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Label: © 2xHD
Release Date: 2010/2015
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ProStudioMasters
Duration: 54:39
Recorded: 2009 at Doane LeBlanc studio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada


„The Beat Goes On“ is the eighth album in a recording career that now spans 12 years, and it is a record of which she is justifiably proud. Emilie-Claire Barlow's charm, vocal chops, song selection and great taste in side men allows her concerts to consistently access the elegance of jazz while sweeping away any cobwebs that could cloud a listeners experience of jazz pop today.
The potent combination of well-honed vocal and musical chops and a charming stage presence has earned Emilie-Claire Barlow a size-able and loyal following worldwide.
„With “The Beat Goes On” Toronto-based jazz singer Emilie-Claire Barlow has done what a few wise singers are doing these days, namely looking to more recent eras and songwriters for fresh material rather than the overdone American Songbook. This time out, Barlow has focused her considerable talents and jazz sensibilities on the 60s. The opening track sets the tone for the album as Kelly Jefferson provides nuanced sax fills on a swingy 6/8 version of Bacharach's Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. Barlow has written all the arrangements herself and the stripped down instrumentation that predominates fits her light, pretty voice like a Pucci print dress. We feel transported to a Yorkville coffeehouse as just bass and congas (Ross MacIntyre and Davide Direnzo) accompany These Boots Were Made for Walkin'. Very groovy. Iconic sounds of the 60s bubble up in the woodwinds on Soul Bossa Nova as it's mashed up with the classic Sonny & Cher title track.“
„An exploration of the 60s wouldn't be complete without a journey to that hotbed of musical innovation, Rio de Janiero, and the cover of O Barquinho (My Little Boat) featuring Reg Schwager’s nylon string guitar skills perfectly evokes a carefree Brazilian day. Barlow’s specialty is bossa nova (do yourself a favour and find her version of O Pato on YouTube) so when she surprisingly imposes that style on Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright it actually works.“ --Cathy Riches, theWholeNote
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Emilie-Claire Barlow - Seule ce soir (2012/2015) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz


Artist: Emilie-Claire Barlow
Title: Seule ce soir
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Label: © 2xHD
Release Date: 2012/2015
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ProStudioMasters
Duration: 55:44
Recorded: The Drive Shed Recording Studios, Toronto, Canada.


What started as a simple French compilation turned into a full-fledged French album that includes all the francophone songs Emilie-Claire Barlow had recorded on her previous albums, re-arranged and re-recorded, plus six brand new songs.
Winner of the Juno award Vocal Jazz Album of 2013, Toronto-born singer and voice actress Emilie-Claire Barlow got an early start to her prolific career, as her professional musician parents encouraged her to sing and study several instruments, including piano, cello, clarinet and violin.
Barlow started doing radio jingles and television voice-overs at the age of 7. Since 1998 she's released a string of albums, hypnotizing critics and audiences alike with her pitch perfect ethereal voice. In 2008 Barlow was named female artist of the year at the National Jazz Awards. The Beat Goes On album came out in the fall of 2010. The all-French album Seule ce soir followed two years later.

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