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Michael Jackson - The Essential Michael Jackson (2005/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: Michael Jackson
Title: The Essential Michael Jackson
Genre: Pop, Rock, R&B, Funk/Soul, Synth-pop, Disco
Label: © Epic Records, Legacy Recordings, MJJ Productions
Release Date: 2005/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Duration: 2:37:30
Recorded: 1969–1999

There are several Michael Jackson greatest-hits compilations out there, each one its own take on what should be the definitive portrait of the gloved one's career. The Ultimate Collection, The Essential Collection (different from the one here), and Number Ones have all surfaced in 2003 and 2004, and HIStory a few years prior. Each one of these collections, while commendable in its attempt to thoroughly document Jackson's accomplishments, has fallen woefully short in one aspect or another. This has finally been rectified with this installment of Sony's outstanding Essential collection. Starting with his campaign with his brothers in the Jackson 5, this two-disc set tours through every important single and every important fan favorite short of including his duet with Paul McCartney on "Say Say Say" (the Beatle does, however, make an appearance here on "The Girl Is Mine"). From Off the Wall to Dangerous, it's all here in one concise package, making it the ideal reference point from which exploration into his deeper catalog can begin. While die-hard fans will already have every single song contained herein and may be weary to purchase another greatest-hits compilation short of a greatest-hits compilation including his backing vocals on Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me," this may be the only one fans and casual listeners will ever have to purchase to get their fill of the King of Pop's magic. --AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston
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Felix Mendelssohn - String Quartets Nos 2, 3 & 6 - Artemis Quartet (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Сomposer: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Artist: Artemis Quartet
Title: Mendelssohn - String Quartets Nos 2, 3 & 6
Genre: Classical
Label: © Warner Classics/Erato
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:27:47
Recording: Studio P4, Berlin 22-25. V. & 25-27. IX. 2013

“The Artemis enlarge perceptions, push frontiers and perhaps question received wisdom,” wrote Gramophone of the Artemis Quartet’s 2012 Schubert album. The Berlin-based ensemble now sheds new light on Mendelssohn with these three works from three distinct periods in the composer’s career: his late adolescence, the year before he turned 30, and the final months of his short life, overshadowed by the death of his beloved sister.

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MC5 - Kick Out The Jams (1969/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: MC5
Title: Kick Out The Jams
Genre: Rock, Garage Rock, Hard Rock, Proto-Punk
Label: © Elektra Records
Release Date: 1969/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Duration: 40:03
Recorded live October 30–31, 1968 at Russ Gibb's Grande Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan

While the Rolling Stones were perhaps the first rock band to merge rock & roll with tales of violent revolution (i.e. their classic "Street Fighting Man"), no one did it as convincingly and as whole-heartedly as Detroit's MC5. Managed by the notorious White Panther Party member John Sinclair, the MC5 rocked with a vengeance that was unparalleled at the time--the band was rewarded years later by being heralded as punk rock originators. Few have been able to top the ferocious intensity of their classic debut, 1969's in-concert „Kick Out The Jams“.
Although the album fared well on the charts, it was surrounded in controversy from the get-go; the record company wanted the group to edit out a vulgarity included in the introduction to the title track. The friction would lead to the band parting ways from Elektra soon after, but all the hoopla could not take away from the stellar quality of „Kick Out The Jams“. Be prepared to be blown away by such songs as "Rocket Reducer No. 62," "Borderline," "Starship," and the title track, to name but a few. „Kick Out The Jams“ is the undisputed Holy Grail for fans of blaring, high-energy rock.
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Malene Mortensen - Can't Help It (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Malene Mortensen
Title: Can't Help It
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Label: © Stunt Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Duration: 00:48:31

Singer Malene Mortensen has been around on the Danish scene for a decade-and-a-half gradually getting better known beyond her native land as a singer with a memorable pure-toned voice displaying a good deal of range and one who can combine Great American Songbook material with more recent repertoire in a contemporary modern-jazz style without being remotely cheesy.
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Lyn Stanley - Lost In Romance (2013) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Lyn Stanley
Title: Lost In Romance
Genre: Jazz, Traditional Pop, Vocal Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © A.T. Music XATM77923D64
Release Date: 2013
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 01:02:25
Recorded at Conway Studios, Ocean Way Studios, Studio City Sound and LAfx Sudios, Los Angeles, CA. Mastered by Bernie Grundman, Bernie Grundman Mastering.

Lyn Stanley was born in Tacoma, Washington, into a musical family. Her father followed in the footsteps of Errol Garner, playing jazz-styled piano by ear. Her paternal grandfather was an opera singer in his native Bulgaria. And her mother’s brother, of Irish decent, sang tenor roles in local theater groups in Long Beach, CA. Lyn grew up in California, moved to Orlando, Florida briefly to complete her undergraduate degree, moved back to California for a master’s degree, and then to East Lansing, Michigan where she worked on a PhD in Mass Media.
Despite her many academic achievements, her attraction to music and dancing always simmered at the heart of her creative ambitions. In 2006 Lyn returned to California to care for her then-ailing mother, while pursuing her goal to become a national amateur ballroom dance champion. And she achieved her goal, becoming a Pro/AM champion in ballroom dancing’s International Standard style and winning three dance events and two national titles in 2010.
But her singing career was a natural extension of the musical embrace that was an essential aspect of her dancing. Her performance break through as a singer began in 2010, when she was heard by pianist Paul Smith. One of the music world’s most honored jazz artists, and the favored accompanist of Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mel Torme, Smith saw in Lyn’s singing the emerging talents of another singer with the potential for great expectations.
Following her stage debut on February 13, 2011, accompanied by pianist/arranger Smith, Lyn was accepted into a singer training program at Yale University, where she studied with a stellar array of some of the music world’s best known performers. Her first show, “Makin’ Whoopee,” came together at Yale. Later, in performances at Sterlings, Upstairs at Vitello’s in Studio City, and the Joslyn Center of Performing Arts in Palm Desert, California, she was well-received by audiences and critics, generating a call for an album from her growing legions of fans.
In 2013, Lyn released her debut album, Lost in Romance working with four different rhythm section trios, and arrangements by Tamir Hendelman, Steve Rawlins and Llew Matthews. In addition to her warm tone, rhythmic swing and expressive vocals in a program of great standard tunes, she also added another fascinating aspect to the mix. As a dancer, well aware of the long historical linkage between jazz and dance rhythms, she approached Lost In Romance eager to underscore that rich musical connection in ways that illuminate each of the compelling tracks.
Since its release, Lost In Romance has received critical acclaim and international and national airplay. DJs have been receiving enthusiastic responses from audiences who are “thrilled” with the tracks. KKJZ radio, the second largest jazz radio station in the US, picked seven tracks from the album for airplay – a rare accomplishment for a new album. Bubba Jackson, KKJZ radio personality, was equally avid about Lyn’s work. “Thanks for bringing the songstress back to jazz,” he told her. “You make the lyrics come alive as the original composers intended.” Jazz historian Scott Yanow described her as “a superior singer.”
And Don Grigware, of Broadway World, added his belief that Lost In Romance is “ of the greatest tributes to the great age of jazz I have ever heard.” Lyn Stanley’s close friend and musical mentor, Paul Smith, was delighted with Lost In Romance, rating it as an A++. Before he passed away in June, 2013, he noted that he “hoped to be around for her 10th album.” And, as Lyn continues on her creative pathway, Smith’s memorable support urges her along her sky’s-the-limit musical journey.
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Judy Garland - Miss Show Business (1955/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Judy Garland
Title: Miss Show Business
Genre: Pop, Vocal Jazz, Stage & Screen, Easy Listening, Standards, American Popular Song, Traditional Pop
Label: © Capitol Records
Release Date: 1955/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC 2.0 Mono 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 39:12

As Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland captured the hearts of America with her velvety vocals even as a youngster. As she grew, Garland became respected as an actress and vocalist winning a Golden Globe Award as well as Grammy Awards and a Special Tony Award.
„Miss Show Business“ combines songs from Garland's movies and old vaudeville numbers which includes medley groupings of songs such as 'You Made Me Love You', 'The Trolley Song', 'Some Of These Days', and more. The album also includes the ever popular 'Over the Rainbow'.
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Jose Luis Monton - Solo Guitarra (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: José Luis Montón
Title: Solo Guitarra
Genre: World, Guitar Jazz, Latin, Flamenco, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:59:06
Recorded: April 2011, Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano

Catalan guitarist José Luis Montón made a vital contribution to singer Amina Alaoui’s “Arco Iris” and during the session producer Manfred Eicher determined that a Montón solo project would be highly appropriate for ECM. Thus this extraordinary disc, recorded in Lugano last year. It’s a major artistic statement. With its programme of Montón compositions drawing upon the melodic subtleties, rhythmic vitality and emotional power of flamenco, making connections also to classical tradition, it can at once take its place alongside the label’s finest solo guitar albums.
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John Mayer - Born and Raised (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44.1kHz

Artist: John Mayer
Title: Born and Raised
Genre: Folk Rock, Country Rock, Southern Rock, Americana
Label: © Columbia Records
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Duration: 46:29
Recorded: Electric Lady Studios, New York City, NY; The Village, Los Angeles, CA; Berkeley Street Studio, Santa Monica, CA; Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA

Nothing halts the momentum of a career like a few poorly chosen words to the press. Take John Mayer, who in 2009 still seemed like the quintessential modern lothario, singing sweet songs of love and seducing starlets all across Hollywood. Then at the dawn of 2010, just months after the release of his fourth album, Battle Studies, he gave an interview with Playboy where he managed to insult former and current lovers while callously dropping racial slurs, a snafu plenty difficult to survive, but its gravity was compounded when his former lover Taylor Swift wrote a nasty kiss-off "Dear John" at the end of the year, a move that effectively banished him to the outskirts of L.A. -- which, if the sound of his 2012 comeback is any indication, resides somewhere around the vicinity of Laurel Canyon. Yes, the public humiliation and a subsequent health scare have pushed Mayer back in time, all the way back to the turn of the '70s when singer/songwriters across Southern California strummed their guitars and sang about their souls, back when his idol Eric Clapton was obsessed with the rootsy tumble of Delaney & Bonnie. Mayer never rock & rolls the way EC did when he was in love with D&B, but he certainly is emphasizing his affection for American roots, particularly of the folk and country kind. Those two sounds are the best vehicles for the kind of solipsism Mayer engages in on Born and Raised, where he does his best to sound sorrowful and contrite yet manages to stumble upon his own deep-seated desire to remain a lover-man. He doesn't murmur romantic words; he plaintively says he's sorry over austere acoustic backdrops, taking pains to ensure that Born and Raised feels weathered, rustic, and lived-in. This authenticity is supposed to strengthen his public contrition but it's hard to shake the feeling this is all an act, particularly when he interrupts his burnished apologies to sing "Something Like Olivia," a come-on addressed directly to House star Olivia Wilde. In another setting, this celeb crush would be amusing and possibly charming, but here, it (along with the lingering self-pity) undercuts whatever sincerity Mayer managed to muster elsewhere on Born and Raised. --AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking (1988/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Jane's Addiction
Title: Nothing's Shocking
Genre: Rock, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Label: © Warner Bros. Records
Release Date: 1988/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Duration: 45:25
Recorded: 1987–1988 at Eldorado Studios in Los Angeles, California

Jane's Addiction may not have been a strict metal band, but their music was certainly full of traits inherent to metal substances: hard, gleaming, powerful. On „Nothing's Shocking“, which captured the much too short-lived quartet at its very peak, they were a blazing metallic supernova--grooving up a streak across the sky one moment, setting off heavy rhythmic discharges the next. Feeding off radically diverse musical elements--from art and classic rock, to hard-core punk and funk--Jane's Addiction was the last great precursor to the alternative revolution of 1991-92. Simultaneously, they were the sole inheritors of Led Zeppelin's mantra to make a different kind of sprawling heavy rock, and that they did in spades.
Thematically, „Nothing's Shocking“ set out to prove that no subject was beyond the gleam in lyricist/vocalist Perry Farrell's (pronounced "peripheral") eye. Serial killer Ted Bundy ("Ted, Just Admit It"), punk ideology as Eastern philosophy ("Pigs In Zen"), mystic romances ("Summertime Rolls") and high-falutin', early-morning thoughts ("Standing In The Shower...Thinking") were all dissected through a psychologically-stimulating viewpoint, with a stream-of-consciousness delivery. Farrell's tales also served the band as a guide to attack the canvas, and the musicians burned heroically behind him, providing the songs with an expansive set of musical colors. Guitarist Dave Navarro continuously exploded on the drop of a dime, while bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins proved to be among the most formidable rhythm sections in all of rock.
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Holly Cole Trio - Girl Talk (1990/201) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Holly Cole Trio
Title: Girl Talk
Genre: Jazz, Standards, Traditional Pop, Vocal Jazz, Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © 2xHD
Release Date: 1990/2013
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: ProStudioMasters
Duration: 46:41
Recorded live to two-track at the Stephen Leacock Theatre, Keswick, using a single Calrec Ambisonic Microphone. Tracks 4, 5 and 10 recorded and mixed at Eastern Sound, Toronto, using the same microphone.

In March of 1990, the Holly Cole Trio, Holly Cole (Vocals), Aaron Davis (Piano) and David Piltch (Bass) determined that although they had recorded one small EP together 'Christmas Blues' it was time to record their first full length album. They wanted to preserve the quintessence of their live performance by keeping the parameters of recording of that first full record very close to the live environment that they had come to dominate in Toronto's alternative Queen St west club scene. They enlisted Peter Moore who had just successfully produced the ground breaking 'Trinity Sessions' for the Cowboy Junkies. They found the Stephen Leacock Theatre in Keswick, Ontario and proceeded to record live off the stage in the empty hall, with the band strategically placed around a single Calrec Ambisonic Microphone. All the takes are full takes, no overdubbing. The record was highly successful, became a Gold selling release in Canada and a staple gold standard recording for showing off any piece of audio gear (speakers, amplifiers, microphones, etc.) at Audiophile conferences internationally and set Holly Cole up for a long and successful career.
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