Title: Hommage à Eberhard Weber
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Recorded by SWR, January 2015, at Theaterhaus Stuttgart
In January 2015 musicians and listeners converged upon Stuttgart’s Theaterhaus for two consecutive nights to celebrate the 75th birthday of Eberhard Weber. The concerts centered around a specially commissioned 35-minute suite by Pat Metheny, with whom Weber had played and recorded back in the 1970s. Featuring Metheny, the SWR Big Band conducted by Helge Sunde, Gary Burton, bassist Scott Colley and Danny Gottlieb on drums, the composition was arranged around recordings of solos by Weber. Other performers during the two nights playing selections from Weber’s vast body of work were Weber’s longtime companions Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless and arranger Michael Gibbs, all drawing ovations from the packed house. “A truly special event, this.” Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal.
Artist: Stuart McCallum
Genre: Jazz, Electronic, Ambient, Downtempo, Nu Jazz
Label: © Naim Label
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Recorded at Flowriders Studio, Amsterdam; Fine Line, London; CSR Studios, Manchester.
The beautiful ambient-electronica-jazz soundscape City is the new album from Manchester guitarist and composer Stuart McCallum and his second studio album for Naim. City features a handful of seasoned musicians including McCallum on guitars, Robin Mullarkey, bass (ESKA, Roisin Murphy), Sean Foran (Trichotomy), Rhodes and Richard Spaven (Flying Lotus, José James) drums, synths and electronics. Violinist Emma Sweeney guests on one track, Trio Seven. The album also features guest vocalists on four tracks, JP Cooper (newly signed to Island Records), Sharlene Hector (Basement Jaxx), Fridolijn Van Poll and Sophie Barker (Zero 7).
For his new album, City, McCallum steps even further into the world of electronica, whilst still maintaining that magical combination of both acoustic and electronic instruments that gives his music such a distinctive sound. However, two things make City stand out from his previous work. First, the addition of vocals and second, the decision to bring in London based drummer and producer, Richard Spaven, who he met during his time playing with Cinematic Orchestra, not only to perform, but to co-write and produce the album (all tracks are co-written by McCallum and Spaven apart from City).
Key tracks on the album include the evocative City; sampled extracts of JP Cooper's 'Something You Can't Have' play like glimpses of a city snatched from a car window. North Star, featuring Sharlene Hector, was written the old fashioned way, after studio computers decided to take an unscheduled rest. Effergy is simply sublime, an ambient meditation with McCallum's guitar hinting at something darker beneath the surface, with haunting vocal textures by Fridolijn Van Poll, while Said and Done features the otherworldly vocals of Zero 7's Sophie Barker.
Stuart McCallum's music has always thrived in that beautiful space where genres blur. With a wide range of influences from Machinedrum, Lau and Martin Simpson to Debussy, Taylor McFerrin and Burial, it's not difficult to see how this has come about. His 2011 Naim debut, Distilled, was a series of beautiful instrumental soundscapes and glorious melodies that owed as much to dance music as it did to jazz. Since then he has been busy with a wide range of other projects, including several collaborations with British artist Linder, scoring music for the Northern Ballet and working in an acoustic duo setting with Mike Walker.
Spaven has played with a host of artists, including 4hero, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Flying Lotus, Gregory Porter, José James and Robert Mitchell. His production style lies somewhere between the realms jazz and electronica and subtly bridges the gap between these two worlds using grooves that blend contemporary jazz and bass-heavy downtempo electronics. The melodies and layered harmonies from McCallum's guitar, as well as synth pads and bass, are all driven by Spaven's hypnotic grooves and provide the perfect foil for McCallum's often delicate and captivating sound. --Produced by Richard Spaven
Richard Strauss - Vier Letzte Lieder - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, George Szell (1969/2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Сomposer: Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Artist: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, George Szell
Title: Strauss - Vier Letzte Lieder
Label: © EMI Classics
Release Date: 1969/2012 (2011 Remaster)
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Recorded: 09/1965, Grünewald Church, Berlin, Germany; 09/1968, Kingsway Hall, London, England
Esteemed interpreter Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor George Szell deliver a landmark reading of this Strauss’ masterpiece. Schwarzkopf’s gorgeous vocal gifts add a new dimension to the pieces, while the warm maestro brings forth a technically flawless performance by the ensemble. The extraordinary attention to detail is lush and passionate. There is no finer rendition of these beloved works.
About the Mastering :: Four engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London have remastered these historic EMI recordings from their original analogue sources for release in pristine hi-def. Between them, Simon Gibson, Ian Jones, Andy Walter and Allan Ramsay have many years of experience remastering archive recordings for EMI and other record labels. The process always starts with finding all of the records and tapes in EMI's archive in London and comparing different sources and any previous CD reissues. We consult each recording's job file, which contains notes about the recording made by the engineer and producer. For example, this sometimes explain why there is more than one set of tapes to choose from. All of the tapes are generally in good condition and we play them on our Studer A80 π inch tape machine, after careful calibration of its replay characteristics.
In order to have the best digital remastering tools at our disposal for the remastering, we transfer from analogue to the digital domain at 96 KHz and 24-bit resolution using a Prism ADA-8 converter and capture the audio to our SADiE Digital Audio Workstation.
Artist: Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet
Title: Eight Winds
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Folk, World
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Recorded: Sierra Studios in Athens in April 2014
The distinctive cry of Sokratis Sinopoulos’ lyra has previously been heard on ECM recordings of Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri (Athens Concert) and Eleni Karaindrou (Trojan Women, The Weeping Meadow, Elegy of the Uprooting, Medea). Sokratis has played a key role in the revival of interest in the lyra in Greece, both in traditional music contexts and in the shaping of new music. To see him in concert for the first time is to marvel at the range of emotion and expression conveyed through the lyra and the power of the sound projected from this small, bowed instrument.
Eight Winds, the debut album of the quartet and Sokratis’s leader debut for ECM, was produced by Manfred Eicher at Sierra Studios in Athens in April 2014. The reflective compositions and yearning ballads on the album cede the central melodic role to the lyra, sensitively supported by the piano of Yann Keerim and the subtle bass and drums of Dimitris Tsekouras and Dimitris Emmanuel. But there is more happening here than a cross-referencing of folk instrument and jazz trio.
“We’re not ‘fusing’ anything,” Sinopolous cautions. “Each of us has acquired and internalized a lot of knowledge and experience of different styles, before approaching the others. The spirit of the recording session, and also with Manfred Eicher’s direction as producer, was very free. In my one recommendation to the other players, the night before the session, I said: ‘Especially in the solos, if you find yourself playing something that could be easily described as ‘jazz’ or ‘folk’ or ‘classical’, then try and avoid it. Without censoring ourselves, let’s find instead the common roots of our improvising’.” One unifying factor is “the basic modality, which we all relate to, because of our backgrounds.” For Sokratis, the “eight winds” of the title could be construed as the musical streams which influence and swirl around the project. “It can be great to follow such winds, or to fly with them, but in this album we did not allow them to disorient us from our musical centre. And if I had to describe a place where we feel at home and try to stand in stillness and just feel the eight winds passing by, that place would be the ‘Aegean Sea’ [see track 5], in which I try to blend in some ancient sounds from the islands. And by the way, the lyra used to be – indeed it still is – one of the characteristic instruments of the Aegean Islands.”
The lyra is popular in Greece in several regions today, “but as a folk instrument it is always playing folk dance music. And for the musicians – especially those of the older generation – no matter how skilled they are, it hasn’t been easy for them to present their music outside its specific social context. But this is changing now, as a new generation searches for new voices for old instruments.”
In terms of his own development, Sokratis says he has learned from all the musical contexts he has found himself in over the years, but amongst recent experiences counts the work with Charles Lloyd as particularly significant. “The chance to work with Charles Lloyd arrived at a time when I felt I’d heard almost everything. I can’t describe how magical it was to be on stage with Charles and the incredible musicians of his quartet, night after night. The feeling of freedom in the music was really important to me, and it was an experience that gave me new ideas for the musical form of Eight Winds.”
In addition to his playing activities Sokratis Sinopoulos has been involved in research and production for the Domnia Samiou Greek Folk Music Association, has worked with the Centre for Asia Minor Studies on diverse projects, and is a lecturer in the Department of Music Science and Art at the Macedonia University of Thessaloniki.
Yann Keerim began playing piano at the age of four and received his diploma in classical music at the age of 16. His compositions have been featured in numerous films and productions. As pianist he has performed with jazz and ‘world music’ artists including Ara Dinkjian, Manos Achalinotopoulos, and Haig Yazdjian.
Dimitris Tsekouras (born 1985 in Athens) comes from a musical family. He played piano, violin, guitar and drums before settling on the bass, which he studied at the Conservatory of Athens.
Dimitris Emmanuel graduated from the Music High School of Pallini, specialized in Greek traditional percussion and Latin percussion. He won the Greek Young Artist Award in 1997 and since then has worked with many group of traditional Greek music and dance companies.
Title: Seasons In The Abyss
Genre: Rock, Heavy Metal, Speed/Thrash Metal
Label: © American Recordings
Release Date: 1990/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Recorded: March – June 1990, Hit City West, Hollywood Sound, and Record Plant in Los Angeles, California, United States
Slayer built a rabid following with faster-than-light thrash metal, eerie, disturbing lyrics, and bassist/singer Tom Araya's screamed vocals. 1986's „Reign In Blood“, a blinding metal classic that clocked in at below a half hour in length and was produced by Rick Rubin, put the band on the metal map. Although Slayer was a bunch of longhairs, it wasn't uncommon to see hardcore skinheads slamming away at the band's shows. But 1988's „South Of Heaven“ alienated many of Slayer's punk fans, as the group slowed their speed metal to a Black Sabbath-like crawl.
1990's „Seasons In The Abyss“ follows its predecessor's formula. The album was embraced by metal-heads everywhere, eventually earning Slayer its first gold-certified record. The furious opening 'War Ensemble' is a throwback to Slayer's earlier speed metal direction, while the album-closing title track is a murky, swarming chunk of metal. Other standouts include the chilling 'Dead Skin Mask,' which dealt lyrically with notorious killer Ed Gein, 'Blood Red,' 'Expendable Youth,' 'Hallowed Point,' and 'Skeletons of Society.' For fans of extreme-metal, it doesn't get any better than Slayer's „Seasons In The Abyss“.
Artist: Shelby Lynne
Title: Just A Little Lovin'
Genre: Pop, Vocal Jazz, Folk, Traditional Pop, Ballad
Label: © Lost Highway | Analogue Productions XAPP041D64
Release Date: 2008/2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Recorded: Capitol Studio A, Los Angeles, January 2007
Just a Little Lovin' is the tenth studio album by Shelby Lynne, released in the United States and Canada on January 29, 2008. The album is a tribute to British singer Dusty Springfield, and features covers of nine songs popularized by her, in addition to "Pretend", an original song written by Lynne. Three of the covers are of songs from Springfield's debut album, while another four are of selections from Springfield's widely acclaimed fifth album, Dusty in Memphis.
Lynne's tenth studio album is also her debut album for Lost Highway Records; the label released a promotional EP recorded in conjunction with radio station KCRW four days prior to the album. This album marks a return to Universal Music Group after Lynne released her previous two studio albums through Capitol Records. Though recorded at Capitol's Studio A in Los Angeles, California during January 2007, Lynne initially found her completed album without a distributing label amidst Capitol's merge with Virgin Records. Lynne told the Sydney Morning Herald in a January 25, 2008, interview, "We cut the record the week Capitol Records busted up. So we're downstairs wondering why upstairs isn't coming down to check us out. Turns out there was no upstairs there."
Outside the United States and Canada, the album is distributed by Mercury Records, the initial distributing label for her critical breakthrough album, I Am Shelby Lynne, when it was released in the United Kingdom prior to its American distribution.