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Jeff Beck - Truth (1968/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Jeff Beck (The Jeff Beck Group)
Title: Truth
Genre: Rock, Blues Rock, British Blues, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Rock & Roll
Label: © Epic Records
Release Date: 1968/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 40:46
Recorded: 16 May 1966, 5 June 1967, 5 and 7 December 1967, 15-26 May 1968, Abbey Road Studios, London; Olympic Sound Studios, London; De Lane Lea Recording Studios, London

Despite being the premiere of heavy metal, Jeff Beck's Truth has never quite carried its reputation the way the early albums by Led Zeppelin did, or even Cream's two most popular LPs, mostly as a result of the erratic nature of the guitarist's subsequent work. Time has muted some of its daring, radical nature, elements of which were appropriated by practically every metal band (and most arena rock bands) that followed. Truth was almost as groundbreaking and influential a record as the first Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Who albums. Its attributes weren't all new -- Cream and Jimi Hendrix had been moving in similar directions -- but the combination was: the wailing, heart-stoppingly dramatic vocalizing by Rod Stewart, the thunderous rhythm section of Ron Wood's bass and Mickey Waller's drums, and Beck's blistering lead guitar, which sounds like his amp is turned up to 13 and ready to short out. Beck opens the proceedings in a strikingly bold manner, using his old Yardbirds hit "Shapes of Things" as a jumping-off point, deliberately rebuilding the song from the ground up so it sounds closer to Howlin' Wolf. There are lots of unexpected moments on this record: a bone-pounding version of Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me"; a version of Jerome Kern's "Ol' Man River" done as a slow electric blues; a brief plunge into folk territory with a solo acoustic guitar version of "Greensleeves" (which was intended as filler but audiences loved); the progressive blues of "Beck's Bolero"; the extended live "Blues Deluxe"; and "I Ain't Superstitious," a blazing reworking of another Willie Dixon song. It was a triumph -- a number 15 album in America, astoundingly good for a band that had been utterly unknown in the U.S. just six months earlier -- and a very improbable success. --AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
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Jeff Beck - Beck-Ola (1969/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Jeff Beck (The Jeff Beck Group)
Title: Beck-Ola
Genre: Rock, Blues Rock, British Blues, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Rock & Roll
Label: © Epic Records
Release Date: 1969/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 31:08
Recorded: 3–19 April 1969, De Lane Lea Studios

When it was originally released in June 1969, Beck-Ola, the Jeff Beck Group's second album, featured a famous sleeve note on its back cover: "Today, with all the hard competition in the music business, it's almost impossible to come up with anything totally original. So we haven't. However, this disc was made with the accent on heavy music. So sit back and listen and try and decide if you can find a small place in your heads for it." Beck was reacting to the success of peers and competitors like Cream and Led Zeppelin here, bands that had been all over the charts with a hard rock sound soon to be dubbed heavy metal, and indeed, his sound employs much the same brand of "heavy music" as theirs, with deliberate rhythms anchoring the beat, over which the guitar solos fiercely and the lead singer emotes. But he was also preparing listeners for the weakness of the material on an album that sounds somewhat thrown together. Two songs are rehauls of Elvis Presley standards ("All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock") and one is an instrumental interlude contributed by pianist Nicky Hopkins, promoted from sideman to group member, with the rest being band-written songs that serve basically as platforms for Beck's improvisations. But that doesn't detract from the album's overall quality, due both to the guitar work and the distinctive vocals of Rod Stewart, and Beck-Ola easily could have been the album to establish the Jeff Beck Group as the equal of the other heavy bands of the day. Unfortunately, a series of misfortunes occurred. Beck canceled out of a scheduled appearance at Woodstock; he was in a car accident that sidelined him for over a year; and Stewart and bass player Ron Wood decamped to join Faces, breaking up the group. Nevertheless, Beck-Ola stands as a prime example of late-'60s British blues-rock and one of Beck's best records. --AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
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Harry James & His Big Band - The Harry James Sessions 1976 & 1979 (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Harry James & His Big Band
Title: The Harry James Sessions 1976 & 1979
Genre: Jazz, Big Band, Swing
Label: © Sheffield Lab Recordings
Release Date: 1976/1979/2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:34:00
Recorded: July 29-30, 1976; March 26-30, 1979 at Wylie Chapel, First Presbyterian Church, Hollywood, California

Sheffield Lab Recordings has released a new Harry James CD set with all their original direct to disk recordings. This is a great opportunity for audiophiles and trumpet fans to have a collection of one of the trumpet greats, Harry James, recorded at the highest standards. At the time, Harry James said, “In 36 years of recording, I have never been so pleased with the sound.”
The CD set is a reissue of a historic recording: The Harry James Sessions. Consisting of three albums originally recorded direct-to-disc by Sheffield in 1976 and 1979, and now spectacularly re-mastered by Seth Winner from analog disc originals, this program of music from the height of the swing era is a vital representation of one of the great big bands of the 20th century. To hear this music recorded by Sheffield from the perspective of a single stereo microphone, is to hear this magnificent band as dancers heard it in front of the bandstand, with the impact and energy that we don’t associate with historic recordings of another era. Pretty thrilling stuff!
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Wilhelm Fitzenhagen - Cello Concertos - Alban Gerhardt, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Stefan Blunier (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Сomposer: Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (1848-1890), Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Artist: Alban Gerhardt, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Stefan Blunier
Title: The Romantic Cello Concerto Vol. 7
Genre: Classical
Label: © Hyperion Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: hyperion-records
Duration: 74 minutes 58 seconds
Recorded: August 2013, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany

The music of Wilhelm Fitzenhagen bursts into the Hyperion catalogue with two triumphant cello concertos, a couple of other original works, and his (in)famous version of the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations. Ace cellist Alban Gerhardt presides.
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Fabienne Ambuhl Trio - Glitterwoods (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88.2kHz

Artist: Fabienne Ambühl Trio
Title: Glitterwoods
Genre: Jazz
Label: © Traumton Records
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:54:51
Recorded: Artesuono Recording Studio, Udine, Italy by Stefano Amerio in December 2013; Track 7 recorded at Gabriel Recording Stalden, Switzerland by Rolf Ambauen in December 2013

“I like when a melody is easy to grasp”, Fabienne Ambühl says. “That’s why I tell myself, that it should sound a little more straightforward sometimes. But at the same time I love to experiment.” No wonder that the 28-year-old pianist and singer from Switzerland covers quite a broad spectrum on her album Glitterwoods. But in doing so, she exhibits substance and clear profile. Ambühl confidently explores lyrical depths and the beauty of breezy harmonies. With a keen sense for nuances she transcends melodic ideas, dresses these in finely detailed arrangements, which open space for her adept accompanists Asaf Sirkis (drums) and Yuri Goloubev (double bass).
Fabienne Ambühl’s unerringly dancing playing reveals multilayered experiences. Her attention was first drawn to the piano through a neighbor. “He played boogie and blues, which impressed me so much as a nine-year-old, that I also wanted to learn that, “Ambühl remembers. For four years she took classical lessons, then an extraordinary talent for improvisation was recognized in her and she switched to jazz. “With fourteen I began playing in a big band, with which I later also recorded a CD”, Fabienne Ambühl delineates her juvenile experiences. During her studies in Luzern she played in the horn-driven soul-jazz octet “X-elle”. She completed her “Master of Arts in Music Performance Jazz” and then relocated to Copenhagen to deepen her love for singing at the Complete Vocal Institute. While steadily widening her horizon, Ambühl sharpened her artistic view as well; also on her own music. A couple of years ago she threw out a partially recorded album, ”because ultimately I wasn’t quite satisfied with it.”
Glitterwoods is all the more convincing now. Radiating, occasionally generous melody phrases alternate with rhythmically enthralling passages, imaginative motifs and a few onomatopoeic moments. Ambühl’s compositions are finely balanced and often full of energy anyway. Furthermore she exhibits secure intuition for atmospheres and intensity as a singer. With bell-like sound and variable expression she changes between a touch of melancholy and restrained euphoric moods. In the most expressive composition of the album, the three-part title piece, her singing first meanders in dark registers, to then abruptly shoot into high range.
With Asaf Sirkis and Yuri Goloubev, Ambühl has two strong partners at her side. Three years ago she got to know and learned to appreciate them during concerts they played together with the Marco Cortesi EU project. “Asaf has a special sense for musical form and likes to experiment with my compositions”, Ambühl rejoices, “and in Yuri’s playing I especially love his unique way of bowing the bass, which is elsewise rather uncommon in jazz.” Goloubev - originally Russian, now living in Italy - first called attention to himself as a Classical virtuoso (i.e. with Rostropowitsch, Gidon Kremer), then as a jazz player (Paulo Fresu, Michel Portal, Gilym Simcock). Sirkis on the other hand came from Israel to London and has delivered brilliant performance with Gilad Atzmon, in Tim Garland’s Lighthouse Project, as well as with his own productions. Also with Fabienne Ambühl the flexible drummer behaves sensitively at one moment, then at other times powerful with impellent grooves. In addition, he plays the sonorous Swiss steel drum “hang”.
Fabienne Ambühl combines a profound jazz mindset with romantic power of imagination to an unmistakable personal style. She loves Johannes Brahms and has listened to the early Brad Mehldau just as much as to Alan Pasqua. She calls the airy-fairy concept-pop musician Efterklang one of her favorites, just as much as various singer/songwriters. The pieces on Glitterwoods also reflect her back and forth between the alpine homeland and European metropolises. She likes staying in London for weeks at a time, but leaving Switzerland altogether is out of question. In the end she feels too strongly connected to nature, likes being with horses and is fascinated “by the silence and the atmospheres of the forest”. She actually once secluded herself to a village in the mountains for composing. This leaves no question about how the solo-played “Black Horses Suite” came about. “Sea Son” is also inspired by nature: “I was picturing the ocean, but not only its wide panorama. Until this day I like damming up little creeks in the mountains and watching how the water still wins in the end, by somehow winding its way around me.”
Ambühl enriches some pieces with poetic words, which seem more suggestive than narrative though. “I don’t write ‘songs’ in the classic sense. My lyrics are rather meant to support or intensify moods. Nonetheless, some composition is based on a sung melodic line. Maybe also, because I used to play saxophone before I started singing.”
Fabienne Ambühl’s music changes between deliberate reduction and emotional profoundness, between maturity and playfulness. The balance of the album matches her own attitude towards life she says, and tells of her imperturbable love for small things. “The piece ‘Inchworms’ sort of sprung from this sentiment”, the charming and equally smart musician laughs, “namely, that I like running off to save every little earthworm.”
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