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Grace Jones - Warm Leatherette (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Grace Jones
Title: Warm Leatherette
Genre: Pop, Club/Dance, Post-Disco, Dance Rock, Reggae, New Wave
Label: © Island Records/Universal International Music B.V.
Release Date: 1980/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Blu-ray Audio card with code to download 192kHz/24bit version of the album
Duration: 01'55'45
Recorded: Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas



Warm Leatherette represents a watershed moment in the career of Grace Jones. It was the first of her much loved and critically-lauded ‘Compass Point trilogy’ and also very much a leap into the unknown when it was released on Island Records in May 1980. At that time, Jones had a reputation as a disco-diva second to none, a fact underlined by her first three Island albums (Fame, Portfolio and Muse). But, by the end of the 70s, disco was over. It was time to move on.
This is a beautiful newly-remastered collection, bringing together the entire Warm Leatherette album, b-sides and rare in-era mixes and instrumental versions (to fit the album on to the 39 minutes prescribed for vinyl at the time, a considerable amount of editing had to be done). It is a perfect demonstration of players, writers, producers, at the very apex of their game, headed up by the most singular performer, singing as if her life depended on it.
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Glass Hammer - Valkyrie (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Artist: Glass Hammer
Title: Valkyrie
Genre: Rock, Prog Rock
Label: © Sound Resources / BMI
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: glasshammer.bandcamp.com
Duration: 01:05:15
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Sound Resources, Chattanooga, Tennessee USA


“Valkyrie” tells the story of a soldier trapped in an endless war, and of the girl he left behind. As with most GH albums, deeper meanings abound for those who take the time to digest the lyrics which are, according to the liner notes, “dedicated to those who battle the effects of trauma, and to those who love and support them.”
What may set this 2016 release apart from previous Glass Hammer albums is the way in which the band went about recording it. According to bassist / lyricist Steve Babb, the band “went for a more live approach this time. We rehearsed the material for several months before finally recording all of the rhythm tracks as if we were playing one very big concert, which is to say, that it was mostly live. We concentrated on vocals and overdubs at the studio, but the foundation of ‘Valkyrie’ was done together in a huge , amazing acoustic space.”
Mixed and mastered for dynamic range rather than loudness, the sonic integrity of each mix has been carefully preserved. “We’re trying to tell a story here,” says Babb. “And it should be apparent from the opening lines of the first track that we are tak- ing on you a journey. A lot of care went into these arrangements, the performance, and naturally in the final mixes. It is our hope that listeners will pick up all of the subtleties and nuances we pack into our songs, and be drawn into the album’s story. ‘Valkyrie’ is meant to be heard in one sitting, which is the best way to really enjoy any good concept album!”
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Giraffe Tongue Orchestra - Broken Lines (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
Title: Broken Lines
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal
Label: © Party Smasher Inc. under exclusive licence to Cooking Vinyl Limited
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:40:17
Recorded: Music recorded at The Omen Room Studios, CA; Vocals recorded at RF Studios, Atlanta; Additional vocals recorded by Jeff Bakos at Bakos Amp Works, Atlanta, and Jeffrey Blount at Amber Leaf Studios, Atlanta.


The term "supergroup" is an odd one when it comes to collaborative projects. In the alternative scene, it’s a term that can be interpreted as not just the creative effort of players from established bands occupying similar genres, but over time, it's come to mean that such an effort must obviously be a combination of each of those members’ individual styles. Giraffe Tongue Orchestra has been in the works for a while now and ultimately results in something more than such a throwaway term. Made up of Alice in Chains' William DuVall, Dillinger Escape Plan's Ben Weinman, and Mastodon’s Brent Hinds, with Pete Griffin of Dethklok and Thomas Pridgen of the Mars Volta, the ensemble have now churned out their debut full-length and if anything, the album seems to abandon the hard-lined styles of each project belonging to those involved, and almost feels like it's approached things with the sensibility of "let’s jam and see what happens." Highlights are "No-One is Innocent," made up of frantic riffs blasted through some nice phaser effects. DuVall's vigorous vocals carry the verse through to a bombastic chorus, and the track is rounded off nicely with some pounding double-bass and solid crescendo-building. "Blood Moon" (one of the album’s singles) delivers hook-laden harmonies with its guitar work. There are more interesting moments on the album but it’s easy to see why this was one of the tracks chosen to promote, it with its slight pop/rock sensibilities and corkscrew basslines. "Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want" is one of Broken Lines' more unique moments, if not for its crazy middle-eight section, which involves an organ solo and brass section, than for its galloping basslines and sharply executed overdriven guitar chords. A more solemn moment is "All We Have Is Now," its lyrics illustrating alienation, loss, and fear of the future are aptly set against a backdrop of nicely arpeggiated chords and some light atmospheric noise. Broken Lines' only downfall is that it isn't as cohesively arresting as its individual highlights. Having said that, those highlights pretty much eclipse this. And a surefire advantage of the album is due to its being anchored in melody; nowhere more exemplified than in "Back to the Light," which displays a powerfully hooky chorus, complete with lovely use of reverb, a salient, funk-laden guitar riff, and powerhouse crooning courtesy of DuVall. The album doesn’t break boundaries, but it’s a solid record with some decent moments. What’s ultimately refreshing is that, being a record created by individuals from a very guitar-oriented and prominently "heavy" background, it doesn’t feel like one of those albums that’s thrown in a whole bunch of furious palm-muted riffs, pummeling drums, and insane solos to keep its audience satisfied; rather opting for the route of decent songwriting without abundant technicalities and just having fun with it. --AllMusic Review by Rob Wacey
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Gianluca Cascioli - 900 (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Gianluca Cascioli
Title: 900
Genre: Classical
Label: © UNIVERSAL MUSIC ITALIA s.r.l.
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:12:47


Gianluca Cascioli’s career as pianist was launched with his victory at the 1994 Umberto Micheli International Piano Competition before a jury that included Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, Maurizio Pollini, and Charles Rosen. He has since appeared in the major music centres of Europe, North America, and Japan and has performed with such prestigious ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Camerata Salzburg, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Chicago Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Mahler Jugendorchester, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the La Scala Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Myung-Whun Chung, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Metha, Yuri Temirkanov e Mstislav Rostropovich, among others. Cascioli has performed chamber music with Mstislav Rostropovich, Yuri Bashmet, Maxim Vengerov, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Clemens Hagen, Sabine Meyer.

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George Beverly Shea - Southland Songs That Lift the Heart (1966/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: George Beverly Shea
Title: Southland Songs That Lift the Heart
Genre: Gospel, Country Gospel, Religious
Label: © Radio Corporation Of America | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1966/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 00:33:52
Recorded: 196?

Gospel vocalist George Beverly Shea spent most of his 45-year career closely associated with evangelist Billy Graham. His best-known song is "How Great Thou Art," which was written by Rev. Stuart K. Hine in the 1920s. Shea is also a distinguished writer of popular hymns such as "The Wonder of It All."
Born the son of a Wesleyan Methodist minister in Winchester, Ontario, Shea was raised in the New York area and spent much time as a youth singing in church choirs. Following high school, he briefly attended Houghton College in New York, dropping out only after his family's financial difficulties necessitated it. Shea began working as a clerk, but received voice lessons and sang in churches and on local religious radio stations. The latter led to an audition for the Lynn Murray Singers, but he declined their invitation since they sang secular music. He married his high-school sweetheart in 1934 and moved to Chicago. After ten years in the Windy City, Shea got national exposure when he was hired to appear on Club Time, a show he sang with for the next eight years. During this time, Shea also became prominent in the Youth for Christ movement of the 1940s and '50s. He hooked up with Graham in 1947 and signed to RCA Victor in 1951. Southland Favorites received a 1965 Grammy for Best Gospel or Other Religious Recording (Musical). Shea was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1978. --Artist Biography by Sandra Brennan
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George Benson - Bad Benson (1974/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: George Benson
Title: Bad Benson
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Jazz Funk, Soul Jazz, Guitar Jazz
Label: © CTI Records, a division of Creed Taylor, Inc. | King Record Co., Ltd.
Release Date: 1974/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Duration: 00:33:44
Recorded: May 29 (#1,3,5), May 30 (#4,6) and June 20 (#2), 1974 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey


Preceding Breezin', his crossover smash for Warner in 1976, Bad Benson shows the guitarist still hanging on to his Wes Montgomery roots in places while stretching his soul-jazz persona into even funkier arenas. CTI had a formula for making funky, accessible jazz and fusion records that in 1974 still held true. Arranged by Don Sebesky, Bad Benson is a collection of delicious, varied, and sometimes confusing choices. Benson's own playing is precise and smooth as always, and guitarist Phil Upchurch keeps a large color palette for him to draw from, as in the funkified version of "Take Five." Other notables are the stellar "My Latin Brother," which begins as a Debussy-ian impressionistic string study before becoming a heavily arpeggiated variation on the samba. Kenny Barron's pianism here is the driving force behind a rhythm section that also includes drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Ron Carter. They give Benson a harmonic floor for one of the most inspiring solos of his career. These intensely meaty cuts -- along with Upchurch's stellar swinging in the pocket groover "Full Compass" -- are juxtaposed against ballads such as "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" and "The Changing World," a pair of ballads that ape Montgomery's later snore-fest session for A&M. Not a great album, but a very, very good one. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Gary Burton - Seven Songs For Quartet and Chamber Orchestra (1974/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Gary Burton Quartet And Members Of The NDR-Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg, Michael Gibbs
Title: Seven Songs For Quartet and Chamber Orchestra
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Straight-Ahead Jazz, Mainstream Jazz, Modern Classical, Progressive Jazz, Chamber Music, Vibraphone/Marimba Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 1974/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:37:18
Recorded: December 1973 in Hamburg


If one were to draw a line between the ensemble aesthetics of Eberhard Weber and Keith Jarrett, then one might plot the compositions of orchestral jazz legend Mike Gibbs somewhere along the way. Born in 1937 in what was then Southern Rhodesia, and a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Gibbs has laid down a musical path as diverse as his travels. On Seven Songs for Chamber Orchestra, one gains vision of a mind looking not so much to cross over into uncharted waters as to expand the inclusivity of jazz’s already broad topography. At the heart of this project is Gibbs’s most famous student, the inimitable Gary Burton, who presents a lovingly realized program of his mentor’s own design. “Nocturne Vulgaire” sets the album’s plaintive tone with a groundswell of strings, into which Burton drops his mercurial sound. This delicate blend of mallets and bows continues unabated in “Arise, Her Eyes” (Steve Swallow), the only non-Gibbs number on the album. Mick Goodrick’s steady strums and Ted Seibs’s cymbal-heavy drumming make the most of the tender “Throb,” as Burton’s vibes glow like phosphorescent blood in the piece’s ambulatory body. “By Way Of A Preface” spins the album’s densest song. Its abstract beginnings carry over into a gorgeously perpetual solo from Goodrick, while Swallow makes his memorable mark in the pensive confines of “Phases.” The vast open fields that underlie “The Rain Before It Falls” give way to the chromatic wonders of “Three,” in which Burton and Goodrick’s relays emerge with all the inevitability of a final word.
This is a dream album for admirers of both Burton and Weber, combining as it does the former’s dulcet precision and the latter’s lush arrangements, and is therefore well worth tracking down (a CD-reissue is long overdue). Burton’s ability to carry a tune to fruition is only enhanced by Gibbs’s affected settings, which hardly make a dent in their emotional reserves. If jazz is about discovering the integrity of every lifted voice, then certainly Seven Songs rises from its murky waters with just a few of many unheard treasures.
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Gale Garnett - The Many Faces of Gale Garnett (1965/2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Gale Garnett
Title: The Many Faces of Gale Garnett
Genre: Pop, Vocal Pop, Folk Rock, Pop Rock, AM Pop, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Radio Corporation Of America | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1965/2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:28:36
Recorded: 196?

By the time of Garnett's third album, her artistry had stagnated, even as her low vocals remained impressive. There's not much difference between this and her prior two LPs, except that she seemed to be leaning ever further toward the adult vocal singer market and further away from her folk roots. That wasn't necessarily a problem, except that few of the songs here were on the level of the best tracks from her 1964 debut full-length. As on her prior 1965 LP (Lovin' Place), there seemed to be a desire to select a repertoire befitting an all-around nightclub entertainer, the program including pseudo-calypso ("Won't You Be My Lover, O"), bossa nova ("Excuse Me Mister"), orchestrated easy listening ballads, vaguely rock-tinged torch songs ("Marionette" and "Forget It"), and a sort of pop-folk-gospel (a cover of Mike Settle's "Settle Down"). Garnett couldn't blame any shortcomings on the material selected, as she actually wrote most of the songs herself. Though she did cover compositions by folk or at least pop-folk writers, she made Malvina Reynolds' "I Wish You Were Here" and Mason Williams' "Long Time Blues" sound much more like pop ballads than folk songs. Her interpretation of "St. James Infirmary" is the best (and hardest-rocking) thing here, but it's not enough to save a mediocre album. --AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
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Gabriel Faure Vol. 5: Pieces for violin and piano - Eric Le Sage, Daishin Kashimoto (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Artist: Eric Le Sage, Daishin Kashimoto
Title: Gabriel Fauré Vol. 5: Pieces for violin and piano
Genre: Classical
Label: © Alpha Classics | Outhere Music
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:07:22
Enregistré les 2, 3 & 4 janvier 2012 à la Salle Philharmonique de Liège, Belgique


This final instalment in this complete recording of Gabriel Fauré's chamber music features his compositions for violin and piano. Eric Le Sage and Daishin Kashimoto, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, give us a particularly convincing and moving interpretation of these intimist works, thanks to a complicity polished in the course of numerous collaborations in concert.
Gabriel Fauré was 30 when he began his first violin sonata in the summer of 1875. Not until four decades later, when he was director of the Paris Conservatoire, would he get round to a second sonata. More than an anthological disc, the present volume paints the portrait of a life, bearing witness to the change in civilization between the waning 19th century and the coming upheavals of the 20th.
This last volume brings to a close a complete recording of reference, based on Eric Le Sage's capacity for federating first-rank artists around him. This original approach was hailed by the international critics for his first complete recording, devoted to Schumann.
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Gabriel Faure Vol. 4: Duos and Trios with piano - Eric Le Sage, Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuel Pahud, Pierre Colombet, Raphael Merlin (2013) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Artist: Eric Le Sage, Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuel Pahud, Pierre Colombet, Raphaël Merlin
Title: Gabriel Fauré Vol. 4: Duos and Trios with piano
Genre: Classical
Label: © Alpha Classics | Outhere Music
Release Date: 2013
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:09:11
Enregistré les 25, 26, 27 & 28 octobre 2012 à la MC2, Maison de la Culture de Grenoble


For the fourth and penultimate volume of his Fauré series, Eric Le Sage has been joined by Alexandre Tharaud, Emmanuel Pahud, and François Salque, long-standing accomplices, in order to record these pieces for four hands. Recipient of numerous prizes both in France and abroad, this complete Fauré series is already asserting itself as a reference for the interpretation of Gabriel Fauré’s chamber music with piano.
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