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ZZ Top Live - Greatest Hits From Around The World (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: ZZ Top
Title: Live - Greatest Hits From Around The World
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Blues Rock, Southern Rock
Label: © Suretone Records
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:05:03

Recorded over the course of several tours in cities all around the world, 'Greatest Hits Live' picks the greatest moments and biggest hits from ZZ Top's illustrious back catalogue captured with the phenomenal energy of their renowned live performances.
'Greatest Hits Live' covers everything from their breakthrough hit 'La Grange' plus three snappy blues-rock classics from the 1973 album 'Tres Hombres', through to their huge crossover hits – 'Gimme All Your Lovin'', 'Sharp Dressed Man', Legs' – and then to the present day with their recent collaboration with Jeff Beck on the Tennessee Ernie Ford / Merle Travis standard 'Sixteen Tons'.
"We spend the biggest stretch of every year out on the road, whippin' wire, poundin' skin, and rockin' it way up," says Billy F. Gibbons. "This is the true document of life de la ZZ. In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades, getting down to do what we get to do. Enjoy and listen to loudness!"
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Wilco - Schmilco (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Wilco
Title: Schmilco
Genre: Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock
Label: © dBpm Records, under exclusive license to Anti
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 00:36:29
Recorded: The Loft, Chicago

Wilco's 11th album, 2015's Star Wars, was a playful and angular set of noisy pop and pop-friendly noise, and it seemed fitting that it literally appeared out of nowhere, with the band sending it out as a free download without any advance warning one July afternoon. Little more than a year later, Wilco has released a follow-up, Schmilco, and in many respects this album is the flip side to Star Wars. Schmilco feels every bit as spontaneous as Star Wars (and much of the material was recorded during the same sessions), but where the earlier album seemed full of the joy of making music, this one is somber and low-key, a set of navel-gazing music even as the tunes confirm that Jeff Tweedy's way with a melody hasn't failed him. Acoustic guitars dominate most of Schmilco's 12 songs, with Tweedy's vocals right up front, sounding introspective and emphatic at once. On first listen, Schmilco plays like the work of one man and his guitar alone with his thoughts and his sorrows late one night. It takes a couple of spins for the contributions of the rest of the band to really sink in, but once they do, it becomes apparent this truly is a Wilco album, as Nels Cline's guitars, Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen's keyboards, and Glenn Kotche's drums bring a rich spectrum of dynamics and texture to the songs, while John Stirratt's bass anchors these songs both melodically and rhythmically. Just as 1999's Summerteeth sounded like a smart pop album when observed casually but was an emotional horror show beneath the surface, Schmilco feels simple and declarative on first glance, but the deeper one is willing to dig, the more there is to find, both in terms of the band's interplay (which gets better and more intuitive with each album) and Tweedy's songs (which boast as much compassion and concern as brooding). Star Wars was Wilco's cheerfully bent version of a summer album; Schmilco is clearly music for autumn, meant for cool nights, crunching through the leaves, and the occasional dark night of the soul. And it speaks volumes about Wilco that they could make two albums so different within such a short space of time, and both times giving us music that sounds like no one else. --AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
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Richard Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen - Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Artist: Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
Title: Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen
Genre: Classical, Opera
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 14:57:27
Recording date: Das Rheingold: December 6-28, 1967; Die Walküre: August 25-December 30, 1966; Siegfried: December, 1968 and February, 1969; Götterdämmerung: October 10-December 29, 1969 and January 2-6, 1970
Recording Location: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany

Wagner interpretations with Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker have a quality all of their own. Critics always admired the ability of the musicians to bring out not only Wagner’s luscious sound, but also all the subtleties of the score. Moreover, Karajan was able to rally the singers to successfully convey the lyrical tenderness of Wagner’s heroes despite their vocal powers.
Herbert von Karajan was one of the most highly regarded Wagner conductors of his age, celebrated for a lyrical, fiery and contrapuntally clear approach to the music which owed more to the example of conductors such as Toscanini and Clemens Krauss than it did to the old “German” school of Wagner conducting. Karajan once remarked: “When we did the Ring people said it was ‘chamber music’, but I would deny that. It was the full Wagner orchestra, with full sonority but played with real subtlety and the full range of dynamics.”
Karajan conducted four complete Ring cycles during his career: in Aachen in 1937, at the 1951 Bayreuth Festival, in Vienna in 1959, and at his own newly founded Salzburg Easter Festival between 1967 and 1970. In 1963 stage designer Günther Schneider-Siemssen had told him: “Salzburg has a great Wagner theatre the Grosses Festspielhaus. It is too big for Mozart but for Wagner it would be wonderful.” The orchestra engaged by Karajan was the Berliner Philharmoniker, the ensemble he considered best suited to the realisation of his musical vision.
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Volbeat - Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Artist: Volbeat
Title: Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Groove Metal
Label: © Vertigo
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Duration: 01:06:54

Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie may be the album that finally makes Volbeat rock & roll superstars in the U.S -- they are everywhere else. That said, the follow-up to 2013's brilliant Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies may seem, at least for longtime fans, a surprising choice for a breakthrough. Ex-Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano joined the band after producing and playing on the 2013 date, and he cements his position here. He co-produced this with vocalist Michael Poulson and Jacob Hansen. His original riffs and mad shredding have made the band's sound -- already unique -- iconic. While the record's title -- as wonderfully strange and catchy as its predecessors -- signifies a hard-partying set, there is something else afoot here. The album is divided into distinct halves. The first is darker and moodier, though infectious melodies and dynamics abound. Song topics often refer to historical characters who have an unshakable belief in the powers and principalities of the spiritual world. The opening single, "The Devil's Bleeding Crown," hit the top spot on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. Poulsen remains one of rock's most charismatic frontmen. He soars above the swaggering, streetwise boogying riff and clattering drum swing. He teases the melody out of this powerful attack and brings it home. The shredding solo by Caggiano is an added plus. It segues into "Marie Laveau," which inverts the first tune's riff and delivers a different compulsively catchy melodic refrain. "The Bliss," a midtempo hooky rocker, offers a banjo breakdown in the bridge before chugging back to its catchy lyric. Danko Jones guests on "Black Rose." His rougher, edgier vocals contrast with the smoother ones of Poulsen as edgy '70s glam metal meets early-'60s "oooohhhh--ahhhhh--oooooo" pop in the backing chorus. The tight guitar break and crackling riff make it irresistible. The second half is looser. It commences with a cover of the Ramones-worshiping Teenage Bottlerocket's "Rebound." It's faithful but nonetheless has been remade in Volbeat's hard-rocking retro image. Poulsen's declarative sincerity in the lyric of "Goodbye Forever" contains a surprise. A tight, anthemic hook pairs acoustic guitars and the bells of ride cymbals to color the middle of the mix. Already a great song, after a swirling bridge the Harlem Gospel Choir enters, delivers the fist-pumping chorus, and accompanies Poulsen for the duration. The title track is a real showcase for Caggiano and a certain candidate to open shows. Unfortunately, the reading of the Georgia Satellites' "Battleship Chains" is too reverential and feels out of place. Set closer "The Loa's Crossroad" is a rager, though it contains a bagpipe breakdown that only adds to its ferocity. Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie possesses all the elements that make Volbeat impossible to compare or pigeonhole. That said, while it delivers on the ambition of its predecessor, it lacks its acute focus. But for its missteps as well as its strengths, it doesn't disappoint. It rocks. Hopefully, it will transition them to top of the pile where they belong. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Giuseppe Verdi - Aida - Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Lewis, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Zubin Mehta (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Artist: Andrea Bocelli, Kristin Lewis, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Zubin Mehta
Title: Verdi - Aida
Genre: Classical, Opera
Label: © Decca Music Group Limited
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 02:25:30
Recording: Opera di Firenze, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, April 11 - 15, 2015

Following Andrea Bocelli’s recent smash-hit release “Cinema”, the award-winning, top-selling, international tenor returns to his first love, singing opera. One of the world’s best-loved operas, AIDA has been performed over 1,100 times at New York’s Metropolitan Opera alone.
Through an opera of high dramatic tension, Verdi offers monumental scenes and intimate drama. Taking the lead male role of Radamès – an Egyptian military commander – Bocelli’s powerful tenor tells a compelling story of dedication, intrigue, power, and intense love.
In this eagerly-awaited complete opera recording from superstar Andrea Bocelli, the tenor assembles a fine cast to explore Verdi’s most spectacular work: the award-winning American soprano Kristin Lewis takes the role of Aida, the brilliant Italian mezzo Veronica Simeoni as Amneri. Giorgio Giuseppini takes the role of Il Re (the Egyptian King), the powerful Ambrogio Maestri (“Italy’s answer to Bryn Terfel”) as Amonasro and Carlo Colombara, renowned Verdi bass, as Ramfis.
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Valentina Lisitsa - Love Story: Piano Themes From Cinema's Golden Age (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Valentina Lisitsa
Title: Love Story: Piano Themes From Cinema's Golden Age
Genre: Classical, Classical Crossover, Stage & Screen
Label: © BBC/Decca Music Group Limited
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:08:16
Recording: Watford Colosseum, Watford, 21 January, 24 & 25 August 2015

Valentina Lisitsa explores the glorious music of cinema’s unparalleled golden era. Valentina looks back to the cinematic glory days of the big screen, performing the finest piano concerto music composed especially for film.
A genre originally influenced by Rachmaninov’s popular piano concertos, these pieces are arresting original scores for piano and orchestra composed for movies of the 1940s and 1950s including Dangerous Moonlight, Stagefright, and The Apartment.
The album also brings us up-to-date with captivating music from Murder on the Orient Express, On Golden Pond and Pride & Prejudice.
This is a feast of original works by well-known luminaries such as Nino Rota, Richard Addinsell, Carl Davies, Richard Rodney-Bennett and Dimitri Shostakovich, set alongside scores from Charles Williams, Hubert Bath, Robert Farnon and others.
These pieces feature in films by legends such as Alfred Hitchcock, Leslie Arliss and Mark Rydell, accompanied by the great actors of the time such as Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Albert Finney, Jack Lemmon, Ingrid Bergman and many more.
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Ute Lemper - The 9 Secrets (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Artist: Ute Lemper
Title: The 9 Secrets (a collaboration with Paulo Coelho; based on his book 'Manuscripts Found in Accra'; Music by Ute Lemper)
Genre: Jazz, Cabaret, Vocal Pop, Vocal Jazz, Latin Jazz, Bossa Nova
Label: Steinway & Sons
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:59:49

Singer and composer Ute Lemper read best-selling author Paulo Coelho's Manuscript Found in Accra while on tour and was deeply moved by its contemplative questions about the endlessly inquisitive, unfolding mysteries in everyday life -- carnal, emotional, and spiritual. She was inspired to write The Nine Secrets, a song cycle, from Coelho's words, and approached him, finding him a longtime fan of her own work. She enlisted him as an enthusiastic collaborator. Lemper adds colorful resonance and immediacy to these texts, just as she did with 2014's Forever: The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda. She composed 12 melodies and pared Coelho's most essential phrases down to lyrics. Self-produced, she engages a wide variety of genres to get the songs across. Coelho's books have been translated into numerous languages, and Lemper honored that fact. Most of these tracks marry English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, and more, often within the same tune. Her New York band is appended by a cast of Middle Eastern master musicians including Dafer Tawil on quanun, ney, and percussion, and oudist Mavrothi Kontanis. Arranger Gil Goldstein also plays accordion. The celebrated Jamshied Sharifi handled the Middle Eastern string charts. The titles address specific topics in the text. "Beauty" offers lithe strings and saxophone fills, brushed snare, and hand percussion, all led by an elegant yet hooky piano straight out of prime Burt Bacharach. The tune's bridge combines American pop classicism with bossa nova. "Movimento" uses breezy MPB, contemporary jazz, and tango. Accordion and soprano saxophone trade solos and fills as Lemper's voice offers a sun-drenched reverie. Oud, ney, quanun, and bells introduce "The Story of Accra." Lemper delivers a spoken word intro before singing a modal blues that entwines with classical maqam. Coelho makes the first of two reading appearances, adding richness, mystery, and weight to the skeletal melody. Maqam-meets-nouveau chanson and theater pop in "Sex." The layering of strings, accordion, and orpharion (that adds just a touch of Moorish Renaissance flavor) makes this a set standout. "Success," with limber, funky electric piano, a woody upright bass, accordion, and Arabic hand percussion is a sensual brew of contemporary jazz, classic crossover, chamber music, and Latin-tinged cabaret. Here, Lemper is at her throaty best. "Fire" is the most theatrical track. Chanson (à la Jacques Brel), American theatrical pop, and Hanns Eisler-esque cabaret (complete with muted trombone vamps) frame Lemper's voice; she alternately croons and swaggers. Coelho returns in the brief "Paolo's Story," just before Lemper closes with another short spoken interlude. The Nine Secrets is as gorgeous as it is ambitious and exotic. On the page, Coelho's seemingly simple themes are deceptive. Lemper renders them with timbral and textural imagination, and canny cleverness. Musically rich, elegantly performed, and brilliantly arranged, this date is a high-water mark in an already distinguished catalog. Lemper's fans will be delighted. Perhaps some of the author's 200 million readers will adventure to investigate The Nine Secrets as well. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Trygve Seim - Rumi Songs (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Trygve Seim, Tora Augestad, Frode Haltli, Svante Henryson
Title: Rumi Songs
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Modern Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:54:24
Recorded: February 2015, Rainbow Studio, Oslo

Norwegian saxophonist Trygve Seim sets the poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), using the inspired contemporary English-language versions of Coleman Barks and Kabir Helminski as his source texts. Trygve responds both to the musicality of the translations and to Rumi’s gifts as a storyteller and with Rumi Songs seems to have invented a new kind of Lieder with a Nordic-Oriental orientation. The line-up is strikingly unorthodox, with each of the quartet members bringing their own musical personalities to the material. Classical mezzo-soprano Tora Augestad is well-known as the leader of her own ensemble Music For A While, and for her numerous music-theatre collaborations with Christoph Mathaler. She finds an intimate tone to convey Rumi’s thoughts, underlined by the elegant arrangements and the improvisational input of Seim, Haltli and Henryson.
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Tony Bennett with Ralph Sharon & His Orchestra - At Carnegie Hall: Complete (1962/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Tony Bennett with Ralph Sharon & His Orchestra
Title: Tony Bennett At Carnegie Hall: Complete
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Pop, Vocal Jazz, Stage & Screen, Show Tunes, Traditional Pop
Label: © Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1962/1997/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:50:32
Recorded: June 9, 1962 at Carnegie Hall, New York City

1962 was a landmark year for Tony Bennett. Despite the rise of rock and roll in the 1950s, his career had continued to develop, and the late 1950s saw a commercially and critically successful collaboration with Count Basie. This period culminated with the June 1962 Carnegie Hall appearance—his third at the Hall—that resulted in this celebrated live recording. 1962 was also the year he released what was to become his signature song—"I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Soon thereafter, the British Invasion would happen, rendering Bennett's style and recorded output old-fashioned almost overnight—precipitating an artistic and personal decline from which he would not emerge for a decade and a half.
For now, though, he had the Carnegie Hall audience in the palm of his hand throughout this marathon concert. Accompanied by an outstanding lineup that included Al Cohn on tenor saxophone, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Candido Camero on percussion, and his longtime pianist Ralph Sharon, Bennett worked his way through 44 songs and medleys. The original vinyl release featured just 28 tracks on a double album. It was not until the 1997 CD release that fans could experience the full program.
Bennett continued to perform at Carnegie Hall on a regular basis—even throughout the difficult years of the late 1960s and 1970s—and his appearance alongside James Taylor in April 2011 marked his 25th time performing at the Hall.
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Tom Harrell - Something Gold, Something Blue (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Artist: Tom Harrell
Title: Something Gold, Something Blue
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop, Straight-Ahead Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © HighNote Records, Inc.
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:07:17
Recorded: Water Music Recorders, Hoboken, NJ on August 29 & 30, 2015

Superb trumpeter Tom Harrell, who has been releasing recordings as a leader since 1989, has a new album out, Something Gold, Something Blue, on HighNote featuring fellow trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, as well as guitarist Charles Altura, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Johnathan Blake.
Harrell is a prolific arranger and composer and a mysterious yet mesmerizing presence in concert and a regular in the recording studio. His resume is impressive, with contributions to bands led by Stan Kenton, Horace Silver and Joe Lovano. He has written scores for ballets and arrangements for symphony orchestras and his last HighNote album “First Impressions” was in the Top Ten Best Jazz albums of 2015 in the 64th Annual Downbeat Critic’s Poll while Akinmusire and Harrell took the top two slots in the trumpet category in the same poll.
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