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Food: Thomas Stronen, Iain Ballamy - Mercurial Balm (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Food: Thomas Strønen, Iain Ballamy
Title: Mercurial Balm
Genre: Jazz, Modern Creative, Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Improvisation
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:53:29
Recorded: 2010 and 2011 at Rainbow Studio, Oslo, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Victoria National Jazz Scene, Oslo


The Food team of Norwegian drummer Strønen and British saxophonist Ballamy continues to invite guests to bring something to the table. The form-and-texture conscious improvisations here are drawn from live performances in Norway, England and Germany and studio sessions at Oslo’s Rainbow. To the latter group belong tracks on which Indian slide guitarist and singer Prakash Sontakke is partnered by Eivind Aarset’s atmospheric guitar and electronics. The first half of the album finds Food augmented by Austrian guitarist Christian Fennesz, taking further the experiments with layers of sound begun on "Quiet Inlet". Nils Petter Molvær joins Strønen, Ballamy and Fennesz for a track recorded at Mannheim’s Enjoy Jazz Festival.
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Floyd Cramer - Only the Big Ones (1966/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Floyd Cramer
Title: Only the Big Ones
Genre: Pop, Jazz Pop, Easy Listening
Label: © Radio Corporation Of America | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1966/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 00:28:37
Recorded: RCA Victor's "Nashville Sound" Studio, Nashville, Tennessee


A distinctive pianist whose unique, slip-note playing style came to typify the pop-oriented Nashville sound of the late '50s and early '60s, session and solo musician Floyd Cramer was born October 27, 1933, in Louisiana. After a childhood spent largely in Arkansas, he returned to his home state in 1951 and began appearing on the radio program The Louisiana Hayride, where he performed with the likes of Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Webb Pierce, and, in his debut, Elvis Presley. While Cramer cut a few solo sides in 1953, his most important work in the early '50s was as a session musician, where he first met Chet Atkins, who encouraged the pianist to move to Nashville. He did in 1955, rejoining Atkins as the house pianist at RCA Records to begin developing what would ultimately be recognized as the Nashville sound, a style shorn of the elements associated with traditional country and honky tonk instead favoring a more polished, progressive sheen. With Atkins behind the production boards, Cramer began to perfect his unique style of playing, a method not dissimilar to guitar-picking in that he would hit one key and then slide his finger onto the next, creating a blue, lonesome sound. Under Atkins' guidance, Cramer played on hundreds of sessions, including many for Presley, among them "Heartbreak Hotel." In 1957, Cramer released his own solo debut, That Honky-Tonk Piano, and in the next year scored a minor pop hit with the single "Flip, Flop and Bop." As his solo career was largely secondary in relation to his session work, he recorded his own music sporadically, but in 1960 notched a significant country and pop hit with the self-penned instrumental "Last Date." The follow-up, a cover of Bob Wills' "San Antonio Rose," reached the Top Ten of both charts. He also released an LP a year between 1960 and 1962, starting with Hello Blues and followed by Last Date and I Remember Hank Williams. From 1965 to 1974, Cramer annually released a Class Of... album, a collection of the year's top hits done in his own inimitable style. In 1971, he also teamed with Atkins and saxophonist Boots Randolph for the album Chet, Floyd and Boots. By 1977, Cramer was exploring modern technology, and on the LP Keyboard Kick Band, he played a number of instruments, including a synthesizer. In 1980, he released his last significant hit, a recording of the theme from the hit TV drama Dallas. Though largely quiet for most of the decade, in 1988 Cramer released three separate albums -- Country Gold, Just Me and My Piano!, and Special Songs of Love. He died December 31, 1997. --Jason Ankeny
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Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble - The Moment's Energy (2009) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Artist: Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
Title: The Moment's Energy
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Improvisation, Modern Composition
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2009
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:07:00
Recorded at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England in November 2007

It has been fascinating to listen to the ways Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble has developed its approach over the past 13 years. Some of its members, such as Paul Lytton, Barry Guy, Lawrence Casserley, Walter Prati, and Philipp Wachsman, have been here continuously since 1996's Toward the Margins, and the original sextet has now grown to 14 members, including new ones Peter Evans, Ned Rothenberg, and Kô Ishikawa. The Moment's Energy, an extended work in seven sections, is their fifth recorded outing. What is so immediately striking about this piece of music is how formally constructed it is. That does not mean there isn't improvisation -- after all, this is an Evan Parker-led group -- but more important is the place of composition in the framework of the whole. The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival commissioned Parker to write something for their event, and this piece, with its cascading sonics shaping the international array of acoustic sounds, includes Parker's soprano, Ishikawa's sho, Agusti Fernández's piano and prepared piano, Rothenberg's clarinets and shakuhachi, Guy's bass, and Lytton's live percussion. Much of the work is restrained, full of space and a muted color palette -- though at all times there is a lot going on. In certain movements, such as "II," and "V," full-blown free improvisation between the acoustic instruments almost overwhelms the electronic elements -- half the ensemble is involved in the creation or projection of these sounds and their processing -- in the longer middle section of the piece. Elsewhere, color and dynamic -- such as on the moody, and even harrowing "IV," and the forcefulness of the work's closing movement "VII" -- offer proof of just how rich, disciplined, and wide-ranging the soundworld of this ensemble is. In addition, Parker's compositional method has employed a different scale here: he seems to have composed not only a work for performance by this particular ensemble, but has written with the ideal scale of the group itself as a principle concern. Hence, this work is more modern composition than merely free or experimental jazz. This is a gorgeous work when taken as a whole, a musical journey through multi-dimensional landscapes and sonic shadows that seems to stretch time itself. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Enzo Amazio Quintet - Essence (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Enzo Amazio Quintet
Title: Essence
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Modern Jazz, Guitar Jazz
Label: © Alfa Music
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: e-Onkyo
Duration: 00:53:24
Recording: 2014


E’ inevitabile, riflettendo sul titolo dell’album e sui sostantivi presenti nella tracklist, tornare con la mente alle belle stagioni che il jazz ha vissuto nei suoi attimi più recenti e disinvolti, a momenti che hanno contribuito ad affinare l’essenza di nuove qualità solistiche che hanno dato vita ad un Modern Mainstream, sempre aggiornato con le migliori genesi del Rock e della “musica di confine”.
Complice la duttilità di comprimari che trovano i propri principali punti di forza nelle voci più plastiche degli strumenti, Enzo Amazio propone un personale itinerario emotivo attraverso brani come “2014” (memore delle atmosfere più care a Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern e George Benson) o il vivace “1967”, le cui intuizioni armoniche sono il veicolo per assoli ispirati e grintosi, fra i quali s’interpone la fluidità della ritmica, il Savoir Faire dei pianisti Tommy De Paola e Francesco Marziani, ed il Groove di Rocco Di Maiolo al sax e di Gabriele Mirabassi al clarinetto, i cui commenti equilibrano Hard Bop e Swing in un’atmosfera che sembra avvicinare, trasversalmente, tradizione ed evoluzione in una Varietas di richiami e forme che permettono di esibire una mobilità di respiro ed un’elegante attenzione per le implicazioni più lievi e colloquiali, come in “Essence” ed in “Song for Gabriel”, spazio libero tra la penombra della Ballad ed il deciso Notturno di melodie tenui, oblique e diafane.
Il trascolorare del tempo nelle volontà contemporanee delle Blue Notes non sempre presenta un’interpretazione così gradevole e così spontaneamente contaminata da poliedrici impressionismi e calde evanescenze fra il Soul Jazz ed il solare/riflessivo clima mediterraneo evocato da quella “Dolce Napoli” così vicina al garbo partenopeo del miglior Pino Daniele.
Come chitarrista e compositore Amazio mostra una competenza storica capace di riferire delle esperienze liriche di Jim Hall e dell’elegante misura di Wes Montgomery, levigando il Contrappunto inventivo con l’agile chiarezza di chi sa come tradurre il Pragmatismo in una versione espressiva sottile, fine e luminosa. --Fabrizio Ciccarelli
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Enrico Rava and The Parco Della Musica Jazz Lab - Rava On The Dance Floor - Live at the Rome Auditorium (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Enrico Rava and The Parco Della Musica Jazz Lab
Title: Rava On The Dance Floor - Live at the Rome Auditorium
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Trumpet Jazz
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:56:20
Recorded live 20 May and 30 November 2011 at Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome


It was only after Michael Jackson’s death that Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava gradually became aware that he had for many years been ignoring, in his words, “one of the great protagonists of 20th century music and dance. A total artist. A perfectionist. A genius. I felt the need to delve more deeply into Michael’s world. There was only one way to do that: play his songs.” Thus this live album, recorded at the Rome Auditorium with the Parco della Musica Jazz Lab. Enrico’s trumpet is at its most extroverted here, vaulting above the spirited arrangements by Mauro Ottolini. Michael Jackson’s protean pop songs have never been heard quite like this. Rava is currently playing European festivals with this programme.
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Enrico Pieranunzi Quartet - Alone Together (2001) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Enrico Pieranunzi Quartet
Title: Alone Together
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Post Bop, Straight-ahead/Mainstream Jazz, Piano Jazz, Guitar jazz
Label: © Challenge Records International
Release Date: 2001
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 00:59:13
Recorded: March 8, 2000


European jazz musicians don't always get the recognition they deserve worldwide. Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has already proved himself on several earlier dates for Challenge and as a leader of the Space Jazz Trio, recording with such saxophone greats as Phil Woods and Lee Konitz. But this mostly quartet date with the Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, the Dutch bassist Hein Van de Geyn, and a token American, drummer Joe LaBarbera, focuses exclusively on a dozen time-tested standards from the Great American Songbook. Pieranunzi is a talented soloist, but seems just as happy sharing the solo space. Catherine is the primary focus of the sizzling opener, "Speak Low," and his mellow guitar is also prominent in the somewhat brisker than normal and slightly Latin-flavored take of "My Foolish Heart." Trumpeter Eric Vloeimans is added on three numbers, including a somewhat spacey "What Is This Thing Called Love?," a tantalizing "Alone Together," which features somewhat sparse accompaniment at times, and a foot-tapping samba version of "You Don't Know What Love Is." This very enjoyable session is easily recommended to fans of post-bop. --AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden
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Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Swings Lightly (1958/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Ella Fitzgerald
Title: Ella Swings Lightly
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Standards, Traditional Pop, American Popular Song, Early Jazz Vocals
Label: © The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
Release Date: 1958/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 00:47:56
Recorded: #2-4,6,9-11 - November 22; #1,5,7,8,12-16 - November 23, 1958, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

High-Res remastered edition of this 1958 album from the Jazz vocalist including bonus tracks. Ella Swings Lightly was the first of Ella Fitzgerald's very few collaborations with the great conductor and arranger Marty Paich. All of the music recorded during those 1958 sessions has been included here, as well as four rare tunes from 1959 and 1962 that complete Ella and Paich's collaborative recordings prior to 1966. Essential Jazz Classics.
On „Ella Swings Lightly“, Fitzgerald is paired with the Marty Paich Dek-tette, a ten-piece studio ensemble rooted in the cool jazz sounds of the Miles Davis Nonet and the Gerry Mulligan Tentette. Originally assembled as a one-off ensemble for an album with Mel Tormé, the dek-tette was later re-formed due to popular demand from musicians and audiences alike. The dek-tette featured a brass quintet (2 trumpets, trombone, French horn and tuba) and a trio of saxophonists (who all doubled on a variety of woodwinds) set over a rhythm section of bass and drums. Paich maintained the cool sound by keeping the trumpets in the middle register, writing melodic lines for the tuba, and excluding piano and guitar from the rhythm section. His settings featured warm mixtures of instrumental sounds and a laid-back approach to rhythm. Balancing the strength of a big band with the flexibility of a small combo, the Dek-tette was a great backing group for both jazz vocalists and instrumentalists. Paich’s arrangements were usually created in collaboration with the featured artists, but Paich had only had one or two meetings with Fitzgerald before recording “Ella Swings Lightly”. However, the settings came easily, given Paich’s long-time admiration of the vocalist. Fitzgerald’s only concern was singing without a piano, so Lou Levy was brought in for the sessions. The rest of the Dek-tette included several of Paich’s first-call men, including Bud Shank, Don Fagerquist, Bob Enevoldsen, Bill Holman, Joe Mondragon and Mel Lewis.
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Elina Garanca - Revive (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Various
Artist: Elīna Garanča
Title: Revive
Genre: Classical
Label: © Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 01:01:05
Recorded: Valencia, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Auditorium, 6/2016


Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča explores the emotional storms raging in the lives of opera’s strong women with her new DG album ‘Revive’. She channels her experience and insights into a collection of arias drawn from the great Romantic repertoire, complete with captivating rarities and genuine showstoppers. The recording includes music from Verdi’s Don Carlo, Leoncavallo’s La Bohème, Massenet’s Hérodiade, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Saint-Saëns’s Henri VIII, as well as celebrated set-pieces from Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, Massenet’s Werther, Berlioz’s Les Troyens, and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. The album was made with Roberto Abbado and the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana.
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Edward Elgar - Enigma Variations & other orchestral works - BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Artist: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins
Title: Elgar - Enigma Variations & other orchestral works
Genre: Classical
Label: © Hyperion Records
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: hyperion-records.co.uk
Duration: 81 minutes 55 seconds
Recorded: September 2015, City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland

Two much-loved orchestral favourites representing the summit of Elgar’s maturity are coupled with three of the lesser-known wartime works, here receiving their first recordings with the original French texts. Kate Royal is the soprano soloist in Une voix dans le désert, a hauntingly tender masterpiece which every Elgarian should know.
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Eddy Arnold - The Last Word in Lonesome (1966/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Eddy Arnold
Title: The Last Word in Lonesome
Genre: Country, Country Pop, Easy Listening
Label: © Radio Corporation Of America | Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1966/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 00:28:20
Recorded: RCA Victor Studios, Nashville


Eddy Arnold drifted steadily toward the pop mainstream throughout the late '50s and '60s until, with The Last Word in Lonesome, he arrived at his destination. "Country-pop" and "Nashville sound" do not describe the music here -- it is pure MOR pop vocal material of the sort in which John Gary and Al Martino dealt. The cover photo of Arnold in an elegant black velvet jacket and white silk scarf tells the story before the needle even touches the vinyl. The songwriters, from Bob Montgomery and Dottie West to Cindy Walker and Hank Cochran, hail from the field of country music, but Arnold's smooth crooning and Bill Walker's easy listening string arrangements are bound for the supper club. "Why" is particularly lovely, and "Misty Blue" became a big hit for Arnold in 1967 (and again for Billy Jo Spears in 1976). Arnold's recording of the title track, one of Roger Miller's most affecting compositions, almost reached number one and crossed over to the pop Top 40. If country music was moving uptown in the '60s, The Last Word in Lonesome saw it comfortably ensconced in a Manhattan penthouse, sipping champagne and bragging about its golf scores. --AllMusic Review by Greg Adams
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