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Month: November 2017

Janis Steprans – Ajivtal (2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Janis Steprans – Ajivtal (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 1:04:03 minutes | 1,29 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © Effendi Records

Saxophonist, composer, and teacher Janis Steprans hails from Montreal. He began playing the saxophone when he was in high school, then he went on to study at McGill University with Gerry Danovitch, winning the concerto competition in 1975. He later went on to attend the New England Conservatory. He has spent his career playing in several jazz bands, most recently his own jazz quartet. He has recorded five solo albums. Currently he is an associate professor of jazz studies at Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada. He writes of the pieces on this release: “The pieces are built around a previously imagined musical motif, an exotic motif reminiscent of Russian, Middle Eastern and Jewish music. During the writing of these plays, I reflected on my own origins and how they influence my music. I hope that Ajivtal and the other parts of this album will please you.”

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James Blunt – Back To Bedlam {Deluxe} (2004/2005/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

James Blunt – Back To Bedlam {Deluxe} (2004/2005/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 48:04 minutes | 903 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Custard – Atlantic

Back to Bedlam is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter James Blunt. It is named after the infamous psychiatric institution of Bethlem Royal Hospital, which is commonly known as Bedlam. Back to Bedlam was the highest-selling album of 2005 in the UK, with over 2.4 million copies sold. By December 2009, the album had been certified 10× Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of over 3 million, making it the best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK. As of 2017, it has sold 3.33 million copies in the UK and over 11 million copies worldwide.

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James Blunt – The Afterlove (2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

James Blunt – The Afterlove (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 39:45 minutes | 438 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Atlantic Records UK

On his fifth full-length, The Afterlove, British singer James Blunt makes a risky shift in his sensitive-guy-with-a-guitar sound, opting for a taut collection that tugs at the heartstrings with polished pop sheen. The slight departure seems to be a conscious decision, as the confidently self-aware Blunt sings that he “would have said ‘you’re beautiful’/but I used that line before,” referencing his inescapable 2005 smash single. Recruiting OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and Ed Sheeran on production, writing, and occasional backing vocals (the trio even joins forces on the pastoral “Time of Our Lives”), Blunt presents his most mainstream offering yet. Indeed, at certain points, his trademark wounded falsetto drifts into Adam Levine territory, turning songs like the soaring “Bartender,” the pulsing “California,” and the shimmering “Lose My Number” into the best Maroon 5 songs released in 2017. For longtime fans, these changes might be jarring. Even peppier tracks from the Mumford-esque Moon Landing — take “Heart to Heart” for example — had the distinct feeling that a band was at least somewhere in the vicinity during the recording sessions. And yet, Afterlove is not Blunt selling his soul to the pop gods. Standout “Don’t Give Me Those Eyes” is Blunt’s dramatic soft rock at its moving best, riding a pensive piano and orchestra to great emotional effect. The Sheeran-produced “Make Me Better” is genuine and sweet, while “Heartbeat” swells with urgency and drama. Earnest toe-tapper “Someone Singing Along” combines his past and present sounds with his affable personality most seamlessly, weaving guitar twang with a thumping heart as Blunt sings “even if some notes are wrong/I’m hoping someone’s singing along/’cause just one voice is not enough/I need to hear from everyone/and even when I’m dead and gone/I’m hoping someone’s singing along.” Even though he’s calling for empathy and strength, his own dreams of the music outliving the man seep through the finer points of the big message. Although he’s pretty much guaranteed that legacy with “You’re Beautiful,” Afterlove is a brave bid for contemporary relevance in 2017, a wonderful step outside his comfort zone that is more memorable and exciting than much of his output this decade. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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James Blunt – Moon Landing {Deluxe Edition} (2013/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

James Blunt – Moon Landing {Deluxe Edition} (2013/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 42:39 minutes | 964 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Custard – Atlantic

“Moon Landing” is the fourth studio album from British singer-songwriter James Blunt. The album is produced by Tom Rothrock (Beck, Moby, Foo Fighters), who worked with James on his multi-platinum selling debut Back To Bedlam , with additional production from Martin Terefe (KT Tunstall, Martha Wainwright, Jason Mraz). The deluxe album format contains three additional tracks – “Telephone”, “Kiss This Love Goodbye” and “Hollywood”.

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Ibrahim Maalouf – Dalida By Ibrahim Maalouf (2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Ibrahim Maalouf – Dalida By Ibrahim Maalouf (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 42:53 minutes | 467 MB | Genre: Chanson
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Barclay

“Dalida by Ibrahim Maalouf”, the new album of Ibrahim Maalouf. For the anniversary of the 30th anniversary of Dalida’s death, the Barclay label wished to entrust to Ibrahim Maalouf an original creation around his repertoire. Surrounded by his big band and prestigious guests (Alain Souchon, Ben L’Oncle Soul, Melody Gardot, Monica Bellucci, -M-, Izia, Mika, Thomas Dutronc, Rokia Traore, Arno and Golshifteh Farahani), the trumpet player, composer and French-Lebanese arranger went to get the essence of the titles of Dalida that he carefully selected, to rearrange them in his own way, with humility. The jazz approach of Ibrahim Maalouf sublimates the work of Dalida.

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Hiroshi Yoshimura – Music For Nine Post Cards (1982/2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Hiroshi Yoshimura – Music For Nine Post Cards (1982/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 47:24 minutes | 437 MB | Genre: New Age
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Empire of Signs

Hiroshi Yoshimura’s classic 1982 album “Music For Nine Post Cards” available for the first time outside Japan. Yoshimura, the legendary Japanese ambient artist who passed away in 2003, originally produced Music For Nine Post Cards as a demo of music to be played in the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art. It was recorded at home using a minimal setup of Fender Rhodes and keyboard.

Known among ambient and New Age heads for his serene, Satie-influenced sound—referred to as kankyō ongaku [環境音楽] (the term given to Brian Eno’s “ambient” music when it arrived in late ’70s Japan)—Yoshimura also made environmental music for runway shows, train stations and pre-fab houses over the course of his career.

The Music For Nine Post Cards reissue is the first release for Empire Of Signs, a new label run by Spencer Doran of Visible Cloaks and Maxwell August Croy of the Root Strata label. Doran and Croy worked with Hiroshi’s widow Yoko Yoshimura on the reissue, which features reproductions of the original art and liner notes, as well as new writings from Doran, Croy and Yoshimura. The label says more Yoshimura reissues are on the way.

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Henning Kraggerud, Bugge Wesseltoft – Bugge & Henning: Last Spring (2012/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Henning Kraggerud, Bugge Wesseltoft – Bugge & Henning: Last Spring (2012/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:13:23 minutes | 1,27 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters | Booklet, Front Cover | © ACT Music

As the title implies, Last Spring is a revisiting of the joys of springtime. It is not an exulting, whirling awakening, but a sustained, minimalistic meditation, oriented strongly towards the details, the variance of the melodies and the breadth and beauty of the sound. It is based on the most perfect interaction possible: soft piano melts into the pizzicato melodies that Henning Kraggerud entices out of his 1744 Guarneri violin, his Harald Lund viola and his unique six-stringed viola Concorda.

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Hans Vlig Van Der Sys – It’s Rag Time (1976/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Hans Vlig Van Der Sys – It’s Rag Time (1976/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 32:28 minutes | 602 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: HighResAudio | Front Cover | © MPS

Best known for his work with the well-known Viennese Dixieland clarinetist Fatty George and trumpeter Oscar Klein, Dutch pianist Hans van der Sys exemplified the best of European traditional jazz playing. An outing in trio, It’s Rag Time highlights van der Sys’ rag, and honky-tonk playing and compositional skill. Hank’s Special, The Syncopator, Western Pacific, The Toy Terminal, and Mac’s Rag are essentially traditional rags. Maggie has a nostalgic, quirky vaudevillian melody, Honky Tonk Bus is a blues with more than a bit of boogie in it. Toast to Fats, with its nod to stride, must be a homage to Fats Waller. Alone with the Blues is just that, heart-felt and lyrical, and Saturday Night Honky Tonk would fit right in at any small-town bar or dance hall. A pleasure for ragtime and traditional jazz fans as well as those who just enjoy exceptional piano playing.

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Hans Theessink and Terry Evans – Visions (2008/2016) [Official Digital Download DSF DSD64/2.82MHz + FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Hans Theessink and Terry Evans – Visions (2008/2016)
DSD64 (.dsf) 1 bit/2,82 MHz | Time – 44:27 minutes | 1,75 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 44:27 minutes | 830 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio | Front Cover
Genre: Blues | © Blue Groove

The combination of the sheer artistry of one of Europe’s finest purveyors of American roots music with the deep soul bluesy soulfulness of Terry Evans is a match made in blues heaven. Visions will delight even the most discerning hi-fi fan with a fantastic sonic experience. Guests: Richard Thompson, Bo Diddley. Nominated for the Blues Music Awards 2009.

„One of the year’s best acoustic outings.“ (Blues Revue)

„Highly recommended and well worth hunting down.“ (Living Blues)

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Various Artists – Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Various Artists – Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 02:22:13 minutes | 1,48 GB | Genre: Soundtrack
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Atlantic Records

“Hamilton” – which transferred to Broadway following a sold-out run at The Public Theater in NYC – is the acclaimed new musical about the scrappy young immigrant Alexander Hamilton, the $10 Founding Father who forever changed America with his revolutionary ideas and actions. During his life cut too short, he served as George Washington’s chief aide, was the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, a loving husband and father, despised by his fellow Founding Fathers, and shot to death by Aaron Burr in a legendary duel.

The “HAMILTON (ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING)” is executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, founding members of the Grammy Award winning hip-hop band, The Roots. “HAMILTON” has book, music and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award-winning composer Lin Manuel Miranda, who also plays the title role. The musical is directed by Thomas Kail, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and music direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire. “HAMILTON” is inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography “Alexander Hamilton”.

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