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Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden & Paul Motian – Hamburg ’72 (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden & Paul Motian – Hamburg ’72 (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 55:25 minutes | 1,06 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © ECM Records
Recorded live June 14, 1972 in Hamburg.

The Keith Jarrett Trio, playing live at NDR Funkhaus, Hamburg in July 1972. The trio with Haden and Motian was Jarrett’s first great band, his choice of players a masterstroke. Charlie and Paul hadn’t worked together until Jarrett brought them into each other’s orbit in 1966. With the bassist who had learned his craft in Ornette Coleman’s band, and the drummer from Bill Evans’s ground-breaking trio, Jarrett was able to explore the broadest scope of modern jazz, from poetic balladry to hard-swinging time-playing to ferocious and fiery free music. The improvisation heard in the Hamburg concert includes episodes with Keith on soprano sax and flute as well as piano, while Motian expands the role of percussion in the music, developing the supple, elastic, supremely unpredictable vocabulary that would subsequently become such a crucial part of both Jarrett’s groups and Paul’s own.

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Justin Kauflin – Dedication (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Justin Kauflin – Dedication (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:00:44 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Qwest Records
Recorded: July 2014 at EastWest Studios, Hollywood, CA

Justin Kauflin is all the rage now. His precocious talent was discovered when he was just 2—yes 2—years old. When he was just 15 he performed with the Jae Sinnett trio and appeared on the Trio’s extraordinary 2010 record, Theatre. But it was a year later that he was propelled into a rarefied realm. Placing 4th in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition he came to the attention of critics and important music aficionados including Clark Terry. The 2013 film Keep On Keeping On is just one of the interesting documentations of the raw talent of Mr. Kauflin. The other, more recent document is the 2014 album Dedication produced by Quincy Jones, another admirer of the pianist. Naturally this would come with the special Q touch. But none of the production values would matter in the least bit if it were not for the exquisite nature of Justin Kauflin’s playing, so wise beyond his years and so wonderfully articulate that it is bordering on genius.

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Johan Brouwer plays Bach, Bohm, Couperin and Forqueray (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Johan Brouwer plays Bach, Bohm, Couperin and Forqueray (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:10:38 minutes | 1,63 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | © Aluid Records
Recorded: 2014

Bach and the French baroque :: The working title of the programme is Bach and the French baroque. L’art de toucher le clavecin by François Couperin (1668-1733) was published in 1716 as a manual for the French style and gives important instructions for playing the harpsichord as regards finger positions and ornamentations. The préludes are written-out improvisations in the style of the Préludes non mésurée.
The Suites of Georg Böhm (1661-1733) were produced in an environment orientated towards France, like the court in German Celle, where the French consort of Duke Georg Wilhelm resided. After her husband’s death, she lived for some years in Lüneburg, where Böhm worked in the Johannis-Kirche. Besides the usual dances, the Suite in F Minor played here contains for instance a French Ciaconne.

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Jimmy Smith – A Date With Jimmy Smith, Vol. 2 (1957/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Jimmy Smith – A Date With Jimmy Smith, Vol. 2 (1957/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192kHz | Time – 34:15 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: acousticsounds.com | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: Manhattan Towers in New York City on February 11 (tracks 1 & 3), and February 12 (track 2), 1957

After cutting five albums with his trio, organist Jimmy Smith on Feb. 11, 1957, recorded with trumpeter Donald Byrd, altoist Lou Donaldson and tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley in a sextet that also included guitarist Eddie McFadden and drummer Art Blakey. Among the five songs recorded that day, two (lengthy versions of “Falling in Love with Love” and “Funk’s Oats”) are included on this LP along with a shorter trio rendition of “How High the Moon” from two days later with McFadden and drummer Donald Bailey in a trio.

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Jimmy Smith – A Date With Jimmy Smith, Vol. 1 (1957/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Jimmy Smith – A Date With Jimmy Smith, Vol. 1 (1957/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192kHz | Time – 33:57 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: acousticsounds.com | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: Manhattan Towers in New York City on February 11 (tracks 1 & 2), and February 13 (track 3), 1957

“These 1957 sessions were the first Jimmy Smith did with horns after his recording debut the previous year. With the calibre of the top-rank musicians involved – Smith, the first to translate Bird’s innovations to the organ, altoist Donaldson, the blues-drenched Bird follower, and both Mobley and Byrd contributing some thoughtful blowing of their own on tenor and trumpet respectively – the overall results were rewarding.
In the rhythm section, McFadden’s warm guitar offered another colour to the organ-and-horns sound, and Blakey, as always, was a force of nature on drums in this no-holds-barred meeting of modern minds.” — FreshSoundRecords

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Jesse Davis Quintet – Live at Smalls (2012/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88.2kHz]

Jesse Davis Quintet – Live at Smalls (2012/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2kHz | Time – 01:15:19 minutes | 1,51 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © SmallsLIVE
Recorded: December 13, 14,& 15, 2011 at SMALLS JAZZ CLUB, greenwich village NYC

Jesse Davis has a classic tone that will remind you of the best and beautiful days of bebop. WithLive At Smalls you get a feeling of a classic jazz performance. This live performance from 2011 features great interaction between Davis and Ryan Kisor; Davis sounds bold and his quintet have an urgency that makes this live date extremely exciting and romantic. A great session filled with lengthy selections and is a perfect introduction to a great performer.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080 – Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Raphael Alpermann (2011) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44.1kHz]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue), BWV 1080 – Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Raphael Alpermann (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz | Time – 01:17:39 minutes | 774 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: prestoclassical.co.uk | © Harmonia Mundi
Recorded: October, 2009, Teldex Studio, Berlin

Bach’s unfinished Art of Fugue, published for still-debated reasons in open score, has been performed and recorded in dozens of different instrumental versions. But this one, by the veteran Akademie für alte Musik, founded in the former East Berlin, is unique; few others have differentiated the fugues by instrumental forces deployed, and perhaps in none has the overall effect been quite so kaleidoscopic as this one. The rationale for this remains a bit uncertain after perusal of the booklet notes (in German and English); the group members write that, as with other instrumental versions, they aim to “achieve transparent and legible textures,” but their “real motivation in tackling the work was the pleasure of plunging together into the structures, harmonic language, and chromatic content of this music, in which an ensemble can make extraordinary discoveries through musical and instrumental confrontations.” The Akademie für alte Musik is not a historical instrument group, and there are no claims of any kind for authentic performance. Instead there is a shifting set of forces with a few recurring groups or individual players: a string quartet, a solo keyboardist, small wind groups, various pairs of strings in the canons, and tuttis including the entire ensemble of strings, three oboes in different ranges, bassoon, trombone, and keyboard (either harpsichord or organ). The shifts in instrumentation do not correspond to the work’s broad sections (simple fugues, fugues in augmentation, double and triple fugues, and the awesomely complex mirror fugues), and it’s hard to find a pattern of any kind. The motivation is murky, but the effect is pleasing if the listener approaches the music in the same sort of freewheeling spirit that the performers seem to have; the incredible concentration demanded by the Art of Fugue, which may or may not have been intended as a work to be performed from start to finish, is replaced by a light sense of anticipation that is extrinsic to the work but not fundamentally alien to it. This is the kind of recording for which sampling will reliably place the potential buyer into the pro or anti group. The sound engineering, a product of Berlin’s Teldex Studio, is a major strong point.

Review by James Manheim

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Imagine – Jean Rondeau (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Imagine – Jean Rondeau (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:24:28 minutes | 1,65 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Erato/Warner Classics
Recorded: Notre-Dame du Bon Secours, Paris. 2 – 6. VI. 2014

IMAGINE is the first Warner Classics release from the dynamic young French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, who sees it as “an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and in the harpsichord”. Praised by radio station France Musique for his “maturity, fabulous touch and originality,” the multi-talented Rondeau feels that, as a young musician today, he has “an incredible opportunity to break out of the concert hall and meet the world”.
IMAGINE features one of Bach’s most celebrated harpsichord works, the Italian Concerto BWV 971, but it mainly comprises transcriptions of music that the composer conceived for other instruments: the violin, the lute and the flute, including the towering Chaconne in D Minor. “This isn’t a disc of transcriptions, though,” says Rondeau. “As its name suggests, it is about imagination – an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and in the harpsichord. And though it’s not making a direct link to John Lennon, it’s nice if the title of the CD calls him to mind.”

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Tobias Hume: Poeticall Musicke / Eric Fischer: Topographic Long Range – Marianne Muller (2010) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88.2kHz]

Tobias Hume: Poeticall Musicke / Eric Fischer: Topographic Long Range – Marianne Muller (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2kHz | Time – 01:12:48 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Zig-Zag Territoires , Outhere Music
Recorded: 20 au 24 juillet 2009 à l’église évangélique allemande PARIS 9

Marianne Muller – fierce player of viola da gamba, recently applauded for her outstanding interpretation of Folies d’Espagne of Marin Marais on Zig-Zag Territoires – brings us solo and consort pieces of Tobias Hume – captain and eccentric English composer of the XVII century. Committed to her instrument, Marianne Muller commissions to contemporary composers new pieces for viola di gamba…and Eric Fischer created a piece dedicated to Tobias Hume.Little is known of Hume’s life. Some have suggested that he was born in 1569 because he was admitted to the London Charterhouse in 1629, a pre-requisite to which was being at least 60 years old, though there is no certainty over this. He had made his living as a professional soldier, probably as a mercenary. He was an officer with the Swedish and Russian armies.His published music includes pieces for viols (including many solo works for the lyra viol) and songs. They were gathered in two collections, The First Part of Ayres (or Musicall Humors, 1605) and Captain Humes Poeticall Musicke (1607). He was a particular champion of the viol over the then-dominant lute, something which caused John Dowland to publish a rebuttal of Hume’s ideas.Hume was also known as a prankster, as some of his somewhat unusual compositions illustrate. His most notorious piece was “An Invention for Two to Play upone one Viole”. Two bows are required and the smaller of the two players is obliged to sit in the lap of the larger player. This work was notated in tablature and is indeed technically possible to play. His instructions to “drum this with the backe of your bow” in another piece, “Harke, harke,” constitute the earliest known use of col legno in Western music.Eric Fischer has composed more than 200 works, which range from pieces for solo instrument to symphonic form by way of every type of instrumental forces and the most diverse experiences, including chamber music, electronics, vocal works, incidental music for the theatre, improvised music and pieces for period instruments. His openness to encounters of all kinds has led to other highly unusual artistic exchanges.

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Holly Cole – Baby, It’s Cold Outside (2001/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44.1kHz]

Holly Cole – Baby, It’s Cold Outside (2001/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz | Time – 43:12 minutes | 468 MB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Fidelio Technologies Inc.

Recorded in Toronto at Inception Sound Studios and McClear Digital Studios Baby, It’s Cold Outside was co-produced by Cole and her long-time accompanist, pianist Aaron Davis who also provided the dazzling orchestral arrangements for the 27-piece orchestra featured on four selections: Zat You Santa Claus, Santa Baby, Wildwood Carol, and the title track.
Also appearing on the album as core members backing Cole are: David Piltch and George Koller (bass), Mark Kelso (drums), and Brian Barlow (percussion). Baby, It’s Cold Outside possesses a diverse spectrum of seasonal emotions. It is not just Christmas favourites. It is not a bunch of chestnuts roasting on the open fire. It’s obvious by listening to it that Cole likes to poke fun at Christmas; likes to poke fun at the notion of Santa Claus; and really likes to swing with songs that have bit of sexual innuendo. There’s a lot of give-me-a-break about the album.
Cole chose Christmas songs with the same critical ear as all of her previous recordings. Not only did she take care in selecting the repertoire, but she set out to interpret them in such a fashion that they effectively are her own.

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