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Category: SACD

Patrick Zimmerli – Phoenix (2005) [2.0 & 5.0] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Patrick Zimmerli – Phoenix (2005) [2.0 & 5.0]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 64:03 minutes | Scans included | 3,18 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,07 GB
Jazz / Experimental / Modern Creative | Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.0 multichannel surround sound

Usually, when jazz and electronica get together, it’s the former that ends up taking a back seat to the latter — a string bass sample lopes along underneath laid-back synth chords, or a saxophone tries to honk its way through a thicket of over-produced keyboards. Either way, the strategy is to take easy listening pap and give it a superficial gloss of hipness. The sixth album by saxophonist and composer Patrick Zimmerli takes just the opposite tack, and succeeds brilliantly. Instead of using disconnected jazz elements to spice up electronic Muzak, Zimmerli writes complex and beautiful jazz charts and spices them up with tasteful incursions of jittery, jungly breakbeats (courtesy of percussionist and programmer Satoshi Takeishi). His approach might sound gimmicky if it weren’t for the strength of his compositions, which manage to balance challenging formal complexity with intuitive, completely approachable beauty. He incorporates a string quartet into his arrangements in a way that brings to mind the more successful moments of Gunther Schuller’s third stream experimentation of the 1960s; his setting of the Jobim standard “How Insensitive” is one of the most intriguing and lovely ever recorded, and his own “Gnosis Crisis” combines cool strings with hot beats in a way that is both surprising and immediately attractive. Only the slightly bloated tone poem “Wunderlichen Stadt” (clocking in at over ten and a half minutes) fails to consistently hold one’s attention; everything else is a revelation. Very highly recommended.

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Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra – Balalaika Favorites (1963) [Reissue 2005] {2.0 & 3.0} [PS3 ISO + FLAC]

Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra – Balalaika Favorites (1963) [Reissue 2005] {2.0 & 3.0}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 49:34 minutes | Scans included | 2,34 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 946 MB
Mercury Living Presence 35mm series | Features 2.0 and 3.0 multichannel surround sound

This is the first recordings ever made in the Soviet Union by american musical and technical stuff and equipment, recorded on lovation in Moscow. This SACD presents, for the first time, the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra’s legendary recordings in their original 3-channel (left, right & centre) versions. Using the original 35mm film masters, the disc features a DSD 3-channel stereo and a new DSD stereo transfer.

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Chris Whitley – Perfect Day (2000) [Reissue 2001] {PS3 ISO+FLAC}

Chris Whitley – Perfect Day (2000) [Reissue 2001]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 38:52 minutes | Artwork | 1,57 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Artwork | 688 MB

Chris Whitley was a Texas-based singer/songwriter who initially began his career as a bluesy roots rocker, but as his career progressed, he moved deeper into rock & roll and alternative rock. Though Whitley’s albums usually received positive reviews, they rarely sold, and his tendency to rework his sound prevented him from developing a sizable cult following among singer/songwriter fans.

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Sting – Sacred Love (2003) [Limited Edition] {2.0 & 5.1} [PS3 ISO + FLAC]

Sting – Sacred Love (2003) [Limited Edition] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 60:37 minutes | Scans included | 3,91 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 57:49 mins | Scans | 1,19 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound

Sting scored a moderate comeback success greater than most had imagined possible with 1999’s Brand New Day, reestablishing himself as a viable commercial artist instead of merely settling for “living legend” status. Part of this success was due to “Desert Rose,” featuring vocalist Farhat Bouallagui’s careening cadences that garnered attention, particularly when they were showcased in a car commercial that kicked the album into high commercial gear. Sting picks up on this, adding three guest vocalists to the ten-track Sacred Love album (the 11th track is a remix of the lead single, “Send Your Love” — which happens to be better, since it eliminates the rather annoying Indian-styled hook) — Vicente Amigo and Anoushka Shankar are paired with Mary J. Blige, who in this context is presented as a world music artist. None of the guests makes much of an impression here, but neither does Sting, since this is an album that puts sound over song or performance. Sacred Love is to Brand New Day what Mercury Falling was to Ten Summoner’s Tales — a fussy, overworked stab at maturity, one that has impeccable craft but is obscured by its own meticulousness. It is professional to a fault, using its maturity and preciseness to obscure the fact that the songs don’t really work. Sting isn’t always hemmed-in, even ending “Inside” with a hysterical rant that makes him seem like a madman, but it has the effect of making the rest of the album seeming too deliberate and far from adventurous. It’s far from a bad listen, nor is it embarrassing, but it’s entirely too predictable, coming across as nothing more than well-tailored, expensive mood music, which is certainly far less than what Sacred Love could have been.

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Sting – Brand New Day (1999) [Reissue 2004] {2.0 & 5.1} [PS3 ISO + FLAC]

Sting – Brand New Day (1999) [Reissue 2004] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 48:32 minutes | Scans included | 2,89 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 48:49 mins | Scans | 969 MB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound

By the late ’90s, Sting had reached a point where he didn’t have to prove his worth every time out; he had so ingrained himself in pop culture, he really had the freedom to do whatever he wanted. He had that attitude on Mercury Falling, but it was too somber and serious, everything that its successor, Brand New Day, is not. Light, even effervescent, Brand New Day feels like little else in Sting’s catalog. Not that it represents a new beginning, contrary to what the title may promise. The album is not only firmly within his tradition, it sounds out of time — it’s odd how close Brand New Day comes to feeling like a sequel to Nothing Like the Sun. Musically, that is. The sparkling, meticulous production and the very tone of the music — ranging from light funk to mellow ballads to the Lyle Lovett tribute “Fill Her Up” — are of a piece with Sting’s late-’80s work. That’s the main thing separating it from Ten Summoner’s Tales, his other straight pop album — well, that, and the levity. There are no overarching themes, no political messages on Brand New Day — only love songs, story songs, and, for lack of a better term, inspirational exhortations. This is all a good thing, since by keeping things light he’s managed to craft an appealing, engaging record. It may not ask as much from its audience as Sting’s other ’90s efforts, but it’s immediately enjoyable, which isn’t the case for its cousins. Brand New Day doesn’t boast any new classics, and it does sound a little dated, but it’s well-crafted, melodic, and has a good sense of humor — exactly the kind of record Sting should be making as he embarks on the third decade of his career.

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Peter White – Glow (2001) [2.0 & 5.1] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Peter White – Glow (2001) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 50:45 minutes | Scans included | 3,28 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 984 MB
Smooth Jazz, Guitar, Easy Listening | Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound

The smooth-jazz acoustic-guitar star gets his R&B groove on throughout many tracks on this beautifully recorded disc, and not just on the obvious tunes like the sneaky Isley Brothers cover, “Who’s That Lady” (with Kirk Whalum cooking on sax), and the old Temptations number, “Just My Imagination,” but also on the very funky “Turn It Out,” with sax man Euge Groove, and the Latin-tinged “Bueno Funk,” with Steve Cole on the horn. The rest of the album is about as dependable and complete an album White has put together since the promise he showed with Basia in the mid-’80s, which is to say smooth-jazz radio and fans are sure to be all over his thoughtful melodies and tasteful arrangements. Other guest stars include trumpeter Rick Braun, the ubiquitous keyboardist Jeff Lorber, and saxophonist Dave Koz, who warms the title ballad. More tracks sure to please fans of the very popular guitarist include “Pedro Blanco,” and “Baby Steps”.

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Oregon – Beyond Words (1995) [Reissue 2003] {2.0 & 5.0} [PS3 ISO + FLAC]

Oregon – Beyond Words (1995) [Reissue 2003] {2.0 & 5.0}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 71:46 minutes | Scans included | 3,94 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,26 GB
Jazz, Folk Jazz, World Fusion | Chesky Records | Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound

Oregon emerged in 1970 as a splinter band from the Paul Winter Consort. Its members each had experience in jazz, classical, and a variety of non-western musical styles, and were also multi-instrumentalists…

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Junior Wells – Come On In This House (1996) [Reissue 2002] {2.0 & 5.1} [PS3 ISO + FLAC]

Junior Wells – Come On In This House (1996) [Reissue 2002] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 69:22 minutes | Scans included | 3,97 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 69:09 mins | Scans | 1,22 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound

Junior Wells’ penchant for clowning around sometimes conflicts with his craftsmanship, but he’s all business on Come on in This House, his most unadulterated blues record since his highly acclaimed Hoodoo Man Blues of more than 30 years vintage. This is what has come to be known as an “unplugged” session — that is, predominately, although not exclusively, acoustic instrumentation. Producer John Snyder’s concept was threefold: to team Wells with some of the era’s top younger traditional blues guitarists — Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Sonny Landreth, Bob Margolin, and John Mooney; to have those musicians, in various combinations, accompany Wells on a variety of slide guitars; and to concentrate on vintage Chicago and Delta blues from the repertoires of Rice Miller, Little Walter, Tampa Red, Arthur Crudup, and Wells himself. The result is a virtual slide-guitar mini-fest and a demonstration of the timeless appeal of classic blues done well. Wells’ vocals are deep and manly; his harp playing is high-pitched, like a child’s pleading. A surprising highlight is the only contemporary tune on the disc, Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” New Orleans drummer Herman Ernest III, who appears on 11 of the 14 cuts, does a masterful job laying down understated rhythmic grooves.

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Herman’s Hermits – Retrospective (2004) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Herman’s Hermits – Retrospective (2004)
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 65:29 minutes | Scans included | 2,68 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 746 MB

No less than 26 hybrid, SACD-remastered tracks from Peter Noone and crew you’re into something very good! I’m into Something Good; Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter; Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat; No Milk Today; I’m Henry VIII, I Am; There’s a Kind of Hush; A Must to Avoid; Silhouettes; Hold On; Just a Little Bit Better; Leaning on a Lamp Post; (What a) Wonderful World , and more. Every hit!

The 26 tracks on Retrospective show that it’s not enough to just have hits, you have to have hits with the right songs. Herman’s Hermits came to prominence during the early days of the British Invasion with a mix of odes to teenage love such as “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” “Mrs. Brown, You’ve got a Lovely Daughter,” and “I’m Into Something Good” and mildly rocked-up versions of ancient English music hall songs like George Formby’s 1937 hit “Leaning on a Lamp Post” and the 1911 chart-topper “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am.” By 1966, two years after lead singer Peter Noone and his band mates scored their first hit, they were pigeonholed as a novelty act and their records stopped charting. Which is too bad because their later songs like “No Milk Today,” “East West,” and “Don’t Go Out Into the Rain” are delightful dollops of late 1960s British pop. Many of these later songs featured string arrangements by John Paul Jones and guitar parts by Jimmy Page, who were both studio musicians before they formed Led Zeppelin. Herman’s Hermits were not among the most important bands from the British Invasion, but their best songs perfectly captured the giddy spirit of the times and are certainly worth revisiting.

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Harry Connick, Jr. – We Are In Love (1990) [Reissue 2000] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Harry Connick, Jr. – We Are In Love (1990) [Reissue 2000]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 52:17 minutes | Scans included | 2,12 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 940 MB
Swing, Vocal Jazz, New Orleans

Harry Connick Jr. has a rare gift for summoning the style of classic 1940s saloon singing, hinting at Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and especially Dick Haymes, without engaging in actual impersonation. What’s more uncanny still is his songwriting, an idiomatic command of the standards that often summons some of the rhythmic ease of Gershwin, the tunefulness of Jerome Kern, and the wit of Cole Porter. Both his singing and songwriting talents are evident on this CD, recorded in 1990 when Connick was just 22. Its emphasis is squarely on the subject of love, both on the ballads and some harder swinging tunes, and Connick’s voice shines on original songs and the standards “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and Porter’s “It’s All Right with Me.” Connick’s voice and piano are ably supported by bassist Ben Wolfe, drummer Shannon Powell, and a string section, while there are some good jazz solos by regular associate Russell Malone on guitar and guest Branford Marsalis on tenor and soprano saxophones.

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