Cream – Goodbye (1969) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2014] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Cream – Goodbye (1969) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2014]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 30:28 minutes | Scans NOT included | 1,23 MB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans NOT included | 614 MB
Gerne: Rock

After a mere three albums in just under three years, Cream called it quits in 1969. Being proper gentlemen, they said their formal goodbyes with a tour and a farewell album called — what else? — Goodbye. As a slim, six-song single LP, it’s far shorter than the rambling, out-of-control Wheels of Fire, but it boasts the same structure, evenly dividing its time between tracks cut on-stage and in the studio. While the live side contains nothing as indelible as “Crossroads,” the live music on the whole is better than that on Wheels of Fire, capturing the trio at an empathetic peak as a band. It’s hard, heavy rock, with Cream digging deep into their original “Politician” with the same intensity as they do on “Sitting on Top of the World,” but it’s the rampaging “I’m So Glad” that illustrates how far they’ve come; compare it to the original studio version on Fresh Cream and it’s easy to see just how much further they’re stretching their improvisation. The studio side also finds them at something of a peak. Boasting a song apiece from each member, it opens with the majestic classic “Badge,” co-written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison and ranking among both of their best work. It’s followed by Jack Bruce’s “Doing That Scrapyard Thing,” an overstuffed near-masterpiece filled with wonderful, imaginative eccentricities, and finally, there’s Ginger Baker’s tense, dramatic “What a Bringdown,” easily the best original he contributed to the group. Like all of Cream’s albums outside Disraeli Gears, Goodbye is an album of moments, not a tight cohesive work, but those moments are all quite strong on their own terms, making this a good and appropriate final bow.

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Coryell, Bailey & White – Traffic (2006) [Hybrid-SACD] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Coryell, Bailey & White – Traffic (2006)
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,81 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 1,14 GB | Artwork
Label/Cat#: Chesky Records # SACD 322 | Country/Year: US 2006 | 5% Recovery Info
Genre: Jazz | Style: Fusion, Contemporary Jazz

The latest Chesky Jazz recordings, The New York Sessions, are, to me, the best recordings ever because they are the most natural sounding ever. They always record live, not in studios, with minimal but highest quality technical equipment. There is no multi-tracking, overdubbing or compressing what makes the music sound so natural with its original dynamics. The lack of technical equipment may be the reason for the natural, pleasing sound of so many Jazz records of the 50`s, even the monaural ones, combined with the highest quality technical equipment of today Chesky makes the perfect sound. Listening to Cheskys for the first time you will recognize they are out of the ordinary, but I think you`ll have to get familiar with them to hear that they are best. In some of the booklets there are diagrams showing the positions of the musicians during the recording session. That was not necessary, you can see them when playing the record.
Uncommon for Chesky, this is an electric line up and Coryell and his guys are playing jazz-rock fusion of the best kind most time, eight of ten are originals plus Hendrix`s Manic Depression and Monk`s Misterioso. The whole thing sounds like jamming and improvising with fantastic solos and thrilling interplay, sometimes relaxed sometimes aggressive, always attracting. For example: Bailey and White are demonstrating for 7 minutes what “Drum & Bass” does mean to jazz men. One can use this instruments in another than a stupid way. If you like modern intelligent fusion by a small group, mixed with wonderful relaxed acoustic guitar tracks, here`s one for you. ~sa-cd.net

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Chicago – The Chicago Transit Authority (1969) [MFSL 2015] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Chicago – The Chicago Transit Authority (1969) [MFSL 2015]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 76:49 minutes | Scans included | 3,09 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,48 GB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2134
Genre: Rock

Few debut albums can boast as consistently solid an effort as the self-titled Chicago Transit Authority (1969). Even fewer can claim to have enough material to fill out a double-disc affair. Although this long- player was ultimately the septet’s first national exposure, the group was far from the proverbial “overnight sensation.” Under the guise of the Big Thing, the group soon to be known as CTA had been honing its eclectic blend of jazz, classical, and straight-ahead rock & roll in and around the Windy City for several years. Their initial non-musical meeting occurred during a mid-February 1967 confab between the original combo at Walter Parazaider’s apartment on the north side of Chi Town. Over a year later, Columbia Records staff producer James Guercio became a key supporter of the group, which he rechristened Chicago Transit Authority. In fairly short order the band relocated to the West Coast and began woodshedding the material that would comprise this title. In April of 1969, the dozen sides of Chicago Transit Authority unleashed a formidable and ultimately American musical experience. This included an unheralded synthesis of electric guitar wailin’ rock & roll to more deeply rooted jazz influences and arrangements. This approach economized the finest of what the band had to offer — actually two highly stylized units that coexisted with remarkable singularity. On the one hand, listeners were presented with an incendiary rock & roll quartet of Terry Kath (lead guitar/vocals), Robert Lamm (keyboards/vocals), Peter Cetera (bass/vocals), and Danny Seraphine (drums). They were augmented by the equally aggressive power brass trio that included Lee Loughnane (trumpet/vocals), James Pankow (trombone), and the aforementioned Parazaider (woodwind/vocals). This fusion of rock with jazz would also yield some memorable pop sides and enthusiasts’ favorites as well. Most notably, a quarter of the material on the double album — “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?,” “Beginnings,” “Questions 67 and 68,” and the only cover on the project, Steve Winwood’s “I’m a Man” — also scored as respective entries on the singles chart. The tight, infectious, and decidedly pop arrangements contrast with the piledriving blues-based rock of “Introduction” and “South California Purples” as well as the 15-plus minute extemporaneous free for all “Liberation.” Even farther left of center are the experimental avant-garde “Free Form Guitar” and the politically intoned and emotive “Prologue, August 29, 1968″ and “Someday (August 29, 1968).” The 2003 remastered edition of Chicago Transit Authority offers a marked sonic improvement over all previous pressings — including the pricey gold disc incarnation.

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Charles Mingus – Arizona, 1922 – Mexico, 1979 (2004) [Hybrid-SACD] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Charles Mingus – Arizona, 1922 – Mexico, 1979 (2004)
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,80 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 852 MB | Artwork
Label/Cat#: Membran “Supreme Jazz” # 223277 | Country/Year: Europe 2006 | 5% Recovery Info
Genre: Jazz | Style: Bop, Post Bop

Charles Mingus (1922-1979). Mingus was 1 of the most important & pivotal artists, musicians, & composers in the 20th century: he played a profound role in contributing to & leading a revolutionary movement in the history of Jazz in the post 1945 era–1 of the most significant & transformative periods in what can only be called a true ‘golden age’ in the music & thus the culture(s) of the African American people, its diaspora, & American society & culture generally.

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Blood, Sweat & Tears – Child Is Father To The Man (1968) [Audio Fidelity 2014] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Blood, Sweat & Tears – Child Is Father To The Man (1968) [Audio Fidelity 2014]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 49:28 minutes | Scans included | 3,11 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 946 MB
Genre: Rock

Child Is Father to the Man is keyboard player/singer/arranger Al Kooper’s finest work, an album on which he moves the folk-blues-rock amalgamation of the Blues Project into even wider pastures, taking in classical and jazz elements (including strings and horns), all without losing the pop essence that makes the hybrid work. This is one of the great albums of the eclectic post-Sgt. Pepper era of the late ’60s, a time when you could borrow styles from Greenwich Village contemporary folk to San Francisco acid rock and mix them into what seemed to have the potential to become a new American musical form. It’s Kooper’s bluesy songs, such as “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “I Can’t Quit Her,” and his singing that are the primary focus, but the album is an aural delight; listen to the way the bass guitar interacts with the horns on “My Days Are Numbered” or the charming arrangement and Steve Katz’s vocal on Tim Buckley’s “Morning Glory.” Then Kooper sings Harry Nilsson’s “Without Her” over a delicate, jazzy backing with flügelhorn/alto saxophone interplay by Randy Brecker and Fred Lipsius. This is the sound of a group of virtuosos enjoying itself in the newly open possibilities of pop music. Maybe it couldn’t have lasted; anyway, it didn’t.

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Blood, Sweat & Tears – Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968) [Audio Fidelity 2015] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Blood, Sweat & Tears – Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968) [Audio Fidelity 2015]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 & DST64 4.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 44:50 minutes | Scans included | 3,39 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 45:53 mins | Scans included | 914 MB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.0 multichannel surround sound | Audio Fidelity # AFZ5 198
Genre: Rock

The difference between Blood, Sweat & Tears and the group’s preceding long-player, Child Is Father to the Man, is the difference between a monumental seller and a record that was “merely” a huge critical success. Arguably, the Blood, Sweat & Tears that made this self-titled second album — consisting of five of the eight original members and four newcomers, including singer David Clayton-Thomas — was really a different group from the one that made Child Is Father to the Man, which was done largely under the direction of singer/songwriter/keyboard player/arranger Al Kooper. They had certain similarities to the original: the musical mixture of classical, jazz, and rock elements was still apparent, and the interplay between the horns and the keyboards was still occurring, even if those instruments were being played by different people. Kooper was even still present as an arranger on two tracks, notably the initial hit “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.” But the second BS&T, under the aegis of producer James William Guercio, was a less adventurous unit, and, as fronted by Clayton-Thomas, a far more commercial one. Not only did the album contain three songs that neared the top of the charts as singles — “Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “And When I Die” — but the whole album, including an arrangement of “God Bless the Child” and the radical rewrite of Traffic’s “Smiling Phases,” was wonderfully accessible. It was a repertoire to build a career on, and Blood, Sweat & Tears did exactly that, although they never came close to equaling this album.

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BSO / Charles Munch / Jascha Heifetz – Beethoven & Mendelsohn: Violin Concertos (2006) [Hybrid-SACD] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Beethoven / Mendelsohn: Violin Concertos
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Charles Munch / Jascha Heifetz
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,30 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 1,12, GB | Artwork | 3% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: RCA Red Seal “Living Stereo” # 82876-61391-2 | Country/Year: US 2006, 1955 & 1959
Genre: Classical | Style: Viennese School

These reissues are undoubtedly amongst the most treasured recordings of these fine pieces. There must be 50 or more interpretations of the Beethoven currently available, but you must hear Heifetz. No schmaltz. He articulates Beethoven as Beethoven wrote the concerto. The emotion is there…in the music. No extra added flourishes are needed. In fact, they can easily be a negative, so well constructed is this work. The Mendelssohn is also spectacular. Listening to Heifetz makes one wish he were alive in his heyday. It makes you wonder what Paganini really sounded like! The tempi are fast, yet it doesn’t sound rushed at all. Heifetz articulates every note; his technique is incomparable.
As a child, I wore out the grooves on this recording.
The recording quality is remarkable. The Beethoven is in 2ch, even on SACD “multi”, because the original recording was stereo. But the Mendelssohn master is 3ch, and is thus presented. The center channel stabilizes the position of the violin. No “sweet spot” problems…it sounds good from any part of the couch! The clarity is surprisingly good considering a 50+ year old tape. Current recording engineers could learn a thing or two from these old gems. The SACD rendering truly gives you the feel of analog, the warmth of the violin, while adding dynamic range and soundstage. The CD layer is also quite good, just a little restricted…only in comparison to the SACD.
After this purchase, I am seriously thinking of buying all the rest of the “Living Stereo” series. And I hope that all those legendary performances get their tapes dusted off, and made into SACDs
soon.
I don’t care how many versions of these concerti you have…If you don’t have a Heifetz recording you are missing out, and this SACD is the one to have. Go buy it now. ~sa-cd.net

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Asia – Astra (1985) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2014] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Asia – Astra (1985) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2014]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 44:55 minutes | Scans included | 1,81 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 893 MB
Genre: Rock

Released in 1985, Astra is Asia’s third studio album and first without guitarist Steve Howe. While somewhat unfairly regarded in comparison to Asia’s first two albums, Astra is nonetheless a solid prog rock outing that finds bassist/vocalist John Wetton, keyboardist Geoff Downes, drummer Carl Palmer, and replacement guitarist, Krokus’ Mandy Meyer, delivering a set of melodic and driving rock anthems. Admittedly, Astra came on the heels of a tumultuous period for the band that found Wetton unceremoniously booted and replaced by ELP singer Greg Lake right before the highly publicized 1983 live televised concert event Asia in Asia. By 1984, Wetton had been reinstated, but tensions remained and Howe eventually left the band early in the recording process for Astra. Featuring a slightly more arena rock and pop-metal sound, Astra featured two Top Ten singles in the epic “Go” and the dramatic “Too Late.” Elsewhere, there was a handful of similarly radio-ready cuts, including the sparkling George Harrison-sounding “Hard On Me,” the ’50s-influenced synth balladry of “Wishing,” and the grand and symphonic rock theatrics of the very Queen-esque “Rock and Roll Dream.” Certainly, while Asia is at its best with the original lineup, Astra is a truly underrated ’80s rock album and a must-hear for fans.

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Asia – Alpha (1983) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2014] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Asia – Alpha (1983) [Japanese Limited SHM-SACD 2014]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 50:05 minutes | Scans included | 2,02 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 996 MB
Genre: Rock

The eagerly awaited follow-up to the supergroup’s debut, Alpha landed with a resounding thud a year later. The album still managed to be a platinum-selling Top Ten hit, as did the leadoff single “Don’t Cry,” but where Asia managed to make old sounds fresh, Alpha fails miserably. Nothing on Alpha packs the sheer sonic force of the band’s debut. Instead, much of the record is lightweight both lyrically and musically, leaning heavier on keyboard-laden ballads like “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes,” which managed to scrape into the Top 40, and “My Own Time (I’ll Do What I Want).” The only real meat on the record comes during the last cut, “Open Your Eyes” (and only at the end of the song). Rumored creative differences, the album’s lukewarm reception, and flagging ticket sales for the ensuing tour led to lead singer John Wetton leaving the band before the year was out. Alpha is sorely disappointing, especially coming on the heels of a promising debut.

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Art Taylor – A.T.’s Delight (1960) [APO Remaster 2009] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Art Taylor – A.T.’s Delight (1960) [APO Remaster 2009]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 36:56 minutes | Scans included | 1,56 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 783 MB
Genre: Jazz

Although Art Taylor was one of the busiest modern second-generation jazz drummers, working in the studio with Coleman Hawkins, Donald Byrd, John Coltrane and many others, he only released five albums under his own name, of which A.T.’s Delight was the third. And a delight it is indeed, bright and percussive, and when conga player Carlos “Patato” Valdes joins Taylor and pianist Wynton Kelly and bassist Paul Chambers on three cuts (Thelonious Monk’s “Epistrophy,” “Move” and a Taylor calypso-inflected original called “Cookoo and Fungi”), the rhythm pocket opens into a deep blue sea for the horn men (Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax and Dave Burns on trumpet). “Move” does exactly that, it moves, and at a blistering pace. Monk’s “Epistrophy,” thanks in part to Valdes, reveals its rumba roots, and has never sounded brighter. The seldom-covered Coltrane composition “Syeeda’s Song Flute” seems likewise refreshed and revived. The lone Taylor original, the driving “Cookoo and Fungi,” is as sharp and alert is a kitten waking from a nap in the spring sun, and Taylor’s drum solo is crisp, efficient and slides seamlessly into the calypso-informed main theme. A.T.’s Delight is a solid outing, with a wonderfully nervous but completely focused energy.

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