Various Artists – Jazz Hits Of The 50s (2004) [2x SACD, 2004] {2.0 & 5.1} {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Various Artists – Jazz Hits Of The 50s (2004) [2x SACD, 2004] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 138:23 mins | Scans included | 7,95 GB
or FLAC 2.0 (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 2,54 GB
Terrific Collection Of The Popular Songs Of The 50′s! | Released by Membran Music GmbH.
Genre: Jazz

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Various Artists – VH1 Divas Live (1998) [Reissue 2001] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Various Artists – VH1 Divas Live (1998) [Reissue 2001]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 74:56 minutes | Scans included | 3,44 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,57 GB
Genre: Pop

VH1 Divas Live brings VH1′s original 1998 gathering of superstar songbirds to SACD. Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, and Shania Twain perform some of their biggest hits, including Carey’s “My All,” Twain’s “You’re Still the One,” Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” and Estefan’s “Turn the Beat Around.” All five divas share the spotlight — to the extent that a diva can share the spotlight — on the set’s finale, “Natural Woman” and “Testimony.” A worthwhile set for those who want to see as well as hear their VH1 Divas Live album, the disc offers little in the way of additional features but remains a faithful translation of the special TV concert.

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Valery Gergiev, LSO – Ravel. Daphnis et Chloe, Pavane, Bolero (2010) [2.0 & 5.0] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra & London Symphony Chorus -
- Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé / Pavane / Boléro (2010) [2.0 & 5.0]

PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 78:36 minutes | Scans included | 4,15 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,38 GB
Genre: Classical

The first thing that will strike you when listening to this recording is its huge dynamic range. The opening bars of ‘Daphnis and Chloe’ (recorded in September 2009) emerge almost imperceptibly from inky black silence, and you may be tempted to immediately increase the volume setting, but beware, because as the music of the introduction rises to its climax (around 2’28”) the sound expands hugely, with the LSO trumpets cutting thrillingly through the massive orchestral and choral texture. Nevertheless this disc does need to be played at a high level to achieve the most realistic sound from it.
Throughout this recording the Classic Sound team of Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson have managed to capture every detail of Ravel’s glittering score in a way that one would not have believed possible, given the well-known sonic limitations of the Barbican acoustic.
Of course, much of the credit for the illumination of orchestral detail must also be given to Valery Gergiev who manages to achieve superb balances between every sections of his marvellous orchestra. One might be forgiven for imagining that Gergiev would be a conductor who would not respond naturally to Ravel’s sensuous and erotic score with much sensitivity, but that is definitely not the case. His performance is beautifully attuned to the ebb and flow of the ballet and most successfully combines a relaxed gentleness in the more reflective sections with terrific muscular drive and energy elsewhere. The LSO perform with their customary virtuosity and it is good to be able to hear the wordless choral sections delivered with such accuracy and enthusiasm by the LSO Chorus.
The two works that fill up this disc, ‘Pavane pour une infante défunte’ and ‘Bolero’,were recorded in December 2009 at a different concert from that of the Daphnis and Chloe’.
Gergiev’s ‘Pavane’, though exquisitely played, could have benefited from little more forward momentum such as that demonstrated by the incomparable Pierre Monteux on his 1961 recording of it with this same orchestra. However, the ubiquitous ‘Bolero’ proves to be a real winner. Though Gergiev’s steady and relentless pace does imbue the piece with an almost militaristic quality, he does temper that by allowing a modicum of freedom and flexibility to his players. The laid-back saxophone playing and amusingly louche solo trombone certainly give this ‘Bolero’ an engaging character and welcome individuality.
This disc is an unexpected success and, even amongst the many available alternatives of these works, is highly recommended.

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Various Artists – Telarc SACD Sampler (1999) {SACD-R}

Various Artists – Telarc SACD Sampler (1999)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 69:28 minutes | Scans included | 2,84 GB

Tracklist:
01. Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – Let Yourself Go
02. Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – September in the Rain
03. Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – Night and Day
04. Monty Alexander – No Woman, No Cry
05. Monty Alexander – So Ja Sah
06. Ray Brown Trio with Nancy King and Antonio Hart – The Perfect Blues
07. Dave Brubeck Quartet – Deep Purple
08. Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson – Caravan
09. Rudolf Werthen / I Fiamminghi – Piazzolla: No. 1 Street Tango
10. Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – Children Will Listen (Into the Woods)
11. Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – He Lives In You (Lion King)
12. Erik van Nevel / Currende – De Monte: Bona est oratio cum ieiunio
13. Robert Shaw / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus – Dvorak: Stabat Mater

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Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 5 & 9 (2004) {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 5 & 9 (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 73:36 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 4,24 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 1,36 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 470 651-2
Genre: Classical

The argument could be made that Valery Gergiev and his Kirov orchestra’s 2002 recording of Shostakovich’s Fifth and Ninth symphonies on Philips is the ne plus ultra of Shostakovich recordings. The sound of the recording is staggering: crisp, rich, and vivid. The playing of the orchestra is stunning: plush, powerful, and precise. The conducting is superb: strong, firm, and flexible.
The argument could also be made that this is far more a Gergiev/Kirov recording than a Shostakovich recording. Gergiev interprets like mad: pushing and pulling tempos, stopping, starting, then suddenly changing the tempo altogether. His louds are overwhelming, his quiets are almost inaudible, and the distance between the two is incommensurable. There are times in this recording when it sounds as if the music is going to explode from the incredible and inexorable intensity of Gergiev’s interpretations. While nothing like the recordings of Yevgeny Mravinsky with the Leningrad Philharmonic, the conductor and orchestra that gave the work its premiere, Gergiev with the Kirov’s recording is nothing if it’s not the ne plus ultra.

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Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 4 (2004) {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 4 (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 64:14 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 3,96 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 1,17 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 475 6190
Genre: Classical

Valery Gergiev holds the opening movement of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4 together by sheer willpower. Since the gargantuan movement sprawls like a drunken giant, lurching from pseudo-exposition through inchoate development and faux-recapitulation and amorphous coda, nothing else but willpower could possibly do it. And, amazingly enough, it works. With the tremendously muscular playing of the Kirov Orchestra, Gergiev makes chaos cohere and even convince, if not quite compel. After the opening movement, Shostakovich’s Fourth does hold together and hold together brilliantly. The central movement is as tight and hard as a blackjack and the closing movement, although even larger and longer than the opening, has a dramatic logic as rigorous and severe as a machine gun. But Gergiev’s will power never relaxes and his closing movement is not only coherent and convincing, it is immensely compelling. Indeed, taken altogether, Gergiev and the Kirov’s Fourth is surely the most compelling recording of the work to come out of Russia since Kiril Kondrashin’s premiere recording from the ’60s. No higher praise is possible. Philips’ sound has the impact and immediacy of a sledgehammer.

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Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) & Rotterdam Philarmonic Orchestra – Shostakovich: Symphony 7 "Leningrad" (2004) {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) & Rotterdam Philarmonic Orchestra
- Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad” (2004)

PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 78:35 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 3,84 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 1,35 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 470 623-2
Genre: Classical

By its very nature, patriotism is vulgar: loud and proud, bombastic and sentimental, and wholeheartedly simple-minded. Or is that less a description of patriotism than a précis of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7? Written during the siege of Leningrad at the start of the Great Patriotic War, the Seventh is incredibly vulgar — critics at its American premiere savaged it for its banality — and incredibly effective. Its trite themes, its hackneyed harmonies, its straight-four rhythms, its primary color scoring, its “play it to the last row of the balcony” climaxes: all of these things are vulgar, but all of them are — in the right performance — overwhelmingly effective and altogether inspiring. In this performance by Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seventh is incredibly vulgar and unbelievably loud, proud, bombastic, and sentimental. But it is also incredibly effective: the opening Allegretto is monstrously evil and absolutely devastating, the following Moderato is quiet but deadly, the following Adagio is heartbreakingly mournful, the closing Allegro non troppo is enormously celebratory, and the entire work is a colossal monument to patriotism. The conjoined Kirov and Rotterdam orchestras play with all the bloodthirsty enthusiasm of the Red Army taking Berlin in 1945, and Philips’ sound gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger until the walls of the Reichstag come crashing down. Vulgar or not, this is as great a recording of Shostakovich’s Seventh as there has ever been.

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Tower Of Power – Soul Vaccination: Tower Of Power Live (1998) [Reissue 2000] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Tower Of Power – Soul Vaccination: Tower Of Power Live (1998) [Reissue 2000]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 71:38 minutes | Scans included | 2,88 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,48 GB
Genre: Funk, Soul, Jazz

“All I wanted to do was to get to Sacramento to play the topless bars,” recalls tower of power founder and tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo about his band’s early days in the late ’60s. Clearly, the funk horn ensemble has accomplished much more than that. A major influence on fusion and smooth jazz, the 10-piece band has recorded albums for Epic, Columbia, and Warner Bros. and continues to tour the summer jazz-festival circuit. Tower’s new album, Soul Vaccination: Tower of Power Live, features 15 of the band’s most popular songs as recorded during a 1998 world tour. Half of the tunes were recorded at the Fillmore in San Francisco, where the band performed frequently back in the day.

The recordings on Soul Vaccination: Live were made during Tower of Power’s 1998 tour. It wasn’t a reunion tour, since ToP never really went away, but they nevertheless hauled such staples as “What Is Hip,” along with selection from latter-day albums. If Soul Vaccination is to be trusted, it was an enjoyable but not particularly noteworthy jaunt through the states. Nevertheless, ToP’s playing was supple and lively enough to make it an enjoyable listen for hardcore fans, even if it’s not memorable enough to make its way onto the stereo that often.

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Tommy Flanagan – Overseas (1957) [Analogue Productions Remaster 2013] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Tommy Flanagan – Overseas (1957) [Analogue Productions Remaster 2013]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 Stereo > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 40:20 minutes | Scans included | 1,72 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 833 MB
Genre: Jazz

This studio session represents one of Tommy Flanagan’s earliest dates as a leader, recorded while he was in Stockholm, Sweden. Bassist Wilbur Little and a young Elvin Jones on drums provide strong support, but the focus is on Flanagan’s brilliant piano. The brilliant opener is a potent brisk run through Charlie Parker’s “Relaxin’ at Camarillo,” followed by a faster than typical “Chelsea Bridge,” which the leader playfully detours into another Billy Strayhorn composition (“Raincheck”) for a moment, while also featuring Jones’ brushwork in a pair of breaks. Flanagan’s approach to the venerable standard “Willow Weep for Me” is steeped in blues, backed by Little’s imaginative accompaniment. The bulk of this date is devoted to Flanagan’s compositions, though only one, “Eclypso,” remained in his repertoire for long. This engaging piece alternates between calypso and bop, with Jones switching between sticks and brushes. “Beat’s Up” has the obvious influence of Bud Powell, while the extended blues “Little Rock” opens with a sauntering bass solo. This album has been released under various titles on several labels.

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Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane – Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (1961) [Concord Records, Reissue 2003] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane – Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (1961)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 37:36 minutes | Scans included | 1,52 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 747 MB
Genre: Jazz

Universally regarded as one of the greatest collaborations between the two most influential musicians in modern jazz (Miles Davis notwithstanding), the Jazzland sessions from Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane should be recognized on other levels. While the mastery of the principals is beyond reproach, credit should also be given to peerless bassist Wilbur Ware, as mighty an anchor as anyone could want. These 1957 dates also sport a variety in drummerless trio, quartet, septet, or solo piano settings, all emphasizing the compelling and quirky compositions of Monk. A shouted-out, pronounced “Off Minor” and robust, three-minute “Epistrophy” with legendary saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Gigi Gryce, and the brilliant, underappreciated trumpeter Ray Copeland are hallmark tracks that every jazz fan should revere. Of the four quartet sessions, the fleet “Trinkle Tinkle” tests Coltrane’s mettle, as he’s perfectly matched alongside Monk, but conversely unforced during “Nutty” before taking off. Monk’s solo piano effort, “Functional,” is flavored with blues, stride, and boogie-woogie, while a bonus track, “Monk’s Mood,” has a Monk-Ware-Coltrane tandem (minus drummer Shadow Wilson) back for an eight-minute excursion primarily with Monk in a long intro, ‘Trane in late, and Ware’s bass accents booming through the studio. This will always be an essential item standing proudly among unearthed live sessions from Monk and Coltrane, demarcating a pivotal point during the most significant year in all types of music, from a technical and creative standpoint, but especially the jazz of the immediate future.

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