Jimmy D. Lane with Double Trouble – It’s Time (2004) {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Jimmy D. Lane with Double Trouble – It’s Time (2004)
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 53:56 minutes | Scans included | 2,29 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,21 GB
Recorded at Blue Heaven Studios, Salina, Kansas | Produced by Eddie Kramer | APO Records #2020 SA
Genre: Blues

Jimmy D. Lane is an American electric blues guitarist. Lane’s music has been likened to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose former band Double Trouble played with him on the 2004 album It’s Time. Other’s have compared Lane’s guitar work with that of Corey Stevens, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Healey.

You might call Jimmy D. Lane a natural born bluesman. His father was the legendary Jimmy Rogers, who Jimmy D. shared the stage with for many years before recording on his own. Lane can play it ’50s-style, as he did with his father and on Eomot RaSun’s album, but he can also turn it up and rock out with any of the finest guitar slingers. For It’s Time, Lane tackles a program of original tunes (except for one), with the aid of Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. These guys bring decades of experience to their blues rhythms, and know exactly how to support a player like Lane. Keyboard duties are split between Celia Ann Price on B3 and piano, and Mike Finnigan on the B3. In addition, the album was produced and engineered by the one and only Eddie Kramer, who adds crisp, clear production values and some very subtle studio tricks (check out the panning in the slide solo on “Stuck in the Middle”). As a writer, Lane sticks close to standard subject matter “What Makes People” is certainly a close cousin of Willie Dixon’s “The Same Thing,” but the variety of tempos and grooves and great playing all around keep the album exciting. The reggae-inflected acoustic rhythm guitar and congas give “Til I Loved You” a unique sound, and the acoustic guitar, haunting slide and general atmosphere of “Stuck in the Middle” brings Lane close to Little Axe territory. “Ain’t It a Pity” adds a bit of gospel flavor, a wonderful liquid guitar tone and the slightest bit of echo on some of Lane’s vocals to great effect. But most of these songs showcase Lane’s considerable guitar prowess and tough playing style. Great guitar solos are in abundance all over It’s Time, and Lane really gets a chance to stretch out on Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” (yet another connection to Jimi Hendrix’s legacy). Credit must also go to label/studio owner Chad Kassem for putting out blues albums that sound the way they ought to: real musicians playing real instruments together in the same space without the gloss and polish (especially on drums) that is the bane of too many modern blues albums. Any fan of serious blues guitar really needs to check out Jimmy D. Lane, and It’s Time is an excellent place to start.

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Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders – Live at Keystone, Vol. 1 (1973) [Reissue 2004] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Jerry Garcia & Merl Saund*rs – Live at Keystone, Vol. 1 (1973) [Reissue 2004]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 55:06 minutes | Scans included | 2,21 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,11 GB
Genre: Jazz

This 1973 release features what is essentially a Bay Area bar band led by Merl Saund*rs (keyboards) and Jerry Garcia (guitar) during the latter musician’s downtime from the Grateful Dead. Along with the two subsequent “encore” volumes, Live at Keystone includes performances drawn from the quartet’s July 10-11, 1973, run in the intimate confines of Keystone Korners in Berkeley. With the support of Bill Vitt(percussion) and John Kahn (bass), the pair jams their way through an eclectic assortment of covers and a few equally inspired original instrumentals. The clavinet and Hammond B-3-driven “Keepers” (aka “Finders Keepers”) is one such composition from the team of Saund*rs and Kahn. This funky rocker pulsates through some downright greasy interactions that recall a cross between Sly Stone and Billy Preston. Their interpretation of “Positively 4th Street” — the first of two Bob Dylan covers — is laid-back and bluesy, which allows Garcia to stretch out instrumentally between the verses. His impassioned vocals weave between Saund*rs’ alternating murky and billowing organ fills, adding new depths of empathetic noir. Notably, David Grisman’s mandolin runs were not part of the live recording, but overdubbed later. Conversely, Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” bops with an infectiously syncopated shuffle that glides along Saund*rs’ ethereal, swirling keyboard accents mimicking the hurdy-gurdy of a calliope. “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” is given a languid and slinky workout that is highlighted by some of Garcia’s most incendiary fretwork in this collection. Joined in progress is “Space” — a bit of jazzy free-form which was initially preceded by “Someday Baby” during the July 10 performance. John Kahn truly shines as he barrels in between Saund*rs’ scatological leads and Garcia’s trippy guitar runs. This distinct ensemble improvisation recalls some of the Grateful Dead’s further-out sonic explorations during seminal mid-’70s performances of “Playing in the Band” and “Eyes of the World.” It likewise foreshadows the direction that the Dead would follow on their highly sophisticated and fusion-influenced Blues for Allah (1975).

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Jane Ira Bloom – Sixteen Sunsets (2013) {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Jane Ira Bloom – Sixteen Sunsets (2013)
FLAC(tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 77:48 minutes | 1,41 GB
Blu-Ray Audio Rip | Sourced Track – LPCM 2.0 Stereo | No Art
Genre: Jazz

Award winning soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has always had a special feeling for ballad performances. So much so that she has now finally released: Sixteen Sunsets, a beautiful new recording featuring expressive interpretations from the American Songbook along with five compelling slow tempo original compositions.

Jane Ira Bloom has been steadfastly developing her unique voice on the soprano saxophone for over 30 years. She is a pioneer in the use of live electronics and movement in jazz, as well as the possessor of “one of the most gorgeous tones and hauntingly lyrical ballad conceptions of any soprano saxophonist.”
The fourteen tracks on Sixteen Sunsets feature nine American songbook classics including: Gershwin’s ”I Loves You Porgy,” Kern’s ”The Way You Look Tonight,” Arlen’s ”Out of This World,” Weill’s ”My Ship,” Jimmy Van Heusen’s ”Darn That Dream,” and Billie Holiday & Mal Waldron’s ”Left Alone,” among others. There are also five originals from Bloom s ballad repertoire including: ”What She Wanted,” ”Ice Dancing” (for Torvill & Dean), ”Gershwin’s Skyline,” ”Too Many Reasons,” and ”Bird Experiencing Light.” Photographic legend Jay Maisel contributed his breathtaking image: ”Maine Forest At Dawn” for the album cover art. He picked the image from his archives after listening to the CD and the synchronicity is startling.

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Jacques Brel – Les Marquises (1977) [Reissue 2004] {2.0 & 5.1} {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Jacques Brel – Les Marquises (1977) [Reissue 2004] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 48:46 minutes | Scans included | 3,05 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,05 GB
Genre: Chanson

Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer-songwriter who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following, initially in Belgium and France, later throughout the world. He was widely considered a master of the modern chanson. Les Marquises (English: The Marquesas) is Jacques Brel’s thirteenth and final album. This is a quirky, adventurous set to be sure, but it satisfies from top to bottom: Les Marquises is classic Brel.

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Hugh Masekela – Hope (1994) [Analogue Productions Remaster 2008] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Hugh Masekela – Hope (1994) [Analogue Productions Remaster 2008]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 Stereo > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 74:21 minutes | Scans included | 3,14 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,57 GB
Genre: Jazz

Now happily resettled in South Africa, Masekela assembled a seven-piece group there and recorded an informal guided tour of his life and repertoire live in Washington D.C.’s Blues Alley. The songs stretch over a period of nearly five decades and several countries and composers — from an incantatory Alexandria township tune, “Languta,” which he learned in 1947, to a fairly ordinary piece written by keyboardist Themba Mkhize in 1993, “Until When.” “Abangoma” starts the CD out on the right track, hearkening back to the early fusion of African music and jazz that Masekela was playing back in 1966. “Mandela (Bring Him Back Home)” may have lost some of its political raison d’etre by 1993, but it remains a good tune, and the band plays it with enthusiasm. Yet Masekela’s biggest hit, “Grazing in the Grass,” sounds a bit tired in this live rendition. There are two songs by the prolific South African composer Caiphus Semenya, “Nomali” and the driving “Ha Le Se,” and the late Nigerian idol Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is represented by “Lady.” Clearly the resolution of the political struggle in South Africa had mellowed Masekela; he sounds happier, perhaps less fiery, certainly more polished and refined on the trumpet and flugelhorn than when he started out. But when you hear his bitter narration on “Stimela,” describing the life of formerly conscripted coal miners, you suspect that not all of the old wounds have healed.

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Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, Jake Hanna and Ray Brown – Seven, Come Eleven (1973) [Reissue 2003] {2.0 & 5.1} {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, Jake Hanna and Ray Brown – Seven, Come Eleven (1973) [Reissue 2003]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 41:48 minutes | Scans included | 2,47 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 842 MB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Concord Jazz # SACD 1015-6
Genre: Jazz

The second Concord album was recorded the day after the first with the same lineup: guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jake Hanna. Pass would sign with Pablo but Ellis would be a fixture on the Concord label throughout the 1970s. If anything, the guitarists’ rematch was a bit stronger than their first due to material better suited for jamming including “In a Mellotone,” a speedy “Seven Come Eleven,” “Perdido” and “Concord Blues”.

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Heart – Magazine (1978) [Audio Fidelity 2014] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Heart – Magazine (1978) [Audio Fidelity 2014]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 39:23 minutes | Scans included | 1,58 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 793 MB
Mastered by Steve Hoffman | Audio Fidelity # AFZ-171
Genre: Rock

Problems with the Mushroom label delayed the release of Magazine, which eventually went platinum and peaked at number 17 on the album charts. Only the hard-rocking “Heartless” made it into the Top 40, and the album didn’t really live up to Heart’s last few efforts. 1976′s Dreamboat Annie showed stronger songwriting, while Little Queen had a lot more bite to it. Magazine lacks in energy and, to a much greater extent, fluency. The songs sound careless and scrambled together, and while some of the blame can be placed on the label controversy, it’s apparent that the Wilsons seem unconcerned, for the most part. “Here Song,” “Just the Wine,” and the predictable “Without You” all have weak seams in both the writing and the articulateness of the tracks as a whole. 1978′s Dog & Butterfly shows more interest and rock & roll vitality than its predecessor, making Magazine an album even the band likes to forget about.

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Harry Belafonte – Calypso (1956) [Audio Fidelity 2013] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Harry Belafonte – Calypso (1956) [Audio Fidelity 2013]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 32:16 minutes | Scans included | 1,3 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 602 MB
Mastered by Kevin Gray | Audio Fidelity # AFZ-138
Genre: Reggae, Jazz

This is the album that made Harry Belafonte’s career. Up to this point, calypso had only been a part of Belafonte’s focus in his recordings of folk music styles. But with this landmark album, calypso not only became tattooed to Belafonte permanently; it had a revolutionary effect on folk music in the 1950s and ’60s. The album consists of songs from Trinidad, mostly written by West Indian songwriter Irving Burgie (aka Lord Burgess). Burgie’s two most successful songs are included — “Day O” and “Jamaica Farewell” (which were both hit singles for Belafonte) — as are the evocative ballads “I Do Adore Her” and “Come Back Liza” and what could be the first feminist folk song, “Man Smart (Woman Smarter).” Calypso became the first million-selling album by a single artist, spending an incredible 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard album charts, remaining on the charts for 99 weeks. It triggered a veritable tidal wave of imitators, parodists, and artists wishing to capitalize on its success. Years later, it remains a record of inestimable influence, inspiring many folksingers and groups to perform, most notably the Kingston Trio, which was named for the Jamaican capital. For a decade, just about every folksinger and folk group featured in their repertoire at least one song that was of West Indian origin or one that had a calypso beat. They all can be attributed to this one remarkable album. Despite the success of Calypso, Belafonte refused to be typecast. Resisting the impulse to record an immediate follow-up album, Belafonte instead spaced his calypso albums apart, releasing them at five-year intervals in 1961, 1966, and 1971.

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Harry Belafonte – Belafonte At Carnegie Hall (1959) [Reissue 2001] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Harry Belafonte – Belafonte At Carnegie Hall (1959) [Reissue 2001]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 71:30 minutes | Scans included | 2,88 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,44 GB
Genre: Reggae, Folk , World

The granddaddy of all live albums, this double-LP set captured the excitement of a Harry Belafonte concert at the height of his popularity. Sampled from two consecutive performances of identical material, Belafonte at Carnegie Hall was an anomaly at a time when only comedy albums were recorded outside of the studio environment. It wasn’t the first live album ever made, but it was certainly the first to be a major financial and artistic success. It stayed on the best-selling album charts for over three years and remained in print until RCA discontinued pressing LPs. From the opening trumpet fanfare and brief orchestral overture to the epic 12-minute version of “Matilda” (which set a standard for audience participation), the album never lets up. It is exciting, poignant, thrilling, intimate, and at times, spontaneously hilarious. Belafonte’s mastery in front of an audience was never better displayed than here, a mastery that resulted in him becoming one of the most popular concert draws in history. Producer Bob Bollard and orchestra leader Bob Corman deftly integrated the 47-piece orchestra into the performance but knew when to lie back to let Belafonte sing, accompanied by a small combo of two guitars, bass, and percussion. The concert is divided in three sections: “Moods of the American Negro,” “In the Caribbean,” and “Around the World.” All the hits are here: “Day O,” “Jamaica Farewell,” “Mama Look a Boo Boo,” and others, plus calypso, folk songs, chain gang songs, spirituals, and songs from other lands, representing a veritable best-of package of his first decade with RCA Victor. For sheer scope and genius of performance, this is the quintessential Belafonte package.

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Daryl Hall & John Oates – Voices (1980) [MFSL 2013] {SACD-R + FLAC 24-88.2}

Daryl Hall & John Oates – Voices (1980) [MFSL 2013]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 44:02 minutes | Scans included | 1,78 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 880 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2114
Genre: Soul, Pop, Rock

At the close of the ’70s, Hall & Oates began inching toward a sleek, modern sound, partially inspired by the thriving punk and new wave scene and partially inspired by Daryl Hall’s solo debut, Sacred Songs, a surprising and successful collaboration with art rock legend Robert Fripp. While 1979′s X-Static found the duo sketching out this pop/soul/new wave fusion, it didn’t come into fruition until 1980′s Voices, which was their creative and commercial breakthrough. Essentially, Voices unveils the version of Hall & Oates that made them the most successful duo in pop history, the version that ruled the charts for the first half of the ’80s. During the ’70s, Hall & Oates drifted from folky singer/songwriters to blue-eyed soulmen, with the emphasis shifting on each record. On Voices, they place their pop craftsmanship front and center, and their production (assisted by engineer/mixer Neil Kernon) is clean, spacious, sleek, and stylish, clearly inspired by new wave yet melodic and polished enough for the mainstream. Thanks to the singles “Kiss on My List” and “You Make My Dreams” (and, to a lesser extent, their remake of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and the original version of the heartbreaking ballad “Everytime You Go Away,” later popularized by Paul Young), the mainstream enthusiastically embraced Hall & Oates, and the ubiquitousness of these hits obscures the odder, edgier elements of Voices, whether it’s the rushed, paranoid “United State,” tense “Gotta Lotta Nerve (Perfect Perfect),” the superb Elvis Costello-styled “Big Kids,” the postmodern doo wop tribute “Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices),” or even John Oates’ goofy “Africa.” Apart from the latter, these are the foundation of the album, the proof that the duo wasn’t merely a stellar singles act, but expert craftsmen as writers and record-makers. The next few albums were bigger hits, but they topped the charts on the momentum created by Voices, and it still stands as one of their great records.

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