May 28

Coleman Hawkins – The Hawk Relaxes (1961/2014) (Rudy Van Gelder Remaster)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 37:17 minutes | 404 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, February 28, 1961
Remastered: 2005, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Despite the inherent modesty of its title, The Hawk Relaxes is far more than merely a tenor saxophonist—albeit one of the greatest who ever lived—at his ease. Recorded for Prestige’s Moodsville subsidiary, the album presents Coleman Hawkins (1904-1969), paterfamilias of the tenor and one its master balladeers.

As he grew older, Hawkins often made it a point to perform with much younger musicians, in order to keep his work fresh. Pianist Ronnell Bright, 30 years old at the time of this recording, was the oldest of Hawkins’s accompanists herein, while drummer Andrew Cyrille was, at just 21, the junior partner. With the multifaceted guitarist Kenny Burrell and bassist Ron Carter, at the dawn of what would be a ubiquitously brilliant career, rounding out a highly simpatico group, Hawkins adroitly weaves his way rhapsodically through seven timeless popular songs that lend themselves to his signature harmonic brilliance.

It is said that one grows wiser and mellower with age, as proven by this recording from Coleman Hawkins that is a successful follow-up to his previous Moodsville album At Ease. There is a difference, as Kenny Burrell joins the legendary tenor saxophonist in this quintet setting, with no threat of upstaging or even a hint of any real showcasing of the guitarist’s then developing laid-back side. Underrated Ronnell Bright is on the piano, and also proves a veritable equal to Hawkins even more than Burrell. But it is the burgeoning talent of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Andrew Cyrille who mark their territory, not as the maverick individualists they would become, but as supple performers who understand the strength of Hawkins from a modest standpoint. Not all ballads, the fare is standard American popular song played for people sitting by the fire, the calm ocean, or late at night with a sweetheart over candles and wine. Any version of a well-known tune can be made classic by Hawkins, as heard during the somber “I’ll Never Be The Same,” the straight ballad “Under a Blanket of Blue” with the tenor’s slight fluttery trills, or “Just a Gigolo” where the spotlight is firmly focused on the leader’s droll tones. Burrell’s strumming on “When Day Is Done” signifies a downplayed, wound down feeling, and where he generally chooses a sublimated role in these recordings, he does come out with a strong lead melody for the soulful ballad “More Than You Know.” The modified tunes on the session are the midtempo take of “Moonglow” as Hawkins adopts some of Lester Young’s swagger as Cyrille’s nimble brushwork keeps the song moving forward. “Speak Low” is interpreted in a sleek and seductive calypso beat ably conjured by the drummer, a nice touch to end the album. This quintet — as unique as any Hawkins ever fronted — speaks to his open mindedness, but more so to his innate ability in adapting musicians to his situational hitting. The Hawk Relaxes is one of his best latter period efforts. ~~ AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos

Tracklist:
1 I’ll Never Be The Same 6:08
2 When Day Is Done 4:24
3 Under A Blanket Of Blue 4:35
4 More Than You Know 4:09
5 Moonglow 5:58
6 Just A Gigolo 5:04
7 Speak Low 6:39

Personnel:
Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone
Ronnell Bright, piano
Kenny Burrell, guitar
Ron Carter, bass
Andrew Cyrille, drums

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May 28

Coleman Hawkins – At Ease With Coleman Hawkins (1960/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 41:53 minutes | 450 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Prestige Records
Recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, January 29, 1960
Remastered: 2006, Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

At Ease is one of the most charming and attractive of the many albums Coleman Hawkins and Tommy Flanagan made together—a collection of ballads played with great affection for the melody. Hawkins could be fiercely aggressive in his playing. In this collection, he displays his tenderness. If ever there was a master of the ballad, it was Coleman Hawkins. His romantic style and sound caused one writer to say: “Hawk turned the saxophone into the sexophone.”

At Ease was done for the Moodsville series but while Hawkins, with the expert help of his pianist, Tommy Flanagan, sets a mood on eight standards, it is never merely mood music.

Recorded originally for the Prestige subsidiary Moodsville, Coleman Hawkins (along with the Tommy Flanagan Trio) sticks exclusively to ballads and slower pieces, all played at a low flame. Although it is nice to hear the veteran tenor interpreting “Poor Butterfly” and “I’ll Get By,” this CD is more successful as pleasant background music than as creative jazz. ~~ AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

Tracklist:
1 For You, For Me, For Evermore 06:09
2 While We’re Young 03:35
3 Then I’ll Be Tired Of You 05:11
4 Mighty Like A Rose 04:04
5 At Dawning 04:41
6 Trouble Is A Man 05:28
7 Poor Butterfly 06:08
8 I’ll Get By (As Long As I Have You) 06:37

Personnel:
Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone
Tommy Flanagan, piano
Wendell Marshall, bass
Osie Johnson, drums

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May 28

Elvis Presley – 24 Karat Hits (1997/2013)
DSF Mono/Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 01:01:08 minutes | 2,42 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Digital Booklet | © RCA Records

Mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound from the original analog master tapes to vinyl and PCM. The DSD was sourced from the PCM. George listened to all of the different A/D converters he had before he chose which to use, and he felt the George Massenburg GML 20 bit A/D produced the best and most synergistic sound for the project.

Had Elvis Presley done nothing else but record “That’s Alright, Mama,” his place in pop music history would be secure. With his first regional hit, Presley fused rhythm and blues with country, put a handsome white face out front for audiences to see, and in so doing legitimized beat music for white audiences. It is no understatement to call Presley the chief catalyst of the rock-and-roll era. During the 1950s, Presley’s records spent a collective 53 weeks in the number one chart position. Only the Beatles can boast similar sales success.
Presley’s monumental accomplishments continued until his untimely death in 1977. After a stint in the Army, he spent a decade making profitable but forgettable movies. Then in 1968 he reestablished his artistic relevance with a spectacular television special and several great albums. During the last decade of his career, Presley’s live show was the hottest ticket in America. A great singer first and last, Presley was equally adept at raunchy blues, lilting boogie, operatic pop, and country tear-jerkers. ~~ AllMusic Review by AllMusic

Tracklist:
1.  Heartbreak Hotel
2.  Love Me
3.  Don’t Be Cruel
4.  Hound Dog
5.  Love Me tender
6.  All Shook Up
7.  (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
8.  Jailhouse Rock
9.  Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
10. A Big Hunk
11. Stuck On You
12. It’s Now or Never
13. Are You Lonesome Tonight
14. Surrender
15. (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame
16. Little Sister
17. Can’t Help Falling In Love
18. Good Luck Charm
19. She’s Not You
20. Return To Sender
21. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise
22. Crying In The Chapel
23. In The Ghetto
24. Suspicious Minds

Personnel:
Elvis Presley – vocals, guitar
Floyd Cramer – piano
Scotty Moore – guitar
Boots Randolph – sax.
Hank Garland – bass, guitar
Charlie Hodge – harmony
Bob Moore – bass
D.J. Fontana – drums
Hoyt Hawkins, Neal Matthews, Gordon Stoker, Ray C. Walker – vocals

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May 28

Ike Quebec – Blue & Sentimental (1962/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 39:24 minutes | 1,45 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | ©  Blue Note Records
Recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on December 16, 1961 and December 23, 1961 (#6)

Joined by a quartet that includes Grant Green, Quebec makes every breath and sound count, playing seductive lines on the ballads and swinging forcefully on the hotter numbers. He only lived until 1963 (passing away when he was just 44), but, as Blue And Sentimental shows, Ike Quebec saved the very best for his later period, creating a masterpiece.

During the Blue Note 75th Anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York times readers what titles they’d like to see make the list. This album was among five titles hand-selected for 2016 reissue by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations.
Ike Quebec’s 1961-1962 comeback albums for Blue Note were all pretty rewarding, but Blue and Sentimental is his signature statement of the bunch, a superbly sensuous blend of lusty blues swagger and achingly romantic ballads. True, there’s no shortage of that on Quebec’s other Blue Note dates, but Blue and Sentimental is the most exquisitely perfected. Quebec was a master of mood and atmosphere, and the well-paced program here sustains his smoky, late-night magic with the greatest consistency of tone. Part of the reason is that Quebec’s caressing tenor sound is given a sparer backing than usual, with no pianist among the quartet of guitarist Grant Green, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. It’s no surprise that Green solos with tremendous taste and elegance (the two also teamed up on Green’s similarly excellent Born to Be Blue), and there are plenty of open spaces in the ensemble for Quebec to shine through. His rendition of the Count Basie-associated title cut is a classic, and the other standard on the original LP, “Don’t Take Your Love from Me,” is in a similarly melancholy vein. Green contributes a classic-style blues in “Blues for Charlie,” and Quebec’s two originals, “Minor Impulse” and “Like,” have more complex chord changes but swing low and easy. Through it all, Quebec remains the quintessential seducer, striking just the right balance between sophistication and earthiness, confidence and vulnerability, joy and longing. It’s enough to make Blue and Sentimental a quiet, sorely underrated masterpiece. ~~AllMusic Review by Steve Huey

Tracklist:
1 Blue And Sentimental 7:25
2 Minor Impulse 6:31
3 Don’t Take Your Love From Me 7:00
4 Blues For Charlie 6:45
5 Like 5:18
6 Count Every Star 6:16

Personnel:
Ike Quebec, tenor sax
Grant Green, guitar
Paul Chambers (#1-5), Sam Jones (#6), bass
Louis Hayes (#6), Philly Joe Jones (#1-5), drums
Sonny Clark, piano (#6)

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May 28

Herbert von Karajan conducting music by Mozart & Handel (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:15 minutes | 919 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital booklet |  © Warner Classics
Recorded: 1958, 1960, Grunewaldkirche, Berlin and 1955, Musikvereinssaal, Wien

The Karajan Official Remastered Edition comprises 13 box sets containing official remasterings of the finest recordings the Austrian conductor made for EMI between 1946 and 1984, and which are now a jewel of the Warner Classics catalogue.

For many, Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) – hailed early in his career as ‘Das Wunder Karajan’ (The Karajan Miracle) and known in the early 1960s as ‘the music director of Europe’ – remains the ultimate embodiment of the maestro. The release of the Karajan Official Remastered Edition over the first half of 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the conductor’s death in July 1989 at the age of 81.

He was closely associated with EMI for the majority of his recording career (specifically from 1946 to 1960 and then again from 1969 to 1984). EMI’s legendary producer Walter Legge sought him out in Vienna just after World War II and the long relationship that ensued embraced recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonia (the orchestra founded by Legge), the Berlin Philharmonic (of which Karajan became ‘conductor for life’ in 1955), the forces of La Scala, Milan, and the Orchestre de Paris.

The Karajan Official Remastered Edition will feature primarily symphonic and choral music. The entire edition will comprise recordings remastered from the original sources in 24-bit/96kHz at Abbey Road Studios, the world’s most renowned recording studio.

Tracklist:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Serenade in G Major, K. 525, ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik’
1. I. Allegro 05:46
2. II. Romance (Andante) 05:54
3. III. Menuetto – Allegretto – Trio 02:23
4. IV. Rondo (Allegro) 03:23
5. Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618 04:06
4 German Dances, K. 602
6. No. 3 in C Major 02:01
6 German Dances, K. 600
7. No. 5 in G Major, ‘Der Kanarienvogel’ 01:48
3 German Dances, K. 605
8. No. 3 in C Major 02:50

George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)

Suite in G Major, HWV 350, ‘Water Music’
9. I. Allegro 02:42
10. II. Air 05:20
11. III. Bourée 00:45
12. IV. Hornpipe 00:55
13. V. Andante espressivo 03:52
14. VI. Allegro deciso 03:37

Personnel:
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor

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May 28

Golfam Khayam, Mona Matbou Riahi – Narrante (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 55:54 minutes | 988 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © ECM

Narrante is the highly attractive ECM debut album of Golfam Khayam and Mona Matbou Riahi, otherwise known as the Naqsh Duo.

The guitarist and clarinetist, both born in Teheran, have pursued further musical adventures outside Iran while remaining fascinated and strongly influenced by their homelands rich and diverse traditions.

In the process they have arrived at a synthesis of their own, finding points of contact between aspects of Persian tradition and contemporary music. The forms, modes, drones and rhythms of Persian music as well its call for improvisation are redeployed, to new creative ends, in their fresh and vital work.

Narrante was recorded in July 2015 at Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano and produced by Manfred Eicher and Ramin Sadighi.

Tracklist:
1. Testamento 05:22
2. Arioso 04:01
3. Lacrimae 08:39
4. Battaglia 09:41
5. Parlando 05:40
6. Sospiro 05:16
7. Narrante 05:38
8. Silenzio 05:54
9. Lamento – Furioso 05:43

Personnel:
Golfam Khayam, guitar
Mona, Matbou Riahi, clarinet

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May 28

REnsemble Vocal Sequenza 9.3 & Marie-Claire Alain – Jehan Alain Rediscovered (2005)
PS3 Rip | 2x SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 94:49 minutes | Scans | 4,38 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,47 GB
French title: Jehan Alain retrouvé | Features Stereo & Multichannel Surround sound | Genre: Classical

Jehan Ariste Alain (3 February 1911 – 20 June 1940) was a French organist and composer. He wrote choral music, including a Requiem mass, chamber music, songs and three volumes of piano music. But it is his organ music for which he is best known. Jehan Alain was not only an organ composer, as his vocal works, chamber music and piano compositions show, but it remains true that he dedicated to this instrument the most essential elements of his genius. This is not surprising when we remember the origins of the composer and the context in which he came to music.
Marie-Claire Alain (10 August 1926 – 26 February 2013) was a French organist and organ teacher best known for her prolific recording career. She have won the 2nd prize for organ at the Geneva International Music Competition in 1950.

Tracklist

DISC 1:
01. Prière pour nous-autres charnels, ja 135
02. Vocalise dorienne, ja 95
03. O quam suavis est, ja 35
04. Variations chorales sur l’hymne “sacris solemniis”, ja 26
05. Tantum ergo, ja 122
06. Chanson à bouche fermée, ja 39
07. O salutaris hostia
08. Kyrie
09. Sanctus
10. Agnus dei
11. Fantaisie pour choeur à bouche fermée, ja 47
12. Cantique en mode phrygien, ja 34
13. Noël nouvelet, ja 101
14. Que j’aime ce divin enfant
15. D’où vient qu’en cette nuitée, ja 113

DISC 2:
01. Kyrie
02. Gloria
03. Sanctus
04. Agnus dei
05. O salutaris de dugay, ja 83
06. Tu es petrus, ja 123
07. Veni creator
08. Introït
09. Kyrie
10. Gloria
11. Alleluia
12. Sanctus
13. Agnus dei
14. Communion
15. Laisse les nuages blancs, ja 58
16. Chanson du chat, ja 88
17. Le père noël, ja 114
18. Complainte de jean renaud, ja 90
19. Salve virilis, ja 139
20. Tantum ergo, ja 138
21. Chant nuptial, ja 131
22. Chant nuptial, ja 131 (variante)
23. O salutaris, ja 140

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May 28

The O’Jays – Ship Ahoy (1973) [Reissue 2003]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD/DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 48:49 minutes | Scans included | 4,24 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 48:06 minutes | Full Scans included | 0,98 GB
Features Stereo & Multichannel Surround sound | Genre: Funk, Soul

The “other” O’Jays album masterpiece, Ship Ahoy combined shattering message tracks and stunning love songs in a fashion matched only by Curtis Mayfield’s finest material. From the album cover showing a slave ship to the memorable title song and incredible “For the Love of Money,” Gamble and Huff addressed every social ill from envy to racism and greed. Eddie Levert’s leads were consistently magnificent, as were the harmonies, production and arrangements. “Put Your Hands Together” and “You Got Your Hooks In Me” would be good album cuts, but on Ship Ahoy they were merely icing on the cake.

Tracklist:
01. Put Your Hands Together
02. Ship Ahoy
03. This Air I Breathe
04. You Got Your Hooks In Me
05. For The Love Of Money
06. Now That We Found Love
07. Don’t Call Me Brother
08. People Keep Tellin’ Me

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May 28

Tommy Turrentine – Tommy Turrentine plus The Max Roach Quintet (1960) [Audio Fidelity 2003]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 32:12 minutes | Scans included | 1,73 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 875 MB
Genre: Jazz | Audio Fidelity SACD #AFZ-007 | Remastered for SACD by Steve Hoffman

Thomas Walter Turrentine, Jr. was a swing and hard bop trumpeter of the 1940s to 1960s, the older brother of saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. He played in the bands of Benny Carter, Earl Bostic, Charles Mingus, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie. He later recorded with Sonny Clark, Lou Donaldson, and his brother’s bands. His working relationship with Max Roach was spawned in part when he joined the Max Roach Quintet in the late 1950s following the death of Clifford Brown.

When he recorded this album, his lone date as a leader, trumpeter Tommy Turrentine (who was a member of Max Roach’s group along with his brother, the soon-to-be famous tenor Stanley Turrentine) seemed to have a potentially great future. Unfortunately, ill health would eventually force his retirement. Turrentine’s set for Time (which has been reissued on CD by Bainbridge) actually features the musicians of Roach’s quintet (including brother Stanley, trombonist Julian Priester, bassist Bob Boswell, and Roach himself) plus pianist Horace Parlan. The trumpeter contributed five of the seven songs (which are joined by Horace Parlan’s “Blues for J.P.” and Bud Powell’s “Webb City”) on this fine straight-ahead hard bop set. All of the musicians play up to par and the results are swinging and fit securely into the modern mainstream of the time.

Tracklist:
01. Gunga Din
02. Webb City
03. Time’s Up
04. Long As You’re Living
05. Too Clean
06. Two, Three, One, Oh!
07. Blues For J.P.

Produced by Bob Shad.
Remastered for SACD by Steve Hoffman at Kevin’s AcousTech Mastering, Camarillo, CA.

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May 27

Cheap Trick – Heaven Tonight (1978/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 43:45 minutes | 495 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Epic/Legacy

Heaven Tonight is rock group Cheap Trick’s third studio album. Critics and fans agree the 1978 release is one of the band’s best albums, the main reason being that the group was able create a perfect mix of pop and rock. Heaven Tonight features singles “Surrender”, “High Roller” and “Heaven Tonight”.

Heaven Tonight, like In Color, was produced by Tom Werman, but the difference between the two records is substantial. Where In Color often sounded emasculated, Heaven Tonight regains the powerful, arena-ready punch of Cheap Trick, but crosses it with a clever radio-friendly production that relies both on synthesizers and studio effects. Even with the fairly slick production, Cheap Trick sound ferocious throughout the album, slamming heavy metal, power pop, and hard rock together in a humongous sound. “Surrender,” the definitive Cheap Trick song, opens the album with a tale about a kid whose parents are hipper than himself, and the remainder of the record is a roller coaster ride, peaking with the sneering “Auf Wiedersehen,” the dreamily psychedelic title track, the roaring rocker “On Top of the World,” the high-stepping, tongue-in-cheek “How Are You,” and the pulverizing cover of the Move’s “California Man.” Heaven Tonight is the culmination of the group’s dizzying early career, summing up the strengths of their first two albums, their live show, and their talent for inverting pop conventions. They were never quite as consistently thrilling on record ever again. ~~ AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Tracklist:
1. Surrender 04:14
2. On Top of the World 04:02
3. California Man 03:45
4. High Roller 03:58
5. Auf Wiedersehen 03:41
6. Takin’ Me Back 04:53
7. On the Radio 04:33
8. Heaven Tonight 05:25
9. Stiff Competition 03:40
10. How Are You? 04:14
11. Oh Claire 01:01

Personnel:
Robin Zander – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Rick Nielsen – lead guitar, backing vocals
Tom Petersson – bass, backing vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums
Additional:
Jai Winding – keyboards

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