May 25

Ravel: Bolero – La valse – Rapsodie espagnole / Debussy: Images
Charles Munch / Boston Symphony Orchestra
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,70 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 1,30 GB | Partial Artwork
Label/Cat#: RCA Red Seal “Living Stereo” # 82876-66374-2 | Country/Year: US 2005
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic, Early 20th Century

Stereo sonics: top sound

I had thought of leaving my little review at that but……

This wonderful SACD arrived a week ago and, having listened to it quite captivated by the wonderful performances and superb engineering, I was surprised that it had not been reviewed here. Indeed, it had attracted only one recommendation, a negative one at that, though the score has now improved hugely.
Munch seems to make the BSO sound like a top flight French orchestra in that the performances sound so authentic; the playing is sensitive and powerful, the balance superb. There is depth to the recording which is a credit to the minimal number of microphones used, but the balance and ensemble are down to the inspiring conducting of Munch.

Bolero is taken at a tempo which maintains the tension without becoming heartlessly relentless. La Valse’s performance has been described elsewhere as a bit of a mess, but I found the ensemble in the rubati breathtakingly elegant.

Rapsodie Espagnole and Images are virtuoso performances; just luxuriate in the music and the sound!
Recommended with enormous pleasure. ~peter @

SACD Info:
Ravel: Bolero – La valse – Rapsodie espagnole / Debussy: Images
Charles Munch / Boston Symphony Orchestra
Label: RCA Red Seal
Series: Living Stereo
Catalog#: 82876-66374-2
Format: Hybrid-SACD, Album, Stereo & MCH
Country: US
Released: 2005
Recorded: 1955 to 1957
Genre: Classical
Style: Romantic, Early 20th Century

1 Boléro 13:49
2 La Valse 11:21
Rapsodie Espagnole 14:54
3 Prélude À La Nuit 4:33
4 Malagueña 1:53
5 Habanera 2:31
6 Feria 5:57
Images For Orchestra 33:12
7 Gigues 6:30
8 Par Les Rues Et Par Les Chemins 6:58
9 Les Parfums De La Nuit 7:58
10 Le Matin D’Un Jour De Fête 4:30

11 Rondes De Printemps 7:16

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May 25

Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble – Far More Drums (2000)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 45:53 minutes | Scans included | 2,89 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 813 MB
Features Stereo and Multichannel surround sound | Genre: Jazz

Hohner Ensemble’s 4th release, Far More Drums, brings an exotic collection of drums, gongs, and numerous handmade percussion instruments for a full, rhythmic and dynamic set. This percussion ensemble is of exsisting and former students of Dr. Robert Hohner, who has been Director of Music at Central Michigan University for 15 years.

01. Ogoun
02. Staves
03. Drummers
04. Lift-Off
05. Ku-Ka
06. Ketiak
07. Crates
08. Tsunami

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May 25

Robert Lockwood Jr. – Delta Crossroads (2000)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 60:33 minutes | Covers included | 3,59 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Covers included | 1,08 GB
Features Stereo & Multichannel Surround sound | Telarc SACD-83509 | Genre: Blues

For Delta Crossroads, Robert Lockwood Jr., a former student of Robert Johnson, returns to his Delta blues roots. This 16-track album features Lockwood with only his 12-string acoustic guitar. It is rather strange hearing old Delta blues sung by one of its originals on a modern recording. All of the notes from the guitar are clear. Plus, his voice isn’t scuffed up by the scratches and pop of the vinyl recording. Lockwood plays a mix of Robert Johnson tunes, a few of his own, and some blues standards including “C.C. Rider.” With its high production quality and Lockwood’s unique and possibly near-extinct style of singing, Delta Crossroads is a strong testament to the endurance of a Delta blues original.

01. 32-20 Blues
02. Mean Mistreater Mama
03. This Little Girl of Mine
04. Stop Breakin’ Down Blues
05. My Woman Came Walking Down
06. C.C. Rider
07. Little Queen of Spades
08. I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom
09. In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down)
10. We’re Gonna Ball Tonight
11. Mr. Downchild
12. Run Your Mama
13. Ramblin’ On My Mind
14. Love In Vain Blues
15. Train My Baby
16. Keys to the Highway

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May 25

Oliver Nelson – The Blues And The Abstract Truth (1961) [APO Remaster 2010]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 36:34 minutes | Scans included | 1,57 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 954 MB
Genre: Jazz

One of jazz’s best kept secrets, this landmark 1961 release by saxophonist and arranger Oliver Nelson boasts the superstar lineup of Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Roy Haynes and Paul Chambers. The record explores the limitless boundaries of the blues and introduced the world to one of the jazz genre’s most performed standards, “Stolen Moments”.

As Oliver Nelson is known primarily as a big band leader and arranger, he is lesser known as a saxophonist and organizer of small ensembles. Blues and the Abstract Truth is his triumph as a musician for the aspects of not only defining the sound of an era with his all-time classic “Stolen Moments,” but on this recording, assembling one of the most potent modern jazz sextets ever. Lead trumpeter Freddie Hubbard is at his peak of performance, while alto saxophonists Nelson and Eric Dolphy (Nelson doubling on tenor) team to form an unlikely union that was simmered to perfection. Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Roy Haynes (drums) can do no wrong as a rhythm section. “Stolen Moments” really needs no comments, as its undisputable beauty shines through in a three-part horn harmony fronting Hubbard’s lead melody. It’s a thing of beauty that is more timeless as the years pass. The “Blues” aspect is best heard on “Yearnin’,” a stylish, swinging, and swaying downhearted piece that is a bluesy as Evans would ever be. Both “Blues” and “Abstract Truth” combine for the darker “Teenie’s Blues,” a feature for Nelson and Dolphy’s alto saxes, Dolphy assertive in stepping forth with his distinctive, angular, dramatic, fractured, brittle voice that marks him a maverick. Then there’s “Hoedown,” which has always been the black sheep of this collection with its country flavor and stereo separated upper and lower horn in snappy call-and-response barking. As surging and searing hard boppers respectively, “Cascades” and “Butch & Butch” again remind you of the era of the early ’60s when this music was king, and why Hubbard was so revered as a young master of the idiom. A must buy for all jazz fans, and a Top Ten or Top Fifty favorite for many.

01. Stolen Moments
02. Hoe Down
03. Cascades
04. Yearnin’
05. Butch And Butch
06. Teenie’s Blues

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May 25

Poco – Pickin’ Up The Pieces (1969) [Audio Fidelity 2013]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 39:42 minutes | Scans included | 1,61 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 813 MB
Mastered by Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering | Audio Fidelity # AFZ-158 | Genre: Country, Folk

Poco dealt with a lot during the recording of their debut album – the sudden departure of bassist Randy Meisner, the frustration of working with an engineer who didn’t quite get what they were trying for, and a lot of pressure to deliver a solid collection of country-rock songs – and came up with this startlingly great record, as accomplished as any of Buffalo Springfield’s releases, and also reminiscent of the Beatles and the Byrds. Pickin’ Up the Pieces is all the more amazing when one considers that Jim Messina and George Grantham were both covering for the departed Meisner in hastily learned capacities on bass and vocals, respectively. The title track is practically an anthem for the virtues of country-rock, with the kind of sweet harmonizing and tight interplay between the guitars that the Byrds, the Burritos, and others had to work awhile to achieve. The mix of good-time songs (“Consequently So Long,” “Calico Lady”), fast-paced instrumentals (“Grand Junction”), and overall rosy feelings makes this a great introduction to the band, as well as a landmark in country-rock only slightly less important (but arguably more enjoyable than) Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

01. Foreward
02. What A Day
03. Nobody’s Fool
04. Calico Lady
05. First Love
06. Make Me A Smile
07. Short Changed
08. Pickin’ Up The Pieces
09. Grand Junction
10. Oh Yeah
11. Just In Case It Happens, Yes Indeed
12. Tomorrow
13. Consequently So Long

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May 25

Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine (1992) [Audio Fidelity 2016]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 52:58 minutes | Scans included | 904 MB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,05 GB
Mastered by Steve Hoffman & Steven Marsh | Audio Fidelity # AFZ-244 | Genre: Rock

Probably the first album to successfully merge the seemingly disparate sounds of rap and heavy metal, Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled debut was groundbreaking enough when released in 1992, but many would argue that it has yet to be surpassed in terms of influence and sheer brilliance – though countless bands have certainly tried. This is probably because the uniquely combustible creative relationship between guitar wizard Tom Morello and literate rebel vocalist Zack de la Rocha could only burn this bright, this once. While the former’s roots in ’80s heavy metal shredding gave rise to an inimitable array of six-string acrobatics and rhythmic special effects (few of which anyone else has managed to replicate), the latter delivered meaningful rhymes with an emotionally charged conviction that suburban white boys of the ensuing nu-metal generation could never hope to touch. As a result, syncopated slabs of hard rock insurrection like “Bombtrack,” “Take the Power Back,” and “Know Your Enemy” were as instantly unforgettable as they were astonishing. Yet even they paled in comparison to veritable clinics in the art of slowly mounting tension such as “Settle for Nothing,” “Bullet in the Head,” and the particularly venomous “Wake Up” (where Morello revises Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” riff for his own needs) – all of which finally exploded with awesome power and fury. And even listeners who were unable (or unwilling) to fully process the band’s unique clash of muscle and intellect were catered to, as RATM were able to convey their messages through stubborn repetition via the fundamental challenge of “Freedom” and their signature track, “Killing in the Name,” which would become a rallying cry of disenfranchisement, thanks to its relentlessly rebellious mantra of “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!” Ultimately, if there’s any disappointment to be had with this near-perfect album, it’s that it still towers above subsequent efforts as the unequivocal climax of Rage Against the Machine’s vision. As such, it remains absolutely essential.

01. Bombtrack
02. Killing In The Name
03. Take The Power Back
04. Settle For Nothing
05. Bullet In The Head
06. Know Your Enemy
07. Wake Up
08. Fistful Of Steel
09. Township Rebellion
10. Freedom

Mastered by Steve Hoffman & Steven Marsh at Marsh Mastering.

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May 25

Various Artists – My Blueberry Nights Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2007/2016)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Full Scans  | 1.98 GB
Genre: Rock, Blues, Jazz | Label: Block 2 Music / Universal Music (8889792)

My Blueberry Nights is notable not only as the first English-language film by director Wong Kar Wai but also for the acting debut of Norah Jones. It’s surprising, then, that the soundtrack only includes one song from Jones, “The Story,” the only new song on the set and one that Jones has stated reflects her doubts about becoming an actress. It’s not appreciably different than anything else Jones has recorded to this point, a slow, jazzy ballad featuring her moody vocals and piano in a trio setting. As for the rest, it’s an appealing mix of R&B (Mavis Staples, Ruth Brown, Otis Redding), jazz (Cassandra Wilson), a couple of Cat Power tunes, and the ubiquitous Ry Cooder, who always makes any soundtrack worth a listen.  ~~ AllMusic Review by Jeff Tamarkin


01. The Story – Norah Jones – 4:10
02. Living Proof – Cat Power – 3:10
03. Ely Nevada – Ry Cooder – 2:31
04. Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding – 3:19
05. Looking Back – Ruth Brown – 4:16
06. Long Ride – Ry Cooder – 3:13
07. Eyes on the Prize – Mavis Staples – 4:06
08. Yumeji’s Theme – Chikara Tsuzuki – 2:22
09. Skipping Stone – Amos Lee – 2:21
10. Bus Ride – Ry Cooder – 2:58
11. Harvest Moon (Neil Young) – Cassandra Wilson – 4:44
12. Devil’s Highway – Hello Stranger – 5:34
13. Pajaros – Gustavo Santaolalla – 2:22
14. The Greatest – Cat Power – 3:24

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May 25

レーベル Sony Music Labels Inc.
配信開始日 2017.03.01
収録曲数 全3曲
販売データ ハイレゾ|FLAC|96.0kHz/24bit

新曲は『機動戦士ガンダム 鉄血のオルフェンズ』新OPテーマ!
KANA-BOONの2017年第一弾シングルは、大人気アニメ『機動戦士ガンダム 鉄血のオルフェンズ』第2期の新オープニングテーマ!KANA-BOONの熱い一面が徹底的に詰め込まれた力強い楽曲です。c/w曲「君を浮かべて」は日本赤十字社 平成29年はたちの献血キャンペーンのTVCM楽曲として起用されるハートフルな楽曲。決して押しつけがましくなく、切々とした想いが込められた、KANA-BOONらしいメッセージソングに仕上がっています。

アニメ『機動戦士ガンダム 鉄血のオルフェンズ』第2期オープニングテーマ


1 – Fighter 03:46
2 – スーパームーン 04:54
3 – 君を浮かべて 05:11

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May 25

Pat Martino – East! (1968) [MFSL 2006]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 38:01 minutes | Scans included | 1,54 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 786 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2018 | Genre: Jazz

Despite the title and the cover of this reissue (which makes it appear that the performances are greatly influenced by music of the Far East), the style played by guitarist Pat Martino’s quartet is very much in the hard bop tradition. Martino was already developing his own sound and is in excellent form with pianist Eddie Green, drummer Lenny McBrowne, and either Ben Tucker or Tyrone Brown on bass during two group originals, Benny Golson’s “Park Avenue Petite,” John Coltrane’s “Lazy Bird,” and the standard “Close Your Eyes.” It’s a good example of Pat Martino’s playing in his early period.

01. East
02. Trick
03. Close Your Eyes
04. Park Avenue Petite
05. Lazy Bird

Mastered by Shawn R. Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA.

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May 25

Robert Schumann – Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy – Piano Works
Abegg Variations, Intermezzi Op. 4, Symphonic Etudes Op. 13
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 3,69 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 1,03 GB | Full Artwork | 3% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: Brilliant Classics # 93136 | Country/Year: Canada Germany 2007
Genre: Classical | Style: Romantic, Piano

My first encounter with Schmitt-Leonardy was his rather respectable account of the Brahms Handel Variations. But frankly I bought this disc because it was was cheap and it reduced my shipping fees in an order from Japan. As it turns out, it was the most exciting disc of the purchase (although I rather enjoyed the Boehm Mozart Requiem too)!

From the first notes of the Abegg Variations it is clear we are dealing with a player who understands Schumann. In the first place, he doesn’t rush. He has a clear sense of the Romantic view of time. I’ve long been a believer that if you want to experience the German Romantics to their fullest extent you have to be willing to suspend your current modern view of time and place and accept their sense of priorities. This is especially clear in Schubert and Bruckner. But if you remember, it was Schumann who commented on Schubert’s “heavenly lengths” in the 9th Symphony, and I think it was exactly this element he was referring to. These Variations have always seemed to me to be a precurser to the Carnaval or the Faschingsschwank, but somehow not completely formed. It may well be that the ABEGG theme itself is not really a completely formed theme per se. But Schmitt-Leonardy convinces me completely. He breathes, he sighes, he sparkles! I remember the British critics going crazy over Shura Cherkassky, speaking in glowing terms about his style and I always imagined I would hear something like the sparkle Schmitt-Leonardy achieves in the 3rd variation, but alas, Shura never delivered! Maybe my expectations were out of line!

The Intermezzi are something of a rarity. I can only recall encountering them previously in Karl Engel’s complete traversal. At the time they did not impress me. They still will not be something I come back to often–they don’t have any themes wih the memorability of his most famous works. But Schmitt-Leonardy makes as strong a case as I think is possible for them. The second presto Intermezzo in particular caught my fancy.
The real meat of the disc is the Symphonic Etudes. This is a work that has had two fine portrayals on Super Audio–by Mikhail Pletnev and especially Vladimir Tropp. And while sonically the Schmitt-Leonardy is not in Tropp’s league, his is a very moving performance. Again, the first thing I notice is the sense of time and space. Schmitt-Leonardy is at great pains to let every phrase register, to let chords fully decay, and when the spirit calls to rush impetuously forward. This is true Romanitc playing.

I listened in 5.1. The disc doesn’t give any specifications, and frankly I couldn’t tell if it was a “.1” or for that matter, even a surround; but suffice it to say, the sound was rich and rwalistic, so I think the rear channels were doing their job!

This is a disc I would encourage you to try if you like Romantic piano playing. Arthur @

SACD Info:

Robert Schumann – Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy – Piano Works
Abegg Variations, Intermezzi Op. 4, Symphonic Etudes Op. 13
Label: Brilliant Classics
Catalog#: 93136
Format: Hybrid-SACD, Album, Stereo, Multichannel
Country: Germany
Released: 2007
Genre: Classical
Style: Romantic, Piano

1 Schumann.ABEGG Variations Op.1:Thema 1:01
2 Schumann.ABEGG Variations Op.1:Variation 1 1:26
3 Schumann.ABEGG Variations Op.1:Variation 2 1:04
4 Schumann.ABEGG Variations Op.1:Variation 3 0:58
5 Schumann.ABEGG Variations Op.1:Cantabile 1:12
6 Schumann.ABEGG Variations Op.1:Finale alla Fantasia 2:32
7 Schumann.Intermezzi Op.4:I. Allegro quasi maestoso 3:15
8 Schumann.Intermezzi Op.4:II. Presto a capriccioso 4:08
9 Schumann.Intermezzi Op.4:III. Allegro 3:48
10 Schumann.Intermezzi Op.4:IV. Allegretto semplice 1:57
11 Schumann.Intermezzi Op.4:V. Allegro moderato 4:10
12 Schumann.Intermezzi Op.4:VI. Allegro 2:59
13 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:I. Thema:Andante 1:23
14 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:II. Etüde I: Un poco più vivo 1:11
15 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:III. Anhang Variation 1 1:53
16 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:IV. Etüde II:Espressivo 3:01
17 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:V. Etüde III:Vivace 1:19
18 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:VI. Etüde IV 0:57
19 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:VII. Etüde V:Scherzando 1:20
20 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:VIII. Anhang Variation 4 3:27
21 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:IX. Etüde VI:Agitato 0:55
22 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:X. Etüde VII:Allegro molto 1:14
23 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XI. Anhang Variation 2 2:20
24 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XII. Anhang Variation 5 3:30
25 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XIII. Etüde VIII:Sempre marcatissimo 2:34
26 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XIV. Etüde IX:Presto possibile 0:40
27 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XV. Anhang Variation 3 1:26
28 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XVI. Etüde X:Con energia sempre 1:19
29 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XVII. Etüde XI:Con espressione 3:20
30 Schumann.Symphonische Etüden Op.13:XVIII. Etüde XII:Finale, allegro brillante 6:20

Recording: 27-29 March 2006
Hochschule für Musik Saar
Piano: Steinway D 417680

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