Jul 06

Jim Rotondi – Dark Blue (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:04:15 minutes | 1,33 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Smoke Sessions Records

WHEN PEOPLE HEAR JIM ROTONDI for the first time, they aren’t likely to forget it. For 20+ years, Rotondi was one of the trumpet heroes of the New York City jazz scene and a musician whose fiery playing and daring solos firmly established him as a torchbearer of the Lee Morgan-Freddie Hubbard-Woody Shaw trumpet tradition. Like so many jazz greats before him, he’s based in Europe now, but he’s still blowing with the same intensity, if not more. His new recording, Dark Blue, uses the importance of place as a central theme and features music inspired by pivotal locations in his career from Europe to New York and beyond. While the title itself doesn’t reference any particular place, it’s a vivid description of this breathtaking music and this spectacular quintet that brings together hard-bop stalwarts David Hazeltine (piano) Joe Locke (vibes) David Wong (bass) and Carl Allen (drums).

01. In Graz
02. Bc
03. Biru Kirusai
04. Dark Blue
05. Highline
06. Pure Imagination
07. Monk’s Mood
08. Le Crest
09. Our Day Will Come
10. Going To The Sun

Jim Rotondi – trumpet, flugelhorn
David Hazeltine – piano, Fender Rhodes
Joe Locke – vibraphone
David Wong – double bass
Carl Allen – drums

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Jul 06

João Gilberto & Stan Getz – Getz/Gilberto ’76 (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 50:35 minutes | 1,12 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters | Digital Booklet | © 2xHD

Having reunited for 1976’s The Best of Two Worlds, saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian singer/guitarist João Gilberto celebrated the album’s release with a week of shows at San Francisco’s Keystone Corner. Marking over a decade since the pair had made history with 1964’s landmark Getz/Gilberto album, the shows, which took place between May 11-16, 1976, would prove one of the rare times they appeared live together. Resonance Records’ 2016 album, Getz/Gilberto ’76 (and the separate release Moments in Time), documents these shows via live recordings made by Keystone Korner club owner Todd Barkan.

01. Spoken Intro By Stan Getz (1:09)
02. E Preciso Perdoar (5:52)
03. Aguas De Marco (5:48)
04. Retrato Em Branco E Preto (4:49)
05. Samba Da Minha Terra (3:22)
06. Chega De Saudade (3:44)
07. Rosa Morena (4:26)
08. Eu Vim Da Bahia (4:12)
09. Joao Marcelo (3:22)
10. Doralice (3:48)
11. Morena Boca De Ouro (3:35)
12. Um Abraco No Bonfa (4:39)
13. E Preciso Perdoar (Encore) (6:28)

João Gilberto – vocals, guitar
Stan Getz – tenor saxophone
Joanne Brackeen – piano
Clint Houston – bass
Billy Hart – drums

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Jul 06

Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, Gaute Storaas, Arve Henriksen – Knut Hamsun’s Victoria (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 39:31 minutes | 358 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Gubemusic | Artwork: Front cover | © Jazzland Recordings

The Norwegian musicians Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, Gaute Storaas and Arve Henriksen have composed the music for the film ‘Victoria’, based on Knut Hamsun’s novel. They have also performed and produced the score, which features the pianist Tigran Hamasyan, the guitarist Robert Jürjendal and the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Hernando Rico.

Given the cinematic nature of albums like …and poppies from Kandahar (SamadhiSound, 2011), Uncommon Deities (SamadhiSound, 2012) and Cartography (ECM, 2008), it should come as no surprise to find trumpeter/vocalist Arve Henriksen and electronic sound sculptors/Punkt Festival Artistic Directors Jan Bang and Erik Honore collaborating on a film soundtrack, in this case Norwegian director, playwright and novelist Torun Lian’s screen adaptation of fellow Norwegian and Nobel Prize laureate Knut Hamsun’s 1898 novel, Victoria. Just released in March, 2013, the film is already garnering critical acclaim, and if the soundtrack to a film is not necessarily essential to its success, there certainly are antecedents where films actually become transformed for the better by their scores.
Having not yet seen the film, it’s impossible to make that judgment, but it is possible to place Victoria—co-written by Bang, Honoré, Henriksen and Norwegian bassist/orchestrator Gaute Storaas—in that smaller group of film scores that stand as independent entities. Knut Hamsun’s Victoria’s 15 largely orchestral miniatures may clock in at just under forty minutes, but it’s music best heard in its entirety, its own narrative unfolding with gentle dignity, grace and occasional power. Armenian-born/Los Angeles-resident pianist Tigran Hamasyan (a recent inductee into the “Punkt Family”) delivers “Theme from Victoria” with spare elegance, its haunting melodism picked up by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, the two entities beautifully interacting with collective, temporal ebb and flow. Henriksen makes his first appearance on “Winter,” his instantly recognizable trumpet tone engaging with Bang and Honoré’s samples to evoke an image so strong as to render it unnecessary to experience onscreen.
Bang, Honoré and Henriksen’s extant musical breadth has been further honed by nearly a decade of Punkt festivals—not just in its hometown of Kristiansand, Norway, but elsewhere in the world, including London, Mannheim, and Tallinn, where Bang first met Robert Jürjendal, the Weekend Guitar Trio guitarist/composer who also contributes to Victoria. Bang and Honoré’s longstanding partnership, dating back to their teens, also means they work together with rare empathy; two very different personalities, but ones capable of completing each other’s musical thoughts the way others in long-term personal relationships do the same with each other’s sentences.
Collaborating with Henriksen is nothing new for the duo, but Storaas adds significantly to the picture, particularly on fully orchestral pieces like the dark “The Rescue” and more optimistic “Camilla’s Theme.” “Funeral,” on the other hand, draws upon “Opening Image,” from Henriksen’s Chiaroscuro (Rune Grammofon, 2004)—one of three recordings recently collected in the limited edition, seven-LP Solidification (Rune Grammofon, 2013) box—though this version is shorter and, while based on the original composition’s foundational structure, features entirely different but equally compelling vocal and trumpet performances from Henriksen.
With new projects constantly in the works, including Henriksen’s overdue follow-up to Cartography and Punkt’s ninth year in Kristiansand approaching in September, Bang, Honoré and Henriksen continue to raise their bars—individually, collectively and reciprocally. With Knut Hamsun’s Victoria, they’ve moved into an area that was, perhaps, inevitable, but with the same imagination and contextual sensitivity that’s characterized their other work; hopefully this is just the first of many film scores to come.

01 – Theme from Victoria
02 – Winter
03 – The Rescue
04 – Camilla ́s Theme
05 – The Theatre
06 – Lament
07 – Preparation
08 – Funeral
09 – The Kiss
10 – The Window
11 – Night Encounter
12 – The Letter
13 – The Mill
14 – Johannes Returns
15 – Lament (reprise)

Jan Bang – samples, programming
Erik Honoré – samples, synthesizer, programming
Arve Henriksen – trumpet, vocals, synthesizer
Tigran Hamasyan – piano
Robert Jürjendal – guitar
Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by David Hernando Rico
Gaute Storaas – orchestrations

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Jul 06

Nguyên Lê with Michael Gibbs & NDR Bigband – Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 58:51 minutes | 1,15 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio | Artwork: Digital booklet | © ACT Music

Nguyên Lê is a magician; his art reveals itself not only in his own compositions but also in his celebrations of the music of the past, where his approach to the latter resembles sculptures made of new clay. Remember Purple, his tribute to Jimi Hendrix, or more recently his Songs Of Freedom and its evocations of rock’s greatest moments. He’s a flamboyant guitarist and, while he shows courteous deference to his source material, he has always expressed the full diversity of an imaginary world engendered by his own history, that of a nomad, self-taught virtuoso: his music feeds on influences embracing all continents, and is painted with colours drawn from jazz, rock, and a kind of world fusion permeated with light. Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon demonstrates that the imagination of Nguyên Lê has indeed risen to power; it is no simple tribute to a record which made history. It fervently expresses the re-creation exempt from all imitation of a score which you can hear in filigree. Lê produced and arranged the album, and adds five tracks of his own, interspersing the Pink Floyd material. Korean singing sensation Youn Sun Nah adds dramatic vocals and Michael Gibbs provides the orchestration.

March, 1973… A quartet known for its psychedelic inclinations delivered a fortress of an album: ‘The Dark Side of The Moon’ was a musical UFO featuring the most advanced technology of the period, a stratospheric record which mirrored society and our errant human ways. Pink Floyd was about to write an essential chapter in Rock history and enjoy planetary fame; even today, their album is still one of the greatest sellers of all time.

The idea behind a new reading of it came from ACT-director Siggi Loch and NDR producers Stefan Gerdes and Axel Dürr, whose radio Big Band is no secret for Jazz fans. Their idea may have been a bold initiative, but the project implied an orchestra capable of linking tradition with today, and it looked to have every chance of succeeding because it would involve not only Michael Gibbs – composer, arranger, old friend, but also, joining forces with them, Nguyên Lê, a guitarist known for jumping stylistic borders. The whole idea, finally, seemed a very good one indeed.

‘Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon’ demonstrates that the imagination of Nguyên Lê has indeed risen to power; it guides us down other, more personal paths, and is inhabited by that musical ‘brotherhood’ which has never left him all these years. It’s as if the ecumenism of song was part of his creative DNA.

‘Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon’ is no simple tribute to a record which made history. It fervently expresses the re-creation – exempt from all imitation – of a score which you can hear in filigree. This is a palimpsest. The writing can still be (re)read, with warm hues forged by respect for the original matrix and the multiple expressions of its identity. Like a principle of life.

01 – Speak to Me
02 – Inspire
03 – Breathe
04 – On the Run
05 – Time
06 – Magic Spells
07 – Hear This Whispering
08 – Great Gig in the Sky
09 – Gotta Go Sometime
10 – Money
11 – Us and Them
12 – Purple or Blue
13 – Any Colour You Like
14 – Brain Damage
15 – Eclipse

Produced and Mixed by Nguyên Lê at Louxor studios, Paris Barbès, March & April 2014.
Recorded at NDR Bigband studio by Michael Ploetz and Wolfgang Dierks, Hamburg, December 2-6, 2013.
Recording Producer: Walter Quintus. Mastered by Bruno Gruel at Elektra Mastering, France.

Nguyên Lê – electric guitar, electronics
Youn Sun Nah – vocals
Gary Husband – drums
Jürgen Attig – electric fretless bass
NDR Bigband, conducted by Jörg Achim Keller

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Jul 06

Jazz Funk Soul (Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp) – Jazz Funk Soul (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 49:03 minutes | 0,99 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Recorded: JHL Sound, Pacific Palisades CA, Automotive Recording, Irvington NY, Rue Harp Studios LA, CA

Jazz Funk Soul is the new Smooth Jazz super group featuring 3 of the most important hit makers on the scene today: Jeff Lorber, Everett Harp and Chuck Loeb. As artists and producers they are responsible for selling millions of albums and scoring close to 50 #1 Smooth Jazz radio hits! As a touring ensemble, they are wowing audiences from coast to coast.

Jeff Lorber is famous for launching the career of Kenny G and his productions and collaborations with such greats as Dave Koz, Janet Jackson, Lalah Hathaway and Miles Davis. He is one of the most sought after producers and performers in Jazz! Chuck Loeb is widely regarded as one of the finest guitarists ever. Both as a solo artist and as the producer and lead guitarist of the iconic group Fourplay, Loeb has amassed an astonishing record of Smooth Jazz hits! Everette Harp has recorded and shared the stage with such musical giants as Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Billy Joel and Patti LaBelle. A hit maker in his own right, Jazziz magazine hails his “amazing virtuosity” and Jazz Times calls him “a rare talent.”

Since Jazz Funk Soul began touring in 2013, the popularity of the group and the audience’s enthusiasm has been tremendous. This new album was created to satisfy the demand from their growing audience. Jazz Funk Soul is overflowing with soaring saxophone solos, brilliant guitar riffs, super funky piano riffs and incredibly compelling melodies. Highlights include the soon to be hit single, “In The Moment,” the sensuous Loeb original “Feel Me,” the high spirited romp “All Over” and much more!!

1 Speed of Light 04:31
2 Swingette 05:09
3 Adrenaline 04:29
4 Silent Partner 06:25
5 Telephone 04:26
6 We Were There 05:49
7 Line Drive 04:27
8 Serious Business 04:34
9 D.C. 04:15
10 Raccoon 04:58

Jeff Lorber – keyboards, synth bass, rhythm guitar, Rhodes, piano
Chuck Loeb – guitars, keyboards, bass
Everette Harp – alto saxophone, EWI, keys, synth bass, soprano saxophone
Gary Novak, Brian Dunne, Lionel Cordew – drums
Dave Mann – horns
Lenny Castro – congas, percussion
James Genus – acoustic bass, bass
A. Ray “The Weeper” Fuller – rhythm guitars
Till Bronner – trumpet
Mark Hollingsworth – flutes
John Patitucci, Jimmy Haslip – bass

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Jul 05

Jherek Bischoff – Cistern (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 43:51 minutes | 851 MB | Genre: Pop, R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Bandcamp | Artwork: Front cover | © The Leaf Label

Jherek Bischoff is a multi-hyphenate musician from the Pacific Northwest currently living in Los Angeles. Equal parts composer, producer, performer & film scoring professional. In his 30 odd years of life, he has played in many bands and musical configurations, mostly of the DIY variety, including Parenthetical Girls, the Degenerate Art Ensemble & The Dead Science. Cistern is an album inspired by time Bischoff spent improvising in an empty, two-million-gallon, underground water tank, with a 45-second reverb decay. The unique acoustics of the space forced Bischoff to slow down and adapt his compositional approach – something which, unexpectedly, brought him back to his childhood, and the slow-pace of life he experienced growing up on a sailboat.

With well over a decade as a multi-instrumentalist sideman, arranger, producer, and songwriter/composer under his belt, Jherek Bischoff follows his acclaimed solo breakthrough, Composed, with Cistern. While Composed featured a number of guests (David Byrne, Caetano Veloso, and Nels Cline among them) and an orchestral sound, it was constructed one instrument at a time by Bischoff. Here, he’s joined by the 21-piece chamber ensemble Contemporaneous. An instrumental album, Cistern was borne out of recording experiments in a two-million-gallon water tank beneath Washington’s Fort Warden, a defender of Puget Sound. Bischoff found that if he snapped his fingers or cleared his throat, the reverberation in the empty tank lasted 45 seconds. That fact inspired the title track and influenced the slowed pace of the rest of the album. Its reflective character also draws on memories of his unconventional childhood aboard a sailboat in the Pacific with his parents. Piano tones, strings, an echoing drum, and tambourine open track one, “Automatism.” An atmospheric slow boil, the piece uses repetition and small changes for impact, but tremolos, percussiveness and, at times, performance muscle, keep it from ever drifting into the background. As the title and backstory suggest, reverb is a major player on the record, though it was recorded in a church rather than the underground tank. “Cistern” features a repeated melodic motif that works its way through a string arrangement that incorporates woodwinds, horns, and shimmering bells. Elsewhere, electronics blend with strings and obscure the tempo on “Cas(s)iopeia,” and dissonance creeps about trudging low strings on “The Wolf.” Even without prior knowledge of the composer’s nomadic youth, Cistern evokes adventure and the forces of nature. Landing closer to film scores and instrumental post-rock than to the quirkier chamber pop of Composed, Cistern doesn’t play out like a sequel, but fans of that album may well find themselves still drawn to the musician’s particular spark.

01 – Automatism
02 – Closer to Closure
03 – Cas(s)iopeia
04 – Headless
05 – Lemon
06 – Attuna
07 – The Wolf
08 – Cistern
09 – The Sea’s Son

Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Jherek Bischoff.
Recorded by Patrick Higgins at Future-Past Studios, NY, except “4” by Robb Kunz.

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Jul 05

Jim Snidero – MD66 (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:52:38 minutes | 598 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Front Cover | © Savant

Over the course of the past three decades alto saxophonist and composer Jim Snidero has been constantly pushing himself to explore new territories and expand his outlook. In 1989 (!) his extraordinary album Blue Afternoon made its way into The Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums. Later on he made his mark in the sax-with-strings department, not only playing at the top of his game, but also composing and arranging all of the music on the project. Most recently he’s impressed more than a few listeners with a spate of fine albums on Savant. On this his latest release, Snidero tackles open modal forms and uses his unfettered imagination as a portal into free(r) territory, and takes his soloing to the next level by working an inside/outside approach that’s rooted in the structure and style of each song but radical enough to move in wildly unexpected directions. This is a musical promised land where revelations, whether subtle or seismic in nature, are guided by revolution.

01. MD66
02. Recursion
03. Free Beauty
04. Unified
05. Who We’ve Known
06. Un4Scene
07. Blue in Green
08. Purge

Jim Snidero – alto saxophone
Alex Sipiagin – trumpet
Andy LaVerne – piano
Ugonna Okegwo – bass
Rudy Royston – drums

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Jul 05

Elgar: Symphony No 2 – Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.01 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Decca

Following his critically-acclaimed Elgar Cello Concerto recording with Alisa Weilerstein, Barenboim turns to the symphonies. The Second Symphony is released first, in a 2013 recording with the Staatskapelle Berlin. The First Symphony will follow in 2015.

“To hear an orchestra with such a distinctive central European sound playing Elgar, and relating his music so securely to the wider late-romantic tradition, is one of the disc’s great pleasures.” Andrew Clements, The Guardian (of the Cello Concerto recording)

Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra


“This is a superb, in fact I feel justified in calling it a great, Elgar Two. It’s difficult to know where to start in listings its excellences…But one must start and finish with Barenboim’s interpretation…this is a marvellously full-blooded reading of the Symphony, full of drama and passion…This must be one of the finest performances currently on offer.”

“The surging, unquenchable energy of this account is obvious from the opening bars, which are borne on an irresistible flood of sound from the Berlin Staatskapelle…Every department of this fabulous orchestra seems to make a telling contribution to this performance at some point or other, and it’s as much a triumph for the Staatskapelle as it is for its conductor”

1. Symphony no 2 in E flat major, Op. 63 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
Period: Romantic
Written: 1909-1911; England

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Jul 05

Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – Big Band Holidays (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:01:36 minutes | 1,21 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: HDTracks | Label: Blue Engine Records

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis holiday album featuring special guests, Cécile Mclorin Salvant, René Marie and Gregory Porter.

Put some swing in your holiday season with Big Band Holidays from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis! The first holiday album ever released by DownBeat Readers Poll’s Best Big Band of 2013 & 2014, Big Band Holidays features original big band arrangements of timeless favorites including Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, We Three Kings, and White Christmas. Nine-time GRAMMY Award winner and Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO are joined by special guest vocalists Cécile McLorin Salvant, Gregory Porter, and René Marie on what’s sure to become a holiday classic.

01 – Jingle Bells
02 – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
03 – White Christmas
04 – Zat You, Santa Claus? (feat. René Marie)
05 – A Cradle In Bethlehem (feat. Gregory Porter)
06 – We Three Kings
07 – What Child Is This? (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
08 – Merry Christmas Baby (feat. Gregory Porter)
09 – It’s Easy To Blame The Weather (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
10 – I’ll Be Home For Christmas (feat. René Marie)
11 – Good Morning Blues (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant)
12 – Band Introductions

Sound Engineer: David Robinson. Recording Engineer: James Nichols.
Mixed by: Todd Whitelock. Mastered by: Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, NYC 2015.

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Jul 05

Jane Morgan – In Gold: Today’s Hits… Tomorrow’s Golden Favorites (1966/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 26:24 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © Epic/Legacy

Jane Morgan is an American popular music singer. Morgan initially found success in France and the UK before achieving recognition in the United States. She had a quality of voice and style of delivery that was perfectly suited to the “classic pop/great American songbook” type of music.

01 – A Lover’s Concerto
02 – 1-2-3
03 – Kiss Away
04 – Baby the Rain Must Fall
05 – A Taste of Honey
06 – Queen of the House
07 – Yesterday
08 – Call Me
09 – Summer Wind
10 – What the World Needs Now Is Love

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