Hi-Res Downloads

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J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
Rarely does the evergreen Tom Petty disappoint his fans, his 13th album with The Heartbreakers proving to be no exception – except that it was three long years in the making. Perhaps because of this it feels over-produced and lacks any feeling of ‘performance’, despite the album being the band’s most rollicking and hard-rockin’ collection of tracks in a very long time. Power chords and jangling guitars combine with tremendous harmony vocals reminiscent of Petty’s outings when an angry young man in the ’70s. Of course we’ve heard it all before, but Petty’s song-writing remains as sharp and incisive as ever.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
96kHz/24-bit WAV, ALAC, FLAC*, Absolute/Megaphonic megad007 (supplied by www. naimlabel. com) As our Lab Report warns, there’s nothing ‘hi-res’ about the sound of Imogen Heap’s latest assemblage of sonic sculptures. Nevertheless she’s as inventive and eclectic as ever in her musical explorations in which she has cut ’n’ pasted a patchwork of myriad samples and ‘sound seeds’ (field recordings of mundane sounds sent in by her fans).
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 25, 2015
96kHz/24-bit WAV, ALAC, FLAC*, Naim CD195 (supplied by www. naimlabel. com) Burn is the 2013 debut album from the winners of a MOBO award last year. Sons Of Kemet are a London-based band famed for rattling the rafters with boisterous and eclectic jazz-with-a-twist.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 25, 2015
The Moscow composer-pianist Alexander Scriabin wrote his first five piano sonatas between 1893 and 1907; the other five date from 1911-13 (Nos 5-10 are in single-movt form). They show a development from a Chopin-influenced style – eg, ‘Funèbre’ in Sonata 1 – to one where ‘the tonic became distantly perspectived… existing only in the imagination’. Some have associated texts or sub-texts. Also Moscow trained, Anna Malikova made her recordings in a German studio in Feb/March of 2012, ’13 and ’14, playing a Shigeru Kawai pianoforte – then a newly launched model.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 25, 2015
There’s little musical innovation to savour in this collection of piano compositions from Canadian pianist Pascal Mailloux, whose career has been writing music for films, TV shows and commercials, and collaborating with Montreal-born singer Marjolène Morin (aka Marjo) over the years. Still, he does conjure up some delightful melodies, and the performances by his accompanists are polished throughout. I’ve found myself returning to ‘Morning Mist’ for its intriguing chord progression and Dave Gilmour-esque slide guitar break. And ‘October Sky’ is another infectious track.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 25, 2015
Based in Hamburg, the award-winning Tingvall Trio is a cosmopolitan combo led by Swedish composer/pianist Martin Tingvall, alongside Cuban bass player Omar Rodriguez Calvo and multi-disciplined drummer Jürgen Spiegel, from Bremen. This is the band’s sixth album in eight years, its eclectic jazz style highlighting the trio’s crossover appeal due to an amalgamation of rock, pop and classical influences. Tingvall’s compositions are infectiously melodic, sometimes a little pompous, formulaic even – but regularly downright fun. The trio sounds like it’s enjoying itself and the sound quality is excellent, the drum kit and piano particularly dynamic and vivid.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 01, 2015
96kHz/24-bit WAV, ALAC, FLAC, Naim Jazz Records Naim CD206 (supplied by www. naimlabel. com) Former Brand New Heavies keyboardist Neil Cowley – a child prodigy playing Shostakovich piano concertos at the age of ten – can arguably lay claim to being one of the world’s most heard pianists in current times, having accompanied Adele on both her 19 and 21 albums. This fifth release from the trio with drummer Evan Jenkins and bassist Rex Horan (who replaced Richard Sadler after 2010’s Naim album Radio Silence) sees Cowley once again crossing myriad musical boundaries.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 01, 2015
When Tony Bennett – famously reinvented since becoming managed by one of his sons in the 1980s – released Duets II in 2011 it became his first ever album to debut at No1 on America’s Billboard charts. With Cheek To Cheek the octogenarian crooner has scored another No1. And make that strike three for Lady Gaga. This might appear an incongruous pairing.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 01, 2015
Although the last two Schubert sonatas are reissues from 2002, Paul Lewis has re-recorded the A-minor and C-minor (D784/958), again at the Teldex Studios Berlin, last spring. And in any case we haven’t had the higher resolution until now. There’s very little difference in sound: perhaps the new recordings are in tighter focus with less ambient sound, but it’s marginal. No-one I have heard makes more sense of the central outburst in the Andantino of the Sonata in A (D959); and Lewis’s Schubert suggests more affinity with Beethoven in its overtness – it’s a very different approach from that of the ‘reverent’ Mitsuko Uchida or even Paul Lewis’s mentor Alfred Brendel (whose example he followed in 2002 by omitting the exposition repeat in D960(i) – perhaps one day he’ll be persuaded otherwise).
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 01, 2015
96kHz/24-bit WAV, ALAC, FLAC*, Naim CD188 (supplied by www. naimlabel. com) Max Raptor – a four piece punk rock band formed in 2006 in Burton upon Trent – has released a clutch of singles and an eight-track mini-album Portraits [Naim label] since touring with The Stranglers in 2010. Mother’s Ruin is the band’s first proper album, released Sept ’13.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 01, 2015
The theme of this album is composers who found new lives in Hollywood, some but not all escaping from Germany in the 1930s. Korngold’s Violin Concerto is the longest work in selections, not exclusively for films, spanning from 1908 up to Schindler’s List and American Beauty. We hear themes from Casablanca, Ben Hur, El Cíd, et al, ‘Tränen in der Geige’ bringing relief from the general romantic wash. Max Raabe is good in ‘Speak Low’ and Daniel Hope’s friend Sting appears to swallow his mic in one arrangement.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
192kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHSA5145 (supplied by www. theclassicalshop. net) This appears to be the first Chandos orchestral recording from The Classical Shop at 192kHz/24-bit resolution – like the SACD, it has no extra work so is low-priced. It was produced live in mid-2013 by Soundmirror Inc at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall: the first of three Chandos projects with the orchestra.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
Italian pianist Stefano Bollani has covered many musical styles since becoming a professional player at the tender age of 15, his jazz collaborations with trumpeter Enrico Rava gaining him international recognition. Recorded in NY’s Avatar Studios last year, but only recently released, Joy In Spite Of Everything sees Bollani alongside drummer Morten Lund and bass player Jesper Bodilsen (both from Bollani’s working trio) joined by Mark Turner and jazz guitar maestro Bill Frisell. From the laid-back calypso style of the opener ‘Easy Healing’, with a tremendous contribution from Turner’s tenor sax, this modern jazz quintet sparkles with musical inventiveness and tremendous playing throughout the album. A bit more ‘air’ to the sound would have been welcome, nevertheless the tonality and textures of the band’s instruments are colourfully depicted.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
192kHz/24-bit ALAC/FLAC, Linn Records CKD475 (supplied by www. linnrecords. com) Chopin collectors will (should) have the Preludes with Friedrich Gulda [Audite/DG, 1950s] or his one-time pupil Martha Argerich [DG, 1975]. Add fellow-Argentinian Ingrid Fliter to the list! Unsurprisingly, her Chopin readings have become more interesting since her 2008/09 EMI debut CDs with the Waltzes, etc.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2015
Classically trained Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren has made some 40 albums under his own name since graduating from Malmö’s Academy of Music in 1991. Flowers Of Sendai was recorded late last year in Italy, for the French BeeJazz label, since when Lundgren has further released a collection of standards from the great American songbook entitled All By Myself for Barcelona-based Fresh Sound Records. Here Lundgren is accompanied once again by bassist Mattias Svensson and highly accomplished Hungarian drummer Zoltán Csörsz Jr (who famously filled the seat of Jaime Salazar in Swedish prog-rock outfit The Flower Kings and has taken over from drummer Morten Lund in Lundgren’s Trio). Audiophiles will be impressed by the recording quality that puts the trio in a natural acoustic with the instruments clearly delineated in ‘open’ space.

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