Hi-Res Downloads

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B. Willis (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 01, 2018
The emotional tenor of this journeyman jazz ensemble ranges from joyous and celebratory, as in the title track, to imploring (‘No. 9’, ‘Lycklig Resa’), to near-rock frenetic (‘Bullet Train’) to insistently screechy (‘The Poet’). Among the eleven tracks are a few that touch on all these (‘Song For Jorgen’), then there’s the mysteriously compelling ‘Dance Of Masja’. Capable of swinging hard or taking it easy, Lundgren and bandmates Jukka Perko, Dan Berglund and Morten Lund are never far from moody traditional late-night musings (‘Never Too Late’), nor are they strangers to extended improvisation (‘Twelve Tone Rag’).
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.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 06, 2015
Coming to this one hot on the heels of the Craig Armstrong's It's Nearly Tomorrow, it might be tempting to think ‘Not another album of film music’, but though German-born saxophonist Jason Seizer has created an album drawing on music from some celebrated movies, he combines with his band – Pablo Held on piano, Matthias Pichler on bass and drummer Fabian Arends – to come up with a set that’s both smooth of sound and perfect for a little late-night listening. Not surprisingly Seizer’s breathy sax is to the fore, underpinned by delicate playing from his fellow musicians, with plenty of brushwork and cymbals in the percussion department, a rich, warm bass and every touch of the piano crystal-clear. It’s not the most challenging jazz album you’ve ever heard, but the musicianship is beyond question, and the recorded sound serves the performers well. AE Sound Quality: 85% Hi-Fi News Lab Report Digitally recorded and mastered, this 96kHz rendering offers very low levels of white noise (hiss).
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 05, 2017
Sometimes things come together to create something special, and that’s definitely the case with this set by Danish bassist Jasper Høiby, perhaps better known as part of jazz power-trio Phronesis. In that set-up Høiby is part of the engine-room; here he’s given the chance to spread his wings rather more as performer and composer, not only showing just what a fine bassist he is but also writing tunes both intriguing and entirely catchy. Placing himself at the heart of a quintet comprising the trumpet of Laura Jurd and saxophonist Mark Lockheart, with fine work by Will Barry on piano and Corrie Dick wielding the sticks, Høiby never falls into the bass-player’s trap of putting himself out in front. This is an ensemble set, superbly recorded and with real impact and insight to underpin its fine musicianship.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2013
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHAN 10763 (supplied by www. theclassicalshop. com) Recorded using a Yamaha CFX pianoforte at Potton Hall, Suffolk, last year, Vol. 5 in Bavouzet’s series offers six sonatas: Hob.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Mar 01, 2014
HRA has recently started offering Harmonia Mundi recordings as downloads (at low prices too). This particular programme – a recent classical Album Choice [HFN Jan ’14] – was made in May ’12 at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios only at 44. 1kHz resolution. Does this (24-bit) download offer a sonic gain? I thought there was a discernible difference: switching from an iMac/Audirvana/MF V-Link192/DAC to preamp chain to CD player/preamp brought a thicker, flatter sound.
B. Willis (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jan 29, 2018
The Brodbeck trio is a group at the peak of its considerable artistic power. This hour-long instrumental expedition opens with three densely orchestrated, upbeat, and engaging pieces (‘Ich Will Meine Seele Tachen’, ‘Im Strom Der Gezeitzen’ and ‘The Night Comes Soon’) then takes a contemplative detour with ‘Song For The Ancestors’ and the languorous ‘Brahms Ballad’. An extended bass solo in ‘Juno Is Touching Down’ leads to a compellingly rhythmic, melodically forthright section that in turn ushers in a sweet piano passage in ‘Return/No Return’. The punchy ‘Rocka-Roas’ showcases the trio’s interplay, running the gamut from fascinating to maddening with a repeated figure near the end.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Aug 01, 2014
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Chandos CHSA 5134 (supplied by www. theclassicalshop. net) Jennifer Pike’s playing in the concerto is satisfying for the consistent purity of her intonation, although you need patience – it really needs more bravura, some of Heifetz’s nonchalance. The rest of the programme is mostly unashamedly popular Sibelius, but there’s no trace of routine.
J. Bamford (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Feb 26, 2015
96kHz/24-bit FLAC, Bee Jazz BEE 064 (www. supplied by www. hdtracks. co.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Dec 03, 2015
Recorded in 1973 for BASF, and for a long time one of those unavailable and therefore sought-after albums, this studio set may not see Pass at his flamboyant best, but it comes up fresh in this DSD release. It’s a rather laid-back set by the guitarist, backed by bass player Eberhard Weber and Kenny Clare on drums, meaning this collection, mainly of standards, is in pretty safe hands. However, there are flashes of the famous Pass style, notably in the improvised ‘Joe’s Blues’ and a samba’d-up take on the perennial ‘Ode To Billy Joe’, and while the version of ‘Stompin’ At The Savoy’ here may not be the stompiest you’ll ever hear, there’s still much to enjoy. The balance is much as you’d expect, with Pass’s guitar prominent, but there’s also fine extension and definition in the bass and drums, making this a cleanly recorded, if not actually challenging, set.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jun 01, 2016
Satriani’s latest outing fair shoots out of the traps with the explosive opening of the title-track, placed at the beginning of the album as if to say ‘yup, this is what you’re in for – business as usual’. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, at least provided you’re into the highly distinctive Satriani sound, but this 15th studio album is more like a small ensemble jazz outing, just rocked up a bit. Accompanied by Bryan Beller on drums, bassist Marco Minneman and Mike Keneally on keyboards, this of course is a showcase for Satriani’s guitar playing. Shockwave Supernova ranges from blues to more lyrical pieces, all mixed and mastered by long-time collaborator John Cuniberti, who has delivered a dense, somewhat retro sound.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Sep 04, 2017
A couple of years ago I heard this young German-Canadian cellist playing the Rachmaninov Cello Sonata at the Festival Hall in partnership with the composer – it was a pianola recital, I hasten to add! Here he’s with a congenial Russian pianist and they complete their sonatas programme with three transcriptions: Vocalise, a movement from Cinderella and a Scriabin Romance originally for horn. Prokofiev’s sonata met with state sanction and was premiered by Rostropovich/Richter in 1950 (EMI 5 720162 2 has that recording). It gets a fine reading here, as does the Rachmaninov, although Isserlis and Hough on Hyperion are even more inside the soul of the music. The Pentatone recording gives a rich cello sound, set forward and left of centre, with the piano just a little too distantly balanced to the right.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Oct 23, 2017
This new coupling faces serious competition from my Jan ’14 ‘Album Choice’ Queyras/Harmonia Mundi – Dvorák fillers there, and with Pentatone the Pezzo Capriccioso and two other short Tchaikovsky transcriptions. One important difference, however, is that Moser plays the original Rococo Variations rather than the Fitzenhagen version which so angered the composer. Moser won a special prize at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition for his interpretation. He seems to repeat his success here and there’s much charm in the short pieces too.
A. Everard (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Nov 01, 2016
The cover bears the name of pianist/synth player Motschmann alone, but here he’s joined by Boris Bolles on more synths and violins, and percussionist David Panzl, with Bolles also recording and mixing the album. The opening is all very ‘Berlin’, hitting you with a burst of white noise sufficient to convince you that your digital playback has gone skew-whiff, then continues into washes of electronica. However, by the second track, ‘Parhelia’, we’re into a juddering, compelling rhythm, echoed in ‘Flow Expansion’, and on we go – a foot-tapping bass line here, a swirly wash of synthefication there, sometime meditative, sometimes jarringly atonal. The sound is certainly powerful when it needs to be, with some evil bass in there, and clean even when it’s pushing hard, meaning the album rewards at least a second listen.
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)  |  Jun 01, 2016
As the British musicologist Michael Talbot explains in a lengthy note, Corelli was as influential a figure in organising performances in 17th century Rome as he was a composer. His appointed successor was Antonio Montanari, little of whose music has survived – five of the concertos here receive premiere recordings. The Paris-based Ensemble Diderot uses period or modern copy instruments, and, as a Toblach concert hall session photograph indicates, the players stand (where practicable) to play – the now fashionable method for Baroque performers. The concertos offer an adventurous, unconventional ride, ranging from the staccato Adagio of Op.