Marta Gomez – Cantos De Agua Dulce (Songs Of The Sweet Water) (2004) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Marta Gomez – Cantos De Agua Dulce (Songs Of The Sweet Water) (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD/DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 53:34 minutes | Scans included | 3,7 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 941 MB
Features 2.0 Stereo & 5.1 multichannel Surround sound | Chesky Records # SACD285 | Genre: Latin

This is the record that brought this Colombian-born songstress widespread critical acclaim. Cantos De Agua Dulce charted on Billboard’s Top 10 Jazz Albums tally, the CMJ New World Chart and the World Music Europe Chart. On the strength of this recording, Gomez was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Vocalist of 2005 by Billboard’s Latin Music Awards and was described by the magazine’s reviewer as “… the essence of Latin cool”.

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Various Artists – Master Music: Female Audiophile (2005) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Various Artists – Master Music: Female Audiophile (2005)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 65:40 minutes | Scans included | 1,06 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,19 GB
Genre: Vocal

This Master Music Female Audiophile SACD sampler includes the beautiful and timeless voices of Radka Toneff, Simone, Lisa Wahlandt, Katinka Wilson, Kari Bremnes, Inger Marie Gundersen, Kate Purcell, Chie Ayado and more! It is an Asian production and release, not found on Western webpages and outlets.

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The Jim Hall Quartet – All Across The City (1989) [Reissue 2003] {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

The Jim Hall Quartet – All Across The City (1989) [Reissue 2003]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 57:05 minutes | Scans included | 3,85 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,01 GB
Genre: Jazz

Jim Hall’s successful blend of contemporary and mainstream jazz should appeal to both camps on this well-crafted album. Hall displays the subtle quiet lyricism that makes his guitar sound instantly identifiable. Gil Goldstein is a perfect choice on keyboards, because he uses synthesizer only to color rather than overpower a song, while avoiding schmaltz. Both “Beja-Flor” and the title track benefit from his contributions. Though his piano is frequently in the background, it matches Hall’s hushed, effective guitar lines. Bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Terry Clarke frequently lay out during the introductions and then enter to add either gentle shadings or full steam, if needed. One of Jim Hall’s best albums.

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The Gene Harris Quartet – Listen Here! (1989) [Reissue 2003] {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

The Gene Harris Quartet – Listen Here! (1989) [Reissue 2003]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 53:50 minutes | Scans included | 3,35 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,00 GB
Genre: Jazz

Although often associated with the blues, only one of the ten selections on this quartet set by pianist Gene Harris (who is joined by guitarist Ron Eschete, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jeff Hamilton) is technically a blues. On this excellent all-around showcase for the soulful pianist, Harris sounds in prime form exploring such tunes as “This Masquerade,” “Don’t Be That Way,” Eddie Harris’ “Listen Here,” and “The Song Is Ended.” Listen Here! gives listeners a pretty definitive look at Gene Harris’ accessible and swinging style.

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Toby Keith – Shock’n Y’all (2003) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Toby Keith – Shock’n Y’all (2003) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 51:12 minutes | Artwork | 3,97 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 50:22 mins | Art | 996 MB
Genre: Country

Since Toby Keith not only can come across as a loudmouth redneck but seems to enjoy being a loudmouth redneck, it’s easy for some listeners to dismiss him as a backwoods right-wing crank — particularly when he succumbs to such easy impulses as mocking Dixie Chick Natalie Maines in concert and naming his 2003 album Shock’n Y’All, not so cleverly spinning the military catch phrase from the second Iraq war into a bad pun. Those listeners aren’t entirely wrong, since he can succumb to reactionary politics, as on swill like “Beer for My Horses,” but Keith isn’t coming from a didactic right-wing standpoint. He’s an old-fashioned, cantankerous outlaw who’s eager to be as oversized and larger than life as legends like Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson, who bucked conventions and spoke their minds. Sure, Keith enjoys pandering to the Fox News Republicans “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” won him, and his jingoistic ventures don’t have the humanity and humor of Haggard’s protest songs (although to Keith’s credit they display far more humanity than Sean Hannity and are much more genuine than Steve Earle’s post-9/11 songs), but that doesn’t mean Keith doesn’t have a big, warm heart. In fact, on every album prior to Shock’n Y’All he’s displayed a taste for mawkish sentiment, but what makes this album work is that he’s turned that sentiment into warmth while making the record into the hardest, toughest set of songs he’s yet made. Unleashed gave him the clout to make any kind of music he wanted, and left to his own devices, he’s lonesome, on’ry, and mean, a cheerful advocate of redneck libertarianism with a sly sense of humor. All of which wouldn’t mean much if he wasn’t a strong songwriter, and more than any of his previous works, Shock’n Y’All proves that he’s a steady-handed journeyman, crafting songs in the tradition of classic outlaw country. It’s a deliberately hard-driving, hard-drinking, gutsy country album, yet it doesn’t shy away from modernism, best illustrated on “Sweet,” with its funky rhythms and use of “babelicious” (which rhymes with “delicious,” btw). Even with these modern flourishes, the album is firmly within the hard country tradition, with lots of barroom humor, propulsive rhythms, hearty humor, and a humanity that contradicts the rabble-rousing of Unleashed. And if Keith is more of a party-hearty hound than a profound singer — even when he imagines “If I Was Jesus,” it’s only so he can turn water into wine at parties — that’s now an attribute, not a deficiency, since it gives him focus and sensibility. Keith is happy to be a dirty old SOB, cracking jokes, drinking beer, and flirting with the ladies, and that makes Shock’n Y’All a fun, rough, rowdy album that wins you over despite your better impulses. It’s not polite, but Shock’n Y’All is pure Toby Keith, and the best album he’s done to date.

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George Shearing and Hank Jones – The Spirit Of 176 (1988) [Reissue 2003] {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

George Shearing and Hank Jones – The Spirit Of 176 (1988) [Reissue 2003]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 50:33 minutes | Scans included | 3,63 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 973 MB
Genre: Jazz

George Shearing and Hank Jones have always been very well-rounded pianists fully capable of playing unaccompanied solos. Their unique matchup as a two-piano duo on this Concord release works surprisingly well for the two pianists manage to stay out of each other’s way and the ensembles are not overcrowded. The pianists tackle colorful material including “Angel Eyes,” and Thelonious Monk’s “I Mean You,” an original apiece, Mary Lou Williams’s “Lonely Moments,” “Star Eyes” and “Confirmation,” and the results are swinging and tasteful. This somewhat obscure Concord release is worth investigating.

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Gary Allan – See If I Care (2003) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Gary Allan – See If I Care (2003) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 41:46 minutes | Scans included | 2,61 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 41:09 mins | Scans | 865 MB
Genre: Country

While Nashville hitmakers Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney rose from clunky B-level stars to bankable stadium fillers, Gary Allan quietly tapped his foot waiting for the rest of the world to get hip to his cool. On his fifth album, the California surfer/singer–finally nominated for the CMA Horizon award in 2003–gets back to the smoldering alt-country-goes-mainstream groove that made 1999’s Smoke Rings in the Dark so brilliant, but which he’d abandoned on 2002’s Alright Guy.

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Branford Marsalis Quartet & North Carolina Symphony, Grant Llewellyn – American Spectrum (2009) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

 

Branford Marsalis Quartet & North Carolina Symphony, Grant Llewellyn – American Spectrum (2009)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 75:28 minutes | Scans included | 3,41 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,18 GB

Composed between 1963 and 2005 these four works form a spectrum that demonstrates a tendency among composers of American concert music to draw from a wide range of musical streams; classical, popular, folk and jazz in order to reach out to their listeners.

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Spyro Gyra – Wrapped In A Dream (2006) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Spyro Gyra – Wrapped In A Dream (2006) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 61:22 minutes | Scans included | 3,88 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 61:40 mins | Scans | 1,29 GB
Genre: Jazz, Fusion

The Buffalo-based instrumental ensemble is always credited for contributing to the pop, R&B, and jazz hybrid that eventually evolved into today’s smooth jazz — but happily, as the music in that genre has gotten slightly more predictable, Spyro Gyra have been rocking, rolling, and improvising in a lot of unexpected directions. So after nine Grammy nominations and nearly 11 million albums sold, where do saxman Jay Beckenstein, keyboardist Tom Schuman, and company turn to wrap themselves in a dream? How about some “Impressions of Madrid,” a moody, super-sultry Latin meditation that weaves the saxman’s soprano with his own flute and (for the first time) Spanish chanting. Former full-time member Dave Samuels (marimba) and acoustic guitarist Julio Fernandez make this an irresistible, totally trippy excursion. Closer to home, Beckenstein segues into the soulful, easy-rocking blues flavors of “Impressions of Toledo” — less exotic to be sure, but still loads of fun, with ample opportunity for his mates to jam and solo. The band also makes up new titles as clever and weird as its own name, via the steamy and mysterious, strutting blues drench of “The Voodooyoodoo” and the South African/gospel-infused closer, “Woogitybop,” which features some of Beckenstein’s most aggressive blowing amidst rich horn textures. Not that it’s ultra-important, but there are a few tracks that could qualify as artsy “smooth jazz,” like Schuman’s punchy “Walkin’ Home” and the lone outside composition, Chuck Loeb’s bouncy, super-funky “Tuesday.” Mostly, this is Spyro Gyra doing what they’ve done best in the 2000s — staying engaging and accessible while stretching out, taking risks, and having a blast like the kids they were in the ’70s.

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Spyro Gyra – In Modern Times (2001) {SACD ISO + FLAC 24/88,2}

Spyro Gyra – In Modern Times (2001) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 60:28 minutes | Scans included | 3,64 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,23 GB
Genre: Jazz, Fusion

When you consider that 1979 was the year that launched Spyro Gyra onto the pop charts with their number one hit “Morning Dance,” for what was essentially a new style of jazz, their achievements seem all the more astounding. With the release of In Modern Times, the group commemorates 25 years of recording and a move to Heads Up International with this fresh, new collection. The enhanced CD, complete with a video and biography, features the talents of its co-founder, Jay Beckenstein, on saxophones, Tom Schuman on keyboards, Julio Fernandez on guitars, Scott Ambush on bass, and Joel Rosenblatt on drums. The 12 original concepts written by members of the group, the inimitable Chuck Loeb, and co-writers Jeremy Wall and Phil Magallanes, keep the listening interesting, sweet, and real. The opening track, “After Hours,” is a sultry tune featuring orchestral enhancement, subtle horn charts, and creates a mood that signals the listener is in for a great time. Their retro soul tribute to Grover Washington, Jr., ” “Groovin’ for Grover” features an excellent soprano saxophone melody by Jay Beckenstein and glistens brilliantly among this great array of contemporary jazz gems. The crown jewel, however, is “Florida Straits,” a fiery, danceable, Latin jam. Beckenstein’s sax playing lights a fire under Julio Fernandez’ Carlos Santana-influenced guitar riffs, who cuts loose on a solo that sets the song ablaze. Along with percussionist David Quarles and drummer Joel Rosenblatt, this descarga helps to set In Modern Times apart from previous chart makers by Spyro Gyra. Another great song is “East River Blue,” which features the bluesy bop and soulful resonance of Beckenstein’s sax lines and the excellent B-3 organ solo by Tom Schuman. This enhanced CD is dynamic and flows as if self-propelled because of the superior technology, well-written songs, tight horn charts, eclectic grooves, and exceptional contemporary jazz, fusion, and R&B-based performers who mix various elements into a bold, modern sound.

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