Sunday, 27 December 2009

CAB - Theatre De Marionnettes (2009)



Genre: jazz - rock, Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2009
Label: Russian pressing




Undeniably one of the few ‘A’ grade jazz-rock/fusion bands left in the world, Cab comprising French/American bass genius Bunny Brunel, keyboard/guitar wiz Tony MacAlpine and the tireless drummer Virgil Donati, released their latest album Theatre De Marionnettes last year. The awesome trio played at the Blue Frog to promote their album at the time of the release, not the first performance in the city for both Bunny and Virgil who have played at the NCPA on previous occasions. The album was mastered at the Yatra Studios in Mumbai and produced by Sandeep Chowta, who along with Bunny and Tony composed all the tracks between themselves......





Friday, 25 December 2009

Royal Hunt - Paper Blood 2005





Genre: Hard Rock, Progressive Metal
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 1992
Label: Frontiers Records







Paper Blood celebrates a new era for Royal Hunt and it captures the very essence of the whole concept behind the band: aggressive yet highly melodic, symphonic but still very much in your face. Outstanding song writing combined with excellent musicianship results in a collection of ten highly energetic catchy songs. Royal Hunt have a new lineup: joining keyboard player Andre Andersen and the awesome singer with native American origins, John West are Marcus Jidell (ex Jekyll & Hide, The Ring) on guitar and Kenneth Olsen, the original drummer now back for good in the lineup! Frontiers Records. 2005.





Sunday, 20 December 2009

Dave Koz & Friends - A Smooth Jazz Christmas 2001



Genre: Smooth-jazz
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 2001
Label: Capitol





Since 1997, ~the Dave Koz Friends Christmas Tour has evolved from a handful of concerts by the beloved saxman and pianist David Benoit to a 30-plus-city national phenomenon also featuring fellow genre all-stars Peter White and Rick Braun and singer Brenda Russell. The original tour came in support of his popular 1997 seasonal offering December Makes Me Feel This Way, but the show has taken on an incredibly joyful creative life of its own, prompting Koz and his cohorts to create an exciting studio recording which captures the powerful emotion, warmth, and special familial spirit of these shows. Featuring unique ensemble arrangements of timeless classics, a handful of several Koz originals (including the brand new Koz/Benoit collaboration "Beneath the Moonlit Sky"), and musical surprises by the sleigh-load, A Smooth Jazz Christmas By Dave Koz Friends is contemporary music's premier event for Christmas 2001....





Ravel-Debussy - Bolero-La Valse-Rapsodie Espagnole-Images-Much (2005) {SASD RCA 66374}





Genre: Classical
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: BMG {SASD RCA 66374}




These two and three-channel SACD reissues sound splendid, and Munch's performances are justly famous. He redid Bolйro and La valse in the early 1960s, performances that I marginally prefer thanks to their slightly greater brilliance, and the concluding Feria of the Rapsodie hasn't quite the glitter that others such as Abbado or Reiner on this same label have brought to it; but by any standard these are extremely fine interpretations--fiery and exciting as we have come to expect from Munch. The Debussy Images is even better, engagingly atmospheric and full of fine playing. Munch could ride a bit rough over Debussy's delicately judged textures (as in his La Mer), but not here. Iberia in particular has a visceral quality that few other performances match, while Rondes de printemps is truly joyous. If you somehow missed these performances over the past half-century or so, now's your chance to get caught up.



Thursday, 17 December 2009

Chris Botti - December 2006



Genre: Jazz
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 2006
Label: Sony Music





The story about there being more suicides around the holidays turns out to be a myth, but like all urban legends, it caught on among the populace (or at least among lazy journalists) because it sounds like it should be true; as trumpeter Chris Botti writes in a sleeve note to his seasonal collection, December, "At no other time of the year is there a wider array of emotions than the month of December." This is a clue that Botti, in acceding to his record company's request that he undertake a Christmas album, was not interested in simply celebrating the season in his interpretations of holiday standards. There have been other such contemplative Christmas records: George Winston's album, also called December, is calm rather than celebratory, and Barbra Streisand's Christmas Memories, released in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, is another collection that takes in the season's complexities. Add Botti's album to that list...



Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Forcefield - Forcefield 1987







Genre: Hard Rock
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 1992
Label: President Records Ltd.







An Anglo-Dutch project featuring ex-FOCUS man Jan Akkerman, the band would attract an enviable array of experienced Rock talent over a series of albums. FORCEFIELD also comprised ex-FANCY vocalist / guitarist Ray Fenwick. Ray had also been a member of the IAN GILLAN band in 1976 and also cut the bizarrely titled 'Keep America Beautiful Get A Haircut' solo album in 1971 (Decca SKL 5090). The FORCEFIELD debut comprised a clutch of re-worked well known Rock standards such as DEEP PURPLE's 'Smoke On The Water', LED ZEPPELIN's 'Whole Lotta Love', THE KINKS 'Set Me Free' and 'You Really Got Me' and CREAM's 'White Room' and 'Sunshine Of Your Love'. The featured musicians included the WHITESNAKE rhythm section of drummer COZY POWELL and bassist Neil Murray, SERGEANT vocalist PETE PRESCOTT and bass player Mo Foster.





Sunday, 22 November 2009

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - Inspiration (2000)






Genre: Jazz, Fusion
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2000
Label: Sony Music





Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - (Azeri: Əzizə Mustafazadə) also known as The Princess of Jazz, or Die Prinzessin des Jazz or as Jazziza, was born on 19th December 1969 in Baku, Azerbaijan. She is a pianist, vocalist and composer who plays a fusion of jazz, classical, and mugham (a traditional improvisational style of Azerbaijan). Zadeh began to sing at age of three and studied classical piano from an early age. She made her debut on stage with her father, Vagif Mustafa Zadeh, a famous pioneer of mugham-jazz fusion. Her first, self-titled album was released in 1991, followed by Aziza in 1993. In 1994, she won the Phono Academy Prize, a prestigious German jazz award, for her second album, Always. She has since performed with many jazz and traditional luminaries and has released more albums including Dance Of Fire in 1995, Seventh Truth in 1996, Jazziza in 1997, Inspiration - Colors and Reflections in 2000, Shamans in 2002, Contrasts in 2006 and Contrasts II in 2007.



Friday, 20 November 2009

Orchestra Baobab - Made In Dakar (2007)




Genre: Ethnic
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2007
Label: World Circuit





Senegal’s Orchestra Baobab, having triumphed over changing tastes and a 16-year hiatus, are back with Made in Dakar, their first studio album since 2002's Specialist In All Styles. Featuring guest vocals from their world-renowned countrymen Youssou Ndour and Africando's Medoune Diallo, the set list encompasses songs from ancient griot sources ("Pape Ndiaye"), tributes to departed colleagues ("Nijaay"), Portuguese Creole influences from Guineau Bissau ("Ami Kita Bay"), sixties-era Congolese soukous ("Aline"), and Baobab's own mbalsa, which combines Ndour’s groundbreaking mbalax groove with salsa. But in any context, Baobab's Latin-North African-Afropop fusion never fails to emerge in the forefront, crowned by bandleader Barthйlemy Attisso’s borderline psychedelic lead guitar, smoldering brass, percussion and vocal arrangements and always, a soulful way with a Cuban clavй. Hearing Ndour singing with the band he once inadvertently put out of business is an especially moving experience, as is the wonderful cover of "Beni Baraale," a Bembeya Jazz of Guinйe standard, and Medoune Diallo’s peerless solo turn, which could melt a heart of stone. But with music of this quality, it’s pointless to list highlights. These guys never, ever mess up so picking favorites is a purely subjective exercise. Not to be missed, under any circumstances.



Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow 1975 (1992 Mastersound SBM EK 53442)





Genre: Jazz-Rock
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1992
Label: Epic





Jeff Beck seems finally to have figured out that his is not going to replace the great Sixties group which bore his name and featured Mickey Waller, Rod Stewart, Nicky Hopkins and Ron Wood. After some trying moments with a couple of abortive bands whose principal purpose was to give him someone to play with, this all-instrumental album points a newer, healthier direction for the man whose playing is more emblematic of the Yardbirds than either Jimmy Page, who followed him, or Eric Clapton, whom he succeeded....




Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Stanley Clarke - Children Of Forever 1973




Genre: Jazz
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1973
Label: POLYDOR






Stanley Clarke's debut solo effort was issued when he was already a seasoned jazz veteran, and a member of Chick Corea's Return to Forever, which at the time of this recording also included Joe Farrell on soprano sax and flute, and the Brazilian team of vocalist Flora Purim and drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira. Produced by Corea, who plays Rhodes, clavinet, and acoustic piano on Children of Forever, the band included flutist Art Webb, then-new RtF drummer Lenny White, guitarist Pat Martino, and a vocal pairing in the inimitable Andy Bey and Dee Dee Bridgewater on three of the five cuts -- Bey appears on four. Clarke plays both electric and acoustic bass on the set; and while it would be easy to simply look at this recording as an early fusion date, that would be a tragic mistake. If anything, Children of Forever is a true cousin to Norman Connors' classic Dance of Magic and Dark of Light albums, which were also released in 1973; Clarke played bass on both. This is basically funky, spiritual jazz in the best sense. Yes, jazz. That wonderfully mercurial, indefinable force that brings into itself the whole of music, from popular to classical and folk forms, and makes something new out of them. The long title track with its killer vocal interplay between Bridgewater and Bey is seductive from the jump. Add Clarke's big fat bassline, which is mellow and meaty at the beginning, but after the long piano and guitar breaks in the middle becomes dirty, fuzzy, and spacy by the end as the cut leans into souled-out funk....






more......

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Brian Bromberg - Metal 2005






Genre: Jazz / Fusion / Electric Guitar / Guitar Rock
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: Artistry Music





Brian Bromberg, a highly versatile bassist who can play straight-ahead jazz, fusion, smooth, and adventurous music with equal skill, is a masterful tapper too. On this rockish fusion set, most of the selections have just Bromberg joined by drummer Joel Taylor. Bromberg utilizes an overdubbed piccolo bass like a guitar (so one would swear this was a guitar-driven power trio) in addition to his standard electric bass. Keyboardist Dan Siegel is on two numbers and drummer Tom McCauley subs for Taylor on one song, but otherwise all of the music is made by the two musicians. The results are nine rock-oriented originals played with plenty of spirit, passion, and fun in addition to the expected virtuosity.~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide







more......

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Vaya Con Dios - Vaya Con Dios 1988






Genre: Pop
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 1991
Label: Metronome





1988 debut from the band Vaya Con Dios featuring the Belgian chanteuse/lyricist/ producer Dani Klein. Ariola Belgium. Have you ever experienced music taking you to bars that are just about to close, lights which have just been turned on to full degree, people leaving and chattering, some drunk in their loved one's arms, whilst a stranger approaches you to make a sleazy comment, with an untrustworthy look in his eye? You know his intentions, but you cannot yet resist, because you are tipsy as you fall for his meaningless lines. If there is one album that plays music with pictures, feelings, sounds, touch, and smell then this is the one...



Friday, 13 November 2009

Behzad - Strings of Desire 2000



Genre: New Age, Flamenco
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2000
Label: Baja Records





Strings Of Desire showcases Iranian guitarist Behzad Aghabeigi's blend of traditional Spanish sounds, inviting Middle Eastern melodies and passionate flamenco rhythms and fire. Behzad writes, "As they say, all of life is a 'homecoming'... you never forget where you took your first breath and where you gained your first sight of life's miracle in hand... I am no different from any other mortal so my hometown is where it all started from and is the place I go back to every time I pick up my guitar and strum... The clarity of the air used to inspire my play and the nostalgia still shows me the way. Somewhere in India Flamenco was born and then traveled via the Middle East ending up somewhere in Spain... where it gathered the fame it inspired... throughout history gypsies have traveled endlessly searching for a different reality... the gypsy is loose again to find new colors in the rain... out of the new colors comes the rainbow of hope in the music of the world, stretching the rope to capture the chord that plays in our hearts in accord with the universes' road to behold the universal scope ahead of the millennium's hope."



Thursday, 12 November 2009

Joe Satriani - Super Colossal 2006



Genre: Guitar virtuoso, Rock,
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2006
Label: EPIC




01. Super Colossal
02. Just Like Lightnin'
03. It's So Good
04. Redshift Riders
05. Ten Words
06. A Cool New Way
07. One Robot's Dream
08. The Meaning of Love
09. Made of Tears
10. Theme for a Strange World
11. Movin' On
12. A Love Eternal
13. Crowd Chant




2006's SUPER COLOSSAL is the 12th studio album from guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani. The master shredder still traffics inarena-sized hard rock instrumentals that provide plenty of room for his melodic, technically dazzling solos. But Satch mixes things up, too, with sunny, country-tinged riffs ("It's So Good"), atmospheric jams ("Ten Words"), and bittersweetlove songs ("Made of Tears").
While a record of guitar rock instrumentals might seem in imminent danger of growing stale,
Satriani manages to keep things interesting, not only by varying his stylistic approach but by
utilizing a wide vocabulary of guitar sounds and effects. And, naturally, guitar players and
aficionados of six-string wizardry will find plenty to admire on nearly every track here.







Monday, 9 November 2009

Marcus Miller - Silver Rain 2005






Genre: Jazz/Fusion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: Deuces Records





Marcus Miller is foremost known as a Grammy-winning bass player, but as he proves on Silver Rain, Miller is equally formidable as an arranger. Taking songs from a disparate mix of artists that includes Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Edgar Winter, Beethoven and Prince, Miller’s skills are in almost embarrassing abundance here. On Edgar Winter’s 70s rock jam "Frankenstein", his band (including the likes of Kirk Whalum on tenor and Kenny Garret on alto) flat out wails, but Miller’s slapping bass keeps the groove completely locked down. In contrast, his take on Beethoven’s "Moonlight Sonata" sets the stage for Miller’s mellow-groove skills while the cover of Stevie Wonder’s "Boogie On Reggae a Woman" is Miller at his intricate, funky best. On Prince’s "Girls & Boys", Macy Gray adds her swooping, sensual vocals while Eric Clapton sits in on the title track. Clocking in at around 75 minutes, this CD is full to bursting, but what’s striking here is not the quantity, but the quality. Miller is able to effortlessly make this material his own; moreover he is able to take an impossibly diverse set of songs and construct an album with real cohesion and flow. There is a lot happening on this album, as multi-instrumentalist Miller swaps instruments, moods and musicians from tune to tune, to his credit, however, he never loses the trail. The result is an extremely enjoyable album and an apt platform for Miller’s many, many talents.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Art Pepper - Gettin' Together 1960 (1994 DCC GZS-1054)





Genre: Jazz
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1994
Label: DCC





As a sort of follow-up to Art Pepper's matchup with Miles Davis's trio in the 1957 classic Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Pepper utilizes Davis's sidemen on this 1960 near-classic. In addition to pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb, trumpeter Conte Candoli makes the group a quintet on four of the eight numbers. The CD reissue adds "The Way You Look Tonight" (formerly only available on another LP) and an alternate take of the title cut to the original repertoire. This time around, rather than emphasizing standards, Pepper performs just three ("Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-A-Ning" and "The Way You Look Tonight") and includes three originals of his own: "Diane," "Bijou the Poodle" and "Gettin' Together." The music is all very straightahead and bop-oriented, but as usual, Pepper brings something very personal and unique to his playing; he sounds like no one else.


more.....

Friday, 30 October 2009

MacAlpine Brunel Chambers Auger Rushen - CAB4 (2003)






Genre: Jazz/Fusion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2003
Label: Favored Nations





Instrumental outfit Cab has just released their latest offering, titled Cab4 (it's actually their third album, but hey, I'm not counting), a smoldering yet melodic contemporary fusion album bristling with musical virtuosity and excellent compositions. Alongside other groups such as Planet X (yes, Tony MacAlpine's in that one too!), Niacin, Spaced Out, and Tribal Tech, Cab are at the forefront of the current progressive fusion genre. Cab though relies less on metal leanings like Planet X, and goes for a more groove laden and swinging style, much like Weather Report or Chick Corea's Elektric Band & Return to Forever, yet still manages to drop in tons of chops that do not in any way come across as endless noodling....


Yngwie Malmsteen - Unleash The Fury (2005)







Genre: Guitar virtuoso, Instrumental music
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 2005
Label: Spitfire





Neo-classical rock guitar legend Yngwie J. Malmsteen returns with Rising Force with Unleash The Fury, a guitar shredder’s dream album! From the opening riff of "Locked & Loaded" to the 4 instrumental numbers, Malmsteen and Rising Force (Dougie White - Vocals, Patrick Johansson - Drums, Joakim Svalberg - Keyboards), produce an album that excels in every facet of musicianship. Two of the instrumentals ("Fuguetta" and "Paraphrase") are both variations of themes composed by Bach, while "Cherokee Warrior" allows Malmsteen to show off his vocal talents as well....



Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hadouk Trio - Shamanimal (1999)







Genre: Contemporary Jazz
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 1991
Label: Metronome





Shamanimal a delightful mix of musical styles from all around the world, by the Hadouk Trio: Didier Malherbe on wind instruments, Loy Ehrlich on stringed ones, and Steve Shehan on Percussives. This adventurous trio of multi-instrumentalists reveals nine utterly different styles, instrumentation, sounds, rhythms, melodies in the exquisite tracks of this CD. Didier played on many different wind instruments (soprano sax, flute, alto clarinet, ocarina, bamboo flute, and his latest discovery, Doudouk and Pekou ), very much a continuation of his seminal contribution to Gong's "Shamal" album, "Bambooji". Bloomdido's mastery of all these instruments is fascinating : a true magician of sounds and melodies. Ethnic jazz, packed with high class melodies and brilliant playing throughout. A joy to experience !

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Bach - Violin Concertos & Double Concertos 1992 St.Petersburg Soloists - M.Gantvarg [SBM GoldAPC 101.021]





Genre: Classical
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 1992
Label: DDD [SBM GoldAPC 101.021]





"Шедевр композиторского мастерства, шедевр исполнительского мастерства, шедевр записи и изготовления диска!!!" Нашел на просторах NetLaba этот диск и решил поделиться с любителями классики! Михаил Гантварг - один из выдающихся музыкантов современности, продолжатель традиций знаменитой петербургской скрипичной школы. Его имя хорошо известно ценителям истинного, высокого классического искусства в нашей стране и за рубежом. Выпускник Ленинградской Консерватории, Гантварг в 1972 году окончил аспирантуру и работал концертмейстером симфонического оркестра Ленинградской филармонии. С 1987 года Гантварг работает как солист-инструменталист и художественный руководитель Камерного ансамбля "Солисты Санкт-Петербурга".
В 1967 году Гантварг принимает участие в международном конкурсе имени Н.Паганини в Италии и завоевывает Золотую медаль на этом престижном соревнование. С этого момента начинается интенсивная гастрольная жизнь артиста. Он выступает в США, Германии, Италии, Венгрии, Чехословакии и других странах. Многоплановые и высокопрофессиональные программы Гантварга, виртуозность исполнения, неординарность трактовок различных музыкальных форм были высоко оценены зрителями, музыкальными критиками. В 1991 году музыканту было присвоено почетное звание "Заслуженный артист России"....






Sunday, 25 October 2009

Gregorian - Sadisfaction (1991)






Genre: Pop
Format: Flac + cue + log
Released: 1991
Label: Metronome








Gregorian is a German band, headed by Frank Peterson, performing Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. Because it features both vocal harmony and instrumental accompaniment, the music cannot be considered true Gregorian chant.

In 1998, Peterson and his team re-invented the project to perform popular songs in the Gregorian style. The criteria for song selection were strict; in order to be considered, a song needed to be translatable into the 7-tone scale. After the songs were chosen, twelve vocalists - previously acclaimed session and choir singers - were hired.


I'm back to uploading and this time I have enough disk space to avoid deleting old uploads. Sorry, but after a couple of disk disasters I don't have the source files for my old uploads any more so they're gone. Sorry about that. Once my ratio is up enough I will re-DL my remaining uploads so i can seed them in future. Huge thanks to RolloTomasi for suffering through my re-acquisition of uploader status as we searched for a CD that was in AccurateRip that I could rip for him.







Babatunde Olatunji - Drums Of Passion The Beat (1989)







Genre: Music Of The World
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1989
Label: RYCODISC





Percussionist Olatunji was championing African music long before anyone devised the worldbeat marketing strategy. His 1989 recording Drums of Passion: The Beat updated his classic Drums of Passion concept, adding rock and pop energy and instrumentalists to the wall of multiple rhythms. The idea clicks, and Olatunji's African beats are contrasted by Airto Moreira's Latin percussion, Mickey Hart's bombastic presence, and such special guests as Carlos Santana and Bobby Vega.




Friday, 23 October 2009

MacAlpine Brunel Chambers Auger - CAB 2 (2000)






Genre: Rock/Jazz/Fusion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2000
Label: Tone Center





CAB follows up their popular 1998 premiere with CAB 2, adding Brian Auger on keyboards to the all-star lineup. If you like the initial release by CAB, you will probably like some of CAB 2, if not all of it. CAB 2 is similar to the original, self-titled release by CAB in its sound, texture, and compositional style. The music is centered around themes with complex melodies that explore nonstandard, fusion-oriented harmonization. The tracks are groove-based, setting down progressions characterized by unusual, jazzish tonality and complicated rhythms that the instruments then trade off lead work over when they are not collaborating on a theme....



Sunday, 11 October 2009

Omar - Secret Journey 2007







Genre: New Age
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2007
Label: Real Music





In the liner notes, Omar Akram states that he hopes his music can act as an international language that crosses cultural barriers, an admirable goal to be sure. If this CD finds its way into the hands of people who enjoy an assortment of uptempo and relaxed music, blending ethnic (primarily Mediterranean and Middle Eastern) influences with contemporary jazz, electronica, and new age elements, then Akram’s hopes will almost certainly be fulfilled....





Friday, 9 October 2009

Tony MACALPINE, Bunny BRUNEL, Dennis CHAMBERS - CAB (2000)






Genre: Rock/Jazz/Fusion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2000
Label: Tone Center





Remember that old Star Trek episode where an alien race is able to move around the Enterprise at an infinitely quicker pace than Kirk and company? Listening to Cab, you might wonder whether Tony MacAlpine, Bunny Brunel and Dennis Chambers aren’t members of that same alien race. This trio spawns a turbo-charged blend of jazz and rock guaranteed to rattle windows and wake the sleeping.....



Thursday, 1 October 2009

Ark - Ark 1999






Genre: Progressive Metal
Format: ape + cue + log
Released: 1999
Label: SENSORY






"Burrn!" magazine

John Macaluso, who is known as the drummer for TNT, RIOT and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN etc, Tore Ostby who is the guitarist of DC COOPER and was a member of CONCEPTION, Jorn Lande was the singer of THE SNAKES and is now working with ULI JOHN ROTH.

John, Tore and Jorn have formed the new band "ARK" and released their 1st album. Their basical music style is progressive, technical and North Europian HM style and a little like CONCEPTION.

Some songs on the album have a Latin flavour or the bluesy parts with Jorn's voice like David Coverdale. Their new songs have various music tastes. This new album is a tour de force!!



Saturday, 26 September 2009

Bob James - Angels of Shanghai (2007)





Genre: Smooth jazz/Jazz Instrument/Piano
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: April 10, 2007
Label: Koch Records





Bob James has released many CDs over the years. His style of smooth jazz is known, even if you don't recognize his name. If you have ever heard the theme to the old television show Taxi, then you have heard Bob's work. Bob's 2007 CD Angels of Shanghai takes his talent in a new direction as it merges Western jazz with traditional Chinese to create some beautiful music.....



Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Return To Forever - Returns (2008)








Genre: Jazz, Fusion
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2008
Label: eqgle Records




Back when I was the music editor for this wannabe hipster rag out of NYC, I was told by my editor-in-chief, when pitching the idea of reviewing--if my memory serves me well--a Jaco Pastorius reissue, that, “Our magazine is serving a primarily hipster set which is into hip-hop, rock, electronica, some kitschy pop and obscure things that they may not have heard of from time to time. So, we have to bend in that direction more."

He went on to explain in this email he sent me how fusion jazz is something the magazine's readers “make a little fun of" and how I should steer away from writing about it. So, in essence, they wanted me to write about unskilled crap like electro-clash and “raw rock" instead and then proceeded to pitch me on covering garbage NYC acts of the time like The Bravery and Larry Tee, thus sealing my decision to step down from my position there out of sheer respect for my music education.

Reminiscing on that e-mail while listening to this phenomenal, complex and otherworldly live album from the recently-reunited “classic lineup" of Return to Forever featuring Chick Corea on keys, Al Di Meola on guitar, Stanley Clarke on bass and Lenny White on drums--the utter epitome of fusion jazz if there ever was one--I feel wholly inspired to drive my 1994 Buick LeSabre right down to Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, park right outside of whatever trendy-ass bar has opened up on North 6th St. that week and crank the 27 minute version of “Song to the Pharaoh Kings" at full volume. The results, I'm hoping, would be kind of like when Barbra Streisand blasted White Zombie from a van outside her home during her wedding to James Brolin in order to keep the Paparazzi away. Maybe then, these condo-dwelling, trust-fund-having, Hold Steady-loving cretins will finally get the hint that they are not welcome in Kings County anymore.

But I digress. This epic, two-disc live set, featuring performances recorded at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, Massachusetts and the Montreux Jazz Festival during the quartet's reunion tour in the summer of 2008, finds Corea, Di Meola, Clarke and White in top form, as if their 1976 studio swan song Romantic Warrior was recorded last month instead of 33 years ago. The indelible interplay between the four musicians remains as fluid as ever in spite of the three-decade time lapse as RTF charges through highlights from all eras of their brief but impactful career. Fans will take great joy in hearing the classic line-up rip through such early material as “500 Miles High" from 1972's Light As A Feather and the title cut to 1973's psychedelic Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy, two albums that did not feature either Di Meola nor White, and who both do great justice to the jams here.

Chick, one of the true legends of the post-bop jazz era, is still at the top of his game at 69 years young, proven in the way his piano intertwines with the dizzying acoustic scaling of Di Meola during a particularly impassioned performance of “No Mystery." And any young bass player who considers Flea or Les Claypool to be the greatest four-stringer they ever heard needs to school themselves with a deep listen to Clarke's solo around the 9-minute mark of the near 14-minute “Vulcan Worlds" on disc one to find out what's really up.

Return to Forever Returns is a true comeback for the ages as momentous for fusion fans as the My Bloody Valentine reunion has been for shoegazers or Faith No More for alt-metal heads. For those of you who find this music as something to “make a little fun of," as my misbegotten former editor seemed to think back in the height of The Strokes-era, you need to go back to your little bankrolled studio apartment on Meserole and stick to that crappy Wavves album you incessantly prattle on about to your friends at the Turkey's Nest. This is NOT for you. By: Ron Hart





Saturday, 19 September 2009

Victor Wooten - Yin-Yang (1999)






Genre: Jazz, jazz - funk
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 1999
Label: Compass Records





There's little question that Victor Wooten is an ambitious musician. That was evident from his first two records, but Yin-Yang easily reaches farther than any album he has yet made. Spanning two discs, one instrumental and one vocal, Yin-Yang tries a little bit of everything, all underneath a smooth fusion umbrella. There's a bass showcases, worldbeat fusions, bluegrass jazz, smooth soulful jazz with banjos, full-fledged urban soul, songs based around baby gibberish -- a little bit of everything, all given immaculate, glossy production. That clean production not only makes the record sound accessible, but it makes the eclecticism and unpredictable stylistic fusions sound familiar. Depending on your point of view, that's either a good or a bad thing -- it either means Wooten is welcoming more listeners, or it means that it's not challenging. And that's the strange thing about Yin-Yang -- it's not particularly challenging, yet it is complex and difficult to digest in one sitting. That's largely because there's so much music on the record, but it's also because Wooten's ideas sound better when heard a few cuts at a time. He's a very talented musician and has some great ideas, but a little discipline and editing would make his records more convincing and compelling. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide





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Saturday, 12 September 2009

Babatunde Olatunji - Circle Of Drums 2005 (Chesky SACD)






Genre: Music Of The World
Format: flac + cue
Released: 2005
Label: Chesky





Circle of Drums features three great drum artists,Babatunde Olatunji, Muruga Booker, and SikiruAdepoju. Their drumming styles combine withvocal chants, ancient stringed instruments andsynth drones to create a trance-like soundscapethat brings to mind the experimental rock of the1960’s when eastern philosophies and cultureswere informing western popular music.
Originally recorded in the 1990’s but nevercommercially released, Circle of Drumsis a losttreasure -rediscovered and remastered byChesky Records using special surround soundprocessing in keeping with their commitment tohigh-resolution audio. Its release is an homagetothe group’s elder statesman, Babatunde Olatunji,who passed away on April 6, 2003....






Sunday, 6 September 2009

JB Project - BROMBO!

Akira Jimbo & Brian Bromberg - Brombo І 2003



Genre: Jazz, Jazz Instrument
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2003
Label: King Records (Japan)





Akira Jimbo & Brian Bromberg - Brombo II 2004




Genre: Jazz, Jazz Instrument
Format: flac + cue + log
Released: 2004
Label: King Records (Japan)