Hideo Shiraki Quintet + 3 Koto Girls – Sakura Sakura (1965/2016) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

Hideo Shiraki Quintet + 3 Koto Girls – Sakura Sakura (1965/2016) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 37:49 minutes | 730 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Front Cover | © MPS Classical

Adulated in his native Japan, drummer Hideo Shiraki led the most famous Japanese jazz group of the early 60’s. His combining jazz and traditional Japanese music brought him an invitation to the 1965 Berlin Jazz Festival and a record date. Three women playing Koto, the traditional Japanese stringed instrument, accompanied the quintet. The results: world music that works. Known in the West as ‘the Cherry Blossom Song’, the traditional Sakura Sakura finds Shiraki employing mallets, fingers, brushes, and sticks in combination with the Kyoto players as jazz and tradition blend. Yosakoi Bushi means ‘better come at night to make love’. There’s a feel of bluesy early Coltrane in the relaxed swing and soprano solo. Yamanaka Bushi is a song from the Yamanaka Onsen, or hot springs. The quintet bathes in the song’s heat, as a young Terumasa Hino displays why he’s a world-renowned trumpeter. Matsuri No Genzo conjures the images of a rural temple feast. After a haunting Koto refrain, everyone has a taste, and Shiraki’s play makes sure there are no leftovers. Hino takes the melody and solos exquisitely on his ballad Alone, Alone And Alone. Suwa is another Hino piece. The Koto takes on an almost Avant-garde role here, with an electronic-sounding accompaniment to the muted trumpet melody. An amazing coalescence of the serene traditional music of Japan and the youthful vitality of jazz.


Hans Koller – Vision (1966/2015) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

Hans Koller – Vision (1966/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 28:40 minutes | 522 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Front Cover | © MPS Classical

Vision I portrays canonically overlaid sax parts played at breakneck speed before moving into a relaxed bluesy groove, then turns to blistering multi-horn solos. The dirge-like For Dolphy, with the plaintive vocal cries of the altos, was dedicated to the great alto saxophonist Eric Dolphy. The med swing and skewed bluesy feel of For H.G. features the tenor out front. Tryptichon is a challenging angular composition in 3 parts with free improvisation moving from slow to up-tempo and back. With its Dolphyesque melody, Music For Jule is a frenetic excursion with an oblique reference to Monk. For Koller, Ballad For Marlies evokes the essence of a ballad. A Different Theme comprises three phrases played in different times – perfect food for the soloists. Vision II is a free-form ballad with Rittenbacher doubling piano and Koller’s expressive sax solo.


Hans Koller – Relax With My Horns (1966/2015) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

Hans Koller – Relax With My Horns (1966/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 29:41 minutes | 534 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio.com | Front Cover | © MPS Classical

The re-release of Hans Koller’s 1966 Relax With My Horns (MPS, Germany) shows a master at the top of his game. For the listeners, the disc is composed, arranged and produced with a sense of cheekiness… Trio of jazz musicians, with overdubbing of up to four saxophones on the session. The sum is a tidy little package of swing, blues and multi-tracked sax that echoes the iconic group Supersax.


Hank Jones & Tommy Flanagan – I’m All Smiles (1984/2015)) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan – I’m All Smiles (1984/2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz  | Time – 47:17 minutes | 734 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Front Cover | © MPS Classical

„Although Tommy Flanagan tended to refer to two-piano dates as a gimmick, that’s hardly the case during this superb 1983 concert in Germany with Hank Jones. The two pianists have the kind of feel for one another’s playing that avoids the crash of egos and instead inspires the give and take necessary for each performance to reach its full potential. Immediately, the two veterans captivate their audience with a stunning aggressive improvisation upon Charlie Parker’s ‘Relaxin’ at Camarillo,’ then immediately quiet them with a soft, lyrical interpretation of the gorgeous ballad ‘In a Sentimental Mood.’ They’re clearly having a lot of fun during their upbeat waltz through the popular ballad ‘Someday My Prince Will Come.’ The rest of the concert is every bit as fulfilling, with an inspired treatment of ‘Rockin’ in Rhythm’ getting the nod as the highlight of a memorable evening.“ (Ken Dryden, AMG)


Bob Malach – Some People (1980/2016) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

Bob Malach – Some People (1980/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 37:41 minutes | 721 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download |  Source:highresaudio.com | Front cover | © MPS Classical

One of the great fusion saxophonists, Bob Malach made the move from his hometown of Philadelphia to NYC in 1976. He soon found work with the likes of Stanley Clarke and Alphonse Mouzon (he’s featured on Mouzon’s MPS release Baby Come Back), and was in the studio with Stevie Wonder, Spyro Gyra and the Brecker Brothers. For the first album under his own name, Malach assembled a group of well-known playmates: John Lee and drummer Gerry Brown were high school buddies, and he and keyboardist Jasper van’t Hof had worked together in Mouzon’s group. Malach and French violin star Didier Lockwood were also well-acquainted – Malach would appear on Lockwood’s MPS album “Live in Montreux” later that year. Dutch guitarist Eef Albers had already toured the states with Lee and Brown. The title piece shows that Some People are romantic, some are more on the funky side, as the band slides back and forth between the two. Guitar great John Scofield’s Who’s Who is a funky fusion fest with van’t Hof and Malach showing why they’re at the top of the list. The alluring ballad Three on a Cloud features atmospheric solos by violinist Lockwood and Malach in trio with guitarist Albers. The rock-march feel of Night Walk works as the perfect vehicle for Albers’ strolling guitar solo. Zbiggytism was written in honor of violin great Zbigniew Siefert, and both Malach and Lockwood catch the spirit of the Polish maestro. Van’t Hof’s lyrical Pineu has a nostalgic air to it, as well as Malach’s appropriately poignant solo. By the Way rocks the album out with a Shaft-like rhythm line and a smoking-hot tenor. Nothing ‘out’ or experimental here – just straight-ahead jazz fusion at its best.


Billy Harper – Trying To Make Heaven My Home (1979/2016) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

The Billy Harper Quintet – Trying To Make Heaven My Home (1979/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 38:22 minutes | 774 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download |  Source:highresaudio.com | Front cover | © MPS Classical

One of the best-known players of the post-Coltrane generation, Texas tenor saxophonist Billy Harper earned his spurs with Art Blakey, Randy Weston, Gil Evans, and Max Roach. This 1979 album features Harper’s then-current working group. Fellow Texan Malcolm Pinson and Harper have been playing partners since high school. Bassist Wayne Dockery gained recognition through his work with Art Blakey; trumpeter Everett Hollins’ roots are grounded in rhythm and blues including work with the legendary Otis Redding, and pianist Armen Donelian worked with jazz giants Lionel Hampton and Sonny Rollins. Harper grew up in the Church and credits that black spiritual heritage as a major influence on his music and world view, one similar to Coltrane’s. For Harper, spirituality is non-denominational: it’s about a universal truth. On the album, Harper’s compositions reflect on the spiritual a City Called Heaven and other gospel songs of his youth. The 18 minute Trying To Make Heaven My Home is infused with gospel, blues, and the incandescent spiritual striving that so impregnated Coltrane’s later works. Pinson’s fiery drum intro ignites Inside as the quintet races through the changes at breakneck speed. An incendiary sax and drum duet catapults the band back into the theme. Love On The Sudan is a recognition of Africa’s rhythmic and spiritual impact on Harper’s music as well as Western civilization. German jazz guru Joachim-Ernst Berendt called the album “a major piece of Black American Classical Music.” Deserved praise for a sublime recording.


Viktoria Tolstoy feat. Iiro Rantala – Meet Me At The Movies (2017) [HighResAudio 24-96]

Viktoria Tolstoy feat. Iiro Rantala – Meet Me At The Movies (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 48:39 minutes | 999 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio.com | Digital Booklet | © ACT Music

When Viktoria Tolstoy invites you to meet her at the movies, the emotions will run high, and it will be a pleasure and a privilege to accept.


The Buddy Tate Celebrity Club Orchestra – Unbroken (1970/2015) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

The Buddy Tate Celebrity Club Orchestra – Unbroken (1970/2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 40:50 minutes | 775 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio.com | Front Cover | © MPS

This music helped define one era and augur in the next. Buddy Tate was one of the “Texas Tenors”, players from the Lone Star State who share the trademark big, warm tenor sax sound drenched in the blues. From 1939-48 he was a featured soloist in the iconic Count Basie Orchestra, playing the riff-laden Kansas City swing style that presaged R&B, rock & roll, and bop. At the time of this 1970 recording, Tate’s band presided at NYC’s Celebrity Club, extending that KC tradition. Afro-American poet-writer Amiri Baraka marveled, “(they played) not just danceable music, but that heavy music people have to dance to…” 1930s swing classics Undecided, Airmail Special, and Tuxedo Junction, and the KC anthem Moten Swing define that last word’s meaning. Candy and Body and Soul feature Tate’s lyrical side and his debt to Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. The boogie-woogie Ben’s Broken Saxophone boasts hip “head” arrangements, buttery trombone and soulful sax solos, while pianist Nat Pierce’s One for Johnny is a lushly orchestrated walking ballad. A tribute to an era, these are soulfully swinging pieces and a hell of a lot of fun.


Robert Len – iLenKa (2012/2013) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

Robert Len – iLenKa (2012/2013) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 44:36 minutes | 903 MB | Genre: World
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio.com | Digital Booklet | © 2xHD – Naxos

iLenKa is an ensemble of varying dimensions (2 to 6 musicians) playing the music of composer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Len united with the screenings and scenarios created by violinist Carole Meneghel.

iLenKa’s entrancing music is the fusion of world music with lounge and jazz influences. Sometimes smooth, sometimes intense, sometimes cinematographic, sometimes virtuoso, the melodies and performances are characterized by their subtlety and wide range of emotions, combining the violin’s warmth with a multitude of surprising instruments from around the globe such as Tibetan bowls, Armenian duduk, Australian didgeridoo, Native American, Irish and Romanian flutes, Argentinian moseño, Peruvian and Cuban cajón, traditional flugelhorn, trumpet, cymbals, and more.

iLenKa is a very original new world music experience. Give it a listen.

01 – Across Time
02 – The First Journey
03 – Carnal Dream
04 – The Big Face
05 – The Dunes of the Great Erg
06 – Apollonia
07 – Purification
08 – Why?
09 – Miles
10 – I Remember
11 – Shores
12 – Apotheosis

Robert Len – multi-ethnic instruments
Carole Meeghel – violin
Chante-Joie Choir (Sing Joy) – choir

Recording Engineer: René Laflamme.
Mastering engineer: André Perry.

2xHD mastering process: mastered from the original 24Bits files.
A modified high-end dCS Vivaldi clock with silver and gold cables was used to create a very dynamic sound.




Richard Galliano – New Jazz Musette (2017) [HighResAudio 24-88,2]

Richard Galliano – New Jazz Musette (2017) 
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:25:20 minutes | 1,6 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio | Artwork: Front cover | © Ponderosa

Already 30 years that his first album as a band leader, «Spleen», was released with the “New Musette” Quartet. Already 30 years that he restored the image of a so called old fashioned instrument, bound to play for Saturday nights ballrooms. Already 30 years that he is navigating in all kinds of musical styles, flirting with salsa, merging with tango, without losing his soul, deeply anchored in his French-Italian roots.