Monthly Archive: April 2016

Audio News for April 29. 2016

Audio News for April 29. 2016

Audiophile-grade Streaming From Auralic Aries Mini – For about $550 the Chinese-made AURALiC Aries Mini comes in black plastic or white, hooks up to an existing DAC or amp and pulls music from the cloud or home-based data storage. There’s an optional low-noise linear PSU for $299 additional. The Aires Mini is also free to […]

Melissa Aldana – Back Home – Word of Mouth

Melissa Aldana – Back Home – Word of Mouth

Family, friendship, love; saxophonist Melissa Aldana knows it’s all a part of home. Melissa Aldana – Back Home [TrackList follows] Word of Mouth Music WOM0006, 52:40 [3/11/16] ****: (Melissa Aldana – tenor saxophone; Pablo Menares – bass; Jochen Rueckert – drums) If you don’t know tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana you should. In 2013, she became […]

BOYER: Symphony No. 1 and Fanfares and Overtures – London Phil./ Boyer – Naxos

BOYER: Symphony No. 1 and Fanfares and Overtures – London Phil./ Boyer – Naxos

BOYER: Symphony No. 1 and Fanfares and Overtures (TrackList follows) – London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Peter Boyer – Guest Leader: Simon Blends – Naxos 8.559769 – TT: 55:14 (2/25/14) ****: Interesting contemporary music well played and nicely recorded. Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of our current milieu.  Among his […]

Where to Invade Next, Blu-ray (2016)

Where to Invade Next, Blu-ray (2016)

May be the best Michael Moore film yet; quite subversive in its message. Where to Invade Next, Blu-ray (2016) Director & main cast: Michael Moore Studio: Anchor Bay (5/10/16) Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 widescreen, 1080p HD color Audio: English & other languages with subtitles, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Subtitles: Where needed, Spanish Length: 120 min. Rating: […]

Freddy Cole – He Was The King – HighNote

Freddy Cole – He Was The King – HighNote

Freddy Cole – He Was The King – HighNote HCD 7286 58:18 ****: A heartfelt tribute from the most reliant interpreter of the Nat Cole songbook. (Freddy Cole – vocals, piano (tracks 6,7); Houston Person – tenor saxophone (tracks 1,2,5,8); John di Martino – piano (tracks 4,9,11); Randy Napoleon – guitar; Harry Allen – tenor […]

MAX REGER: “The Chorale Fantasies”; HEINRICH REIMANN: Chorale Fantasy – Balázs Szabó, org. – MDG (2 discs)

MAX REGER: “The Chorale Fantasies”; HEINRICH REIMANN: Chorale Fantasy – Balázs Szabó, org. – MDG (2 discs)

MAX REGER: “The Chorale Fantasies”; HEINRICH REIMANN: Chorale Fantasy, Op. 25 – Balázs Szabó, organ – MDG 920 1945-6, (2 multichannel SACDs) [Distr. by E1], TT: 150:15 (2/26/16) [also 2+2+2] ***: Dedicated performances appeal mostly to a niche market, I think. Max Reger (1873-1916) was a composer who came to some prominence after Brahms and […]

LINDBERG: Al Largo; Cello Concerto No. 2 – Era-Anssi Karttunen, cello – Finnish Radio Sym. Orch./ Hannu Lintu – Ondine

LINDBERG: Al Largo; Cello Concerto No. 2 – Era-Anssi Karttunen, cello – Finnish Radio Sym. Orch./ Hannu Lintu – Ondine

Brilliantly-orchestrated modern tonal music from Finnish master Magnus Lindberg. MAGNUS LINDBERG: Al Largo; Cello Concerto No. 2 – Era-Anssi Karttunen, cello – Finnish Radio Sym. Orch./ Hannu Lintu – Ondine multichannel SACD ODE 12118-5, 66:28 [Distr. by Naxos] *****: If you’re looking for orchestral music that’s dramatic, harmonically lucid, gloriously colorful, exuberant and powerfully immediate, […]

CHOPIN: Four Ballades; Berceuse in D-flat Major; Four Mazurkas – Yundi Li, piano – DGG

CHOPIN: Four Ballades; Berceuse in D-flat Major; Four Mazurkas – Yundi Li, piano – DGG

Yundi’s Chopin recital surveys the epic, the poetic, and the intimate with grace and stylistic security. CHOPIN: Four Ballades; Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op. 57; Four Mazurkas, Op. 17 – Yundi Li, piano – DGG 481 2443, 56:00 (2/26/16) [Distr. by Universal] ****: Having become the first Chinese performer ever to win the prestigious Chopin […]

Backtrack, Blu-ray (2016)

Backtrack, Blu-ray (2016)

Basically a horror film, but without the demons and gore. Well done. Backtrack, Blu-ray (2016) Cast: Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, Robin McLeavy Director: Michael Petroni Studio: Lionsgate (4/26/16) Video: 2.40:1 for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DD 5.1 Subtitles: English, Spanish Extra: “The Psychology of Backtrack” featurette Length: 89 minutes […]

BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in d; Four Ballades – Paul Lewis, p./ Swedish Radio Sym. Orch./ Daniel Harding – Harmonia mundi

BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in d; Four Ballades – Paul Lewis, p./ Swedish Radio Sym. Orch./ Daniel Harding – Harmonia mundi

Power and poetry infuse every measure of the Brahms works including a gripping version of the Concerto. BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 in d, Op. 15; Four Ballades, Op. 10 – Paul Lewis, p./ Swedish Radio Sym. Orch./ Daniel Harding – Harmonia mundi HMC 902191, 72:12 (4/15/16) ****: “A concerto that has quite enraptured me […]

Kenny Barron Trio – Book Of Intuition – Impulse!

Kenny Barron Trio – Book Of Intuition – Impulse!

Kenny Barron Trio – Book Of Intuition – Impulse! B0024648-02, 58.23 ****: A master class in taste, swing, and imagination. (Kenny Barron – piano; Kiyoshi Kitagawa – doublebass; Johnathan Blake – drums) Kenny Barron is one of those pianists who is “beyond category” as it relates to taste, swing, and imagination, along with the likes […]

Audio News for April 22, 2016

Audio News for April 22, 2016

New Google Chromecast –  The new Chromecast is much smaller than the old one. It is meant for audio and video streaming and works on both iOS and Android platforms. You only need a speaker with the proper connectivity ports. The Chromecast also needs constant power so keeping it close to a laptop or TV […]

Norm of the North, Blu-ray (2016)

Norm of the North, Blu-ray (2016)

A delightful family animation feature with a specially-talented polar bear who can twerk. Norm of the North, Blu-ray (2016) Voice-overs: Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Bill Nighy, Zachary Gordon Director: Trevor Wall Studio: telegasi/ Lionsgate (4/19/16) (2 discs) Video: for 16:9 widescreen, 1080p HD color Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 Extras: Deleted scenes, “Do the Arctic […]

ELGAR: Symphony No. 1 in A-flat Major – Staatskapelle Berlin/ Daniel Barenboim – Decca

ELGAR: Symphony No. 1 in A-flat Major – Staatskapelle Berlin/ Daniel Barenboim – Decca

Daniel Barenboim revisits the Elgar Symphony No. 1 with fertile and heroic results.  ELGAR: Symphony No. 1 in A-flat Major, Op. 55 – Staatskapelle Berlin/ Daniel Barenboim – Decca 478 9353, 51:26 (3/11/16) [Distr. by Universal] ****: Sometimes lauded as “England’s first symphony,” the 1908 Symphony No. 1 in A-flat Major of Sir Edward Elgar […]

“Zukerman” – Works of VAUGHAN WILLIAMS & ELGAR – Pinchas Zukerman, violin & cond. with the Royal Philharmonic – Decca

“Zukerman” – Works of VAUGHAN WILLIAMS & ELGAR – Pinchas Zukerman, violin & cond. with the Royal Philharmonic – Decca

“Zukerman” – Works of VAUGHAN WILLIAMS & ELGAR [TrackList follows] – Pinchas Zukerman, violin & cond. with the Royal Philharmonic – Decca CD 478 9386, TT: 71:00 (2/26/16) [Distr. by Universal] ****: Lovely and memorable renderings of English classics by Pinchas Zukerman and the RPO. Do we need yet another collection of the English music […]

Fourplay – Silver – Heads Up

Fourplay – Silver – Heads Up

Fourplay – Silver – Heads Up Int. HUI 36688-02, 59:01 ****: Veteran jazz quartet celebrates a quarter century with fresh music. (Bob James – piano, Rhodes, synthesizers; Nathan East – bass, vocals; Chick Loeb – acoustic, electric guitars, synthesizers; Harvey Mason – drums, percussion, vibes, synthesizers; Larry Carlton – guitar; Lee Ritenour – guitar; Kirk […]

TANEYEV:  Complete String Quartets, Vol. 4 = Quartet No. 9; Quartet No. 6 – Carpe Diem String Q. – Naxos

TANEYEV: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 4 = Quartet No. 9; Quartet No. 6 – Carpe Diem String Q. – Naxos

The Carpe Diem String Quartet extends its gratifying traversal of Sergey Taneyev’s chamber music. TANEYEV:  Complete String Quartets, Vol. 4 = Quartet No. 9 in A Major; Quartet No. 6 in B-flat Major, Op. 19 – Carpe Diem String Quartet – Naxos 8.573470, 65:42 (12/11/15) ****: The Carpe Diem String Quartet – Charles Wetherbee and […]

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead – The Story of the National Lampoon, Blu-ray (2016)

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead – The Story of the National Lampoon, Blu-ray (2016)

Documentary on an amazing monthly magazine and it’s extremely unusual staff. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead – The Story of the National Lampoon, Blu-ray (2016) Cast: Chevy Chase, Judd Aptow, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Doug Kenny, Kevin Bacon, Christopher Guest Director: Douglas Tirola Studio: History Films/ Magnolia Home Ent. 10947 [4/19/16] Video: for 16:9 […]

“Skylark” Crossing Over = Choral works by DANIEL ELDER, JOHN TAVENER, NICOLAI KEDROV, JON LEIFS, ROBERT VUICHARD, WILLIAM SCHUMAN and ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR –  Sono Luminus

“Skylark” Crossing Over = Choral works by DANIEL ELDER, JOHN TAVENER, NICOLAI KEDROV, JON LEIFS, ROBERT VUICHARD, WILLIAM SCHUMAN and ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR – Sono Luminus

“Skylark” Crossing Over = Choral works by DANIEL ELDER, JOHN TAVENER, NICOLAI KEDROV, JON LEIFS, ROBERT VUICHARD, WILLIAM SCHUMAN and ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR –  Sono Luminus DSL 92200 audi-only Blu-ray disc with 5.1 DTS-HD MA, 2.0 PCM, 9.1 Auro-3D, a separate standard CD and downloadable FLAC and MP3 files. TT: 52:53 (3/25/16) ****: A capella choral […]

Bill Evans – Some Other Time – Resonance (2 CD set)

Bill Evans – Some Other Time – Resonance (2 CD set)

Bill Evans – Some Other Time – Resonance HCD-2019, 93:06 (2-CD set) [now 1/17] ***** (the release date has been delayed): A rare 1968 Bill Evans recording is another brilliant achievement. (Bill Evans – piano; Eddie Gomez – double bass; Jack DeJohnette – drums) Resonance Records has uncovered a terrific unreleased recording of legendary jazz […]

Audio News for April 19, 2016

Audio News for April 19, 2016

FCC Proposal Re: TV Set-Top Boxes – The FCC has approved a proposal letting consumers swap their pricey cable boxes for cheaper devices and apps, to boost competition in the $20 billin TV set-top box market while delivering a blow to the major cable companies. Customers can obtain video services from providers such as Apple, […]