Bethlehem Records Relaunch – The iconic 1950s jazz catalog of Bethlehem Records—a few of which have been re-released as audiophile vinyl remasters—will be made available starting August 27 by Verse Music (not a typo) and Naxos of America. The label’s lengthy discography of over 250 albums includes such names as Nina Simone, Carmen McRae, Chris Connor, Mel Torme, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey and Duke Ellington. Each track has been restored from the original analog tapes and digitally remasters to the highest level of clarity and quality. Each title will be available in vinyl, CD and digital download formats. Each release will include the original artwork and liner notes. This month’s release will include Chris Connor Sings Lullabies for Lovers, The Jazz Experiments of Charles Mingus, and Nina Simone’s Little Girl Blue. The October release will include Zoot Sims’ Down Home, Motor City Scene with Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams, and The Songs of Bobby Troup. Mel Torme & Frances Faye’s very unusual version of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess will be one of the January releases.
Marantz Launches Two New Hi-Fi Components – The PM6005 integrated amp ($699) has a 192K/24bit D/A converter, analog, optical and coax digital inputs and its power amp features current feedback for improved sound quality with many different speaker types. The power supply is a shielded toroidal transformer with large-capacity diodes to provide high-current and high-speed conversion capability. The all-discrete headphone amp is compatible with virtually any headphone type, and power is rated at 45 watts per channel into 8 ohms. The CD6005 CD Player ($499) has a hi-res conversion system delivering up to 192K/24bit resolution. The center-mount CD drive is securely fastened to the chassis to minimize vibrations and the digital audio circuit has its own shielded housing. The player is compatible with CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RW discs and includes WAV, AAC, WMA and MP3 files types (but not FLAC). It has a USB port on the front panel plus a discrete headphone amp. Its remote also controls the integrated amp, and both have an easy-to-read two-line alphanumeric fluorescent display.
2013 Verbier Festival Nearly Free Thru October – Medici.tv online has concluded streaming of all the 2013 Verbier Festival concerts, and now is making the videos of all 30 events available again. One-time registration is required and then you will have access to not only the Verbier concerts but hundreds of other music films, along with polite requests to subscribe at $12.90 or $19.90 a month—concerts with Martha Argerich, Evgeny Kissin, Anna Netrebko, Bryn Terfel and many more.
Elvis Presley’s Stax Sessions in Box Set – A 3-CD box set has just been released, titled Elvis at Stax: Deluxe Edition. It also features outtakes and rare photos from the July and December 1973 sessions which resulted in three different albums at the time. He had been hitting the comeback trail hard and had contractual obligations to fulfill in the Memphis studio, tapping into the Memphis soul tradition of Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and Sam and Dave.
Rock Icons Rush Raise Over a Half Million for Flood Relief – Canadian rock legends Rush raised $575,000 for the Canadian Red Cross in Calgary to support Alberta Flood Relief. Another $125,000 will go to residents who were hardest hit in the June flood and $50,000 to local charities. A new seven-album boxed set of their Atlantic albums will be in the stores Oct. 1.