Hi-Res Downloads, December 2022

hfnalbumLake Street Dive
Fun Machine: The Sequel (48kHz/24-bit, FLAC)

As the title suggests, this is the follow-up to Fun Machine, the 2013 album from the Brooklyn-based jazz/soul combo, plus an additional EP of covers, including a scintillating version of 'I Want You Back' and a smoky take on 'Rich Girl'. Founder/guitarist/trumpeter Mike 'McDuck' Olson has left so the new release features Akie Bermiss on keys and James Cornelison on guitar. But the heart of the band is still very much in evidence, in the form of bassist Bridget Kearney, drummer Mike Calabrese and stellar vocalist Rachael Price. Her shiversome voice headlines tracks ranging from The Pointer Sisters' 'Automatic' to 'Anyone Who Had A Heart', and keyboard player Bermiss's vocals are just as impressive on Shania Twain's 'You're Still The One'. Yes, the set's short and sweet, at just six tracks and 23 mins, but it's a beautifully-produced bargain download that sounds stunning. AE

Sound Quality: 90%


Lab Report
The source for this multi-format release (vinyl, CD and 'digital') is this 48kHz file. Dynamic range is not particularly wide – the peak-to-RMS is a maximum of 10dB – but with all tracks normalised to –0.2dBFs the rendering is 'clean'. PM


Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice
Jean Mouton: Missa Faulte d'Argent & Motets (96-192kHz/24-bit, FLAC)
www.hyperion-records.co.uk; Hyperion CDA68385

We've had recordings of choral works by Josquin in these pages of late, courtesy of the Gesualdo Six – now here's an album of works by lesser-known near-contemporary Mouton, performed by an ensemble specialising in the music of the Flemish High Renaissance. It's more flamboyant and emotional than the strict sound of Josquin, and unlike the Gesualdo recordings, here there are both male and female voices, giving the sound an even lusher texture. As well as the title work, this generous set, running to 73 minutes, includes several of Mouton's big, complex motets. The voices soar into the space of St John the Baptist, Loughton, captured with crisp clarity and not just a little romantic ambience by engineer Oscar Torres and producer Jeremy Summerly. It sounds quite magnificent, and is well worth exploring. AE

Sound Quality: 90%


Lab Report
Available as 192kHz (where 57kHz spuriae is unimportant) and downsampled 96kHz 'Studio Master' files, both have adequate bandwidth to accommodate the voices. A 'natural' recording with no normalisation and good dynamic range. PM


Anna Fedorova
Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4 (96kHz-192kHz/24-bit, FLAC; DXD; DSD64-512)
www.nativedsd.com; Channel Classics 42522

I've been following the career of Ukrainian-born pianist Fedorova since attending a Channel Classics recording session in Eindhoven a few years back, and spending some time with the pianist and Channel's Jared Sacks. Anna Fedorova has gone on to greater things since then, both appearing at this year's Ukrainian Prom and setting up her own music academy in The Hague. Her performance of 'Rach 2' is the most-viewed concerto video on YouTube, and it's not hard to hear why on this recording. Her playing in both works is superb, as is that of the St Gallen orchestra under Modestas Pitrenas, and the recording by Jared Sacks is exemplary, maintaining focus on the soloist while keeping the balance entirely natural. Performers and engineers alike have contrived to make this all sound deceptively easy (see also PQ's review, p101). AE

Sound Quality: 85%


Lab Report
This native DXD recording (via Merging Technologies/Horus ADC) has ample bandwidth to capture the piano although the 0.0dBFs peaks [–5.6dBFs via DSD; black trace] are unnecessary given the 24-bit range. Otherwise it's 'clean'. PM


Garage Pompeuse: The Berlin Session (96kHz-192kHz/24-bit, FLAC; DSD64-256)
www.nativedsd.com; sommelier du son PHAZZ159

Recorded live to analogue tape using a Studer A810 in Berlin's A-Trane Jazz Club back in August 2014, this set has now been transferred to DSD256 using a Mytek Brooklyn ADC. Both the original recording and the new transfer were made by sommelier du son's husband and wife team, Dirk Sommer and Birgit Hammer-Sommer. The release should allow a wider audience to appreciate the vocals of Pat Appleton and the spare arrangements of Ulf Kleinert, with a funky little band captured in an intimate club venue. It's a small ensemble – Markus Bodenseh on bass, Oli Rubow's drums, Matti Klein on Rhodes and Wurlitzer, and Frank Spaniol on sax and bass clarinet – but just when you think you've got the measure of the sound, Dephazz supremo Pit Baumgartner lets loose with a burst of synthesiser. It's mad, but very appealing. AE

Sound Quality: 85%


Lab Report
This analogue recording has a good dynamic range (peak-to-RMS max's out at 26dB) even though trk 4 hits the 0.0dBFs wall [or –5.5dBFs on the DSD copy, black trace]. Note spurious tone on left channel of trks 1, 4-6 and 8 [green trace]. PM


Yosef Gutman Levitt
Upside Down Mountain (48kHz/24-bit, WAV)

Frontman Yosef Gutman Levitt came up with all the pieces on this album in a single sitting, which may well account for the fresh, immediate sense they all have. Born in South Africa and based in Jerusalem, the bass guitarist played on the New York jazz scene in the 2000s, moved to Jerusalem where he developed and then sold an Internet company, and now devotes himself to his seven children and 21 chickens – how does he find time to write? – and his music. Joined by pianist Omri Mor and drummer Ofri Nehemya, Levitt's music crosses the boundaries between conventional jazz, his roots and his current situation, with influences from many places. It's all captured in a wonderfully vibrant and intimate set of recordings that draw the listener in as they move from the reflective to the joyous. The works are all very simple, and yet simply beautiful! AE

Sound Quality: 80%


Lab Report
All tracks are normalised to –1.0dBFs so clipping is avoided, and dynamic range is average/good with a peak-to-RMS of ~16dB (trks 6 & 7). With upright bass and piano forefront there is less treble energy than typical, so may sound 'laid back'. PM