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136337 albums sorted by Most acclaimed
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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 2, 2013 | Laborie Jazz

Booklet Distinctions TSF - Le Choix de France Musique - So Jazz - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Classical - Released January 22, 2016 | Ediciones Singulares

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Full Operas - Released May 29, 2015 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Classical - Released August 16, 2004 | Supraphon

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Classical - Released September 2, 2002 | Supraphon

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Humour/Spoken Word - Released June 10, 2015 | Ina Archives

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World - Released November 5, 2013 | Accords Croisés

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Classical - Released July 15, 2013 | naïve classique

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Electro - Released October 1, 2012 | Pschent

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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Music Division Classics Jazz

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Children - Released June 22, 2007 | Disney Records (Europe)

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Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2002 | Geffen Records

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The soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's darkly funny crime classic Pulp Fiction manages to re-create the film's wildly careening sense of style, violence, and humor by concentrating on the surf music that comprises the bulk of the movie's incidental music and adding a few sexy oldies integral to the film's story ("Let's Stay Together," "Son of a Preacher Man," "You Never Can Tell"). Of course, the inclusion of dialogue and Urge Overkill's seductive cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" doesn't hurt either. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

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Free Jazz & Avant-Garde - Released December 4, 2013 | Born Bad Records

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Rap - Released November 13, 2013 | Stones Throw Records

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World - Released November 4, 2013 | Buda musique

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Africa - Released April 1, 2013 | Orane

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Jazz - Released February 4, 2013 | Nova Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released May 16, 2011 | Editions Milan Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released March 24, 2009 | Capitol Records

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Blues - Released June 1, 2004 | ACT Music

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It is ironic that two promoters from Germany, Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau, may well have played the largest part in revitalizing an American audience for the blues in the United States during the 1960s. Their annual barnstorming tours of Western Europe with a roster of American blues greats sparked a blues revival, particularly in London, where Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and a host of other young white musicians fell under the spell of the blues. When British bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Yardbirds exported the music back to the States, blues reestablished itself as a commercially viable form in its homeland, leading to long careers for many of the artists featured here. The tours, billed as the American Folk Blues Festival, ran every fall in Europe, beginning in 1962 and lasting until 1970, and several live performances from those shows (most of them from the 1963, 1964, and 1965 tours) are collected in this two-disc set. Whether they're truly "lost tapes" or not is debatable, but several of these performances are priceless historical documents, and the sound is great, even intimate. Highlights include Memphis Slim's winking, elegant version of the traditional "John Henry" ballad; Otis Spann's "Going Down Slow"; a solo acoustic rendition of "Catfish Blues" by Muddy Waters; Big Mama Thornton's blistering "Hound Dog"; J.B. Lenoir's "If I Get Lucky"; Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Got a Letter This Morning" (a variant of Son House's "Death Letter"); and the loose, front-porch jug band feel of Sleepy John Estes' "Your Best Friend's Gone." There are no liner notes to speak of, which is a shame, but the music here is simply wonderful. ~ Steve Leggett

Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Classical - Released January 20, 2014 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 20, 2014 | harmonia mundi

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Africa - Released December 9, 2013 | Orane

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Video Games - Released December 2, 2013 | Ubisoft Music

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Electro - Released May 23, 2013 | Pschent

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Jazz - Released March 22, 2013 | ACT Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Republic Records

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Full Operas - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca

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Children - Released December 14, 2009 | Caravage

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Stories and Nursery Rhymes - Released February 28, 2006 | Disney Records (Europe)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2002 | Music India (MIL)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1972 | Hip-O

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This edition of the Cabaret soundtrack, from Universal Ireland, contains 12 tracks featuring Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli, and pianist/arranger Ralph Burns. The set includes the film versions of "Maybe This Time," "If You Could See Her," "Money Money," and "Cabaret." Keep in mind that the film soundtrack contains fewer songs than the original Broadway score. ~ Al Campbell
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Video Games - Released October 29, 2013 | Ubisoft Music

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House - Released July 29, 2013 | InFiné

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Electro - Released June 25, 2013 | Ninja Tune

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Africa - Released June 4, 2013 | Orane

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Jazz - Released June 1, 2013 | Frémeaux & associés

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Jazz - Released December 7, 2012 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released May 1, 2012 | Genuin

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Jazz - Released February 24, 2012 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released August 1, 2011 | Profil

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Pop - Released July 25, 2011 | Legacy Recordings

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Featuring Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" in its prime and his early stable of artists, the Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love, and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector stands as inarguably the greatest Christmas record of all time. Spector believed he could produce a record for the holidays that would capture not only the essence of the Christmas spirit, but also be a pop masterpiece that would stand against any work these artists had already done. He succeeded on every level, with all four groups/singers recording some of their most memorable performances. This is the Christmas album by which all later holiday releases had to be judged, and it has inspired a host of imitators. ~ Dennis MacDonald

Bebop - Released May 30, 2011 | Saga

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Classical - Released May 1, 2011 | K&K Verlagsanstalt

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Classical - Released May 1, 2011 | K&K Verlagsanstalt

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal Music Division Classics Jazz

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At a time when the traditional "gatekeepers" of the record business seem to be giving way to a D.I.Y. free-for-all in the digital Internet era, the Universal Music Group (ironically through its Verve imprint) here boxes the first six LPs released by Impulse Records, then a newly formed jazz label, in 1961, all produced by initial label head Creed Taylor, who departed the company (for Verve, then part of rival MGM) just as the last of the six was coming out. Taylor, as annotator Ashley Kahn and Taylor himself make clear in the liner notes, was the auteur of these half-dozen albums, even if he didn't actually play on them. Unlike Blue Note or Prestige, Impulse was never a true independent; it was formed as a jazz subsidiary of ABC-Paramount to be Taylor's custom label, after he had demonstrated an ability to make commercially successful jazz records. And he did that with the first Impulse albums, particularly Ray Charles' Genius + Soul = Jazz, with its hit single "One Mint Julip." (The box set includes the first CD release of the mono mix actually heard on the 45 rpm single.) He also introduced some excellent straight-ahead jazz with the trombone collections The Great Kai & J.J. and Brand New, Swinging Together Again by Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson, and The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones. Progressive big-band jazz was heard on the Gil Evans Orchestra's Out of the Cool and Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth. And Taylor's last album for Impulse was John Coltrane's first: Africa/Brass. (The only previously unreleased tracks on the box set are three brief rehearsal tidbits from before the Africa/Brass sessions.) All credit for the music itself redounds to the musicians, of course. But this collection poses the question whether the music would ever have been made if it hadn't been for visionary record executive/producers such as Creed Taylor (and Bob Thiele, who succeeded him at Impulse, not to mention Blue Note's Alfred Lion and Prestige's Bob Weinstock, among others). Certainly, it wouldn't have been made in the same way, and these albums demonstrate what a loss that might have been. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Electro - Released December 20, 2010 | Filter Label

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Classical - Released October 26, 2010 | Carpe Diem

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Dance - Released October 4, 2010 | Bullet Train Records

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Jazz - Released September 1, 2010 | ITM

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released August 1, 2010 | Carus

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Jazz - Released October 23, 2009 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Pop/Rock - Released May 19, 2009 | Capitol Records

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Tango - Released May 7, 2009 | ENJA RECORDS Werner Aldinger

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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released March 30, 2007 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released March 29, 2004 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 1, 1988 | Impact Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released February 14, 2000 | Epic - Razor Sharp - Sony Music Soundtrax

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Musical Theatre - Released June 8, 2004 | Masterworks Broadway

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Classical composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein periodically had tried his hand at writing Broadway musicals, starting with On the Town (1944) and continuing with Wonderful Town, (1953), not to mention, less than a year earlier, Candide, a musically magnificent, dramatically unsuccessful effort. But none of these was as ambitious as West Side Story, a score that is infused with Bernstein's classical sensibility, even as it deliberately draws in influences from jazz and Latin music. A contemporary retelling of Romeo & Juliet set among New York street gangs, the show combines refined and vulgar elements, and Bernstein's music revels in the contrasts, veering from the hymn-like themes he provides for the lovers' ballads (they may be Italians on one side and Puerto Ricans on the other, but they're probably all Catholics, so the religious influence is something they have in common) to the jarring rhythms that accompany the continual "rumbles" of the gangs. Newcomer lyricist Stephen Sondheim traces the same contrast in his words. For the Romeo character, here called Tony, the mere name of his Juliet, here called Maria, has religious significance: "Say it loud and there's music playing," he sings in a song called "Maria," "Say it soft and it's almost like praying." In this song, as in their duets "Tonight" and "One Hand, One Heart," Tony and Maria are not just idealistic, but idealized, and Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence embody them well. On the other hand, Sondheim fills the language of their friends with a rough slang that sometimes alludes to common obscenity (e.g., "when the spit hits the fan") and sometimes pushes the limits of language allowable on a Broadway stage in the '50s ("bastard," "S.O.B."). When they're not cursing, these characters engage in biting criticism and sarcasm. "America," a song of dueling Puerto Rican girls, one who wants to go home and one who wants to stay in Manhattan (the fiery Anita, ably played by Chita Rivera), and "Gee, Officer Krupke!," a gang's taunting of a police officer, are not just typical comic songs in a Broadway musical. They are savagely witty, marking the introduction of a lyricist on a par with Lorenz Hart or Cole Porter, at the very least. That said, however, this isn't really a lyric-oriented show, or even a character-oriented one, oddly enough. It is notable that the album cover says, "West Side Story (based on a conception of Jerome Robbins)," not "based on a play by William Shakespeare." Robbins, the show's director/choreographer, has conceived it as a dance show, and there are extended instrumental passages on this album during which the stage actors would be dancing, although one only hears them shouting occasionally and snapping their fingers. Powerful as Bernstein's music is, and clever as Sondheim's lyrics are, West Side Story is largely about dancing, which means that only a portion of it can be appreciated on disc. That is enough, however, to mark it as a landmark among Broadway cast albums as well as Broadway musicals. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Film Soundtracks - Released October 28, 2013 | Made In PM - StudioCanal - Because Music

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Stories and Nursery Rhymes - Released March 31, 2006 | Disney Records (Europe)

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Full Operas - Released May 4, 1993 | Berlin Classics

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Keyboard Concertos - Released June 26, 2017 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

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Africa - Released May 26, 2017 | Wrasse Records

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Electro - Released March 17, 2017 | PAN

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Africa - Released March 10, 2017 | Mr Bongo

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Asia - Released January 20, 2017 | Buda musique

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Electro - Released January 6, 2017 | InFiné

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New Age - Released November 4, 2016 | Light In The Attic Records

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Africa - Released October 28, 2016 | Numero Group

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Symphonic Music - Released October 14, 2016 | Lyrita

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Africa - Released September 16, 2016 | Sterns Africa

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Classical - Released August 12, 2016 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Opera - Released June 1, 2016 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Jazz - Released June 1, 2016 | Fremeaux Heritage

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Country - Released April 18, 2016 | Light In The Attic

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Classical - Released February 1, 2016 | La discothèque idéale de Diapason

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Africa - Released November 27, 2015 | Analog Africa

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Jazz - Released November 6, 2015 | BDMUSIC

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2015 | Born Bad Records

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Concertos - Released June 2, 2015 | Dacapo SACD

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Latin America - Released May 18, 2015 | Soul Jazz Records

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Classical - Released May 15, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released May 15, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Rock - Released November 11, 2014 | Light In The Attic

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Classical - Released October 7, 2014 | Ricercar

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Classical - Released June 1, 2014 | Brilliant Classics

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World - Released May 26, 2014 | Soul Jazz Records

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Jazz - Released April 1, 2014 | Frémeaux & associés

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Classical - Released February 28, 2014 | Wergo

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French Music - Released January 14, 2014 | Epm

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Country - Released October 25, 2013 | Bear Family Records GmbH

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 15, 2013 | Arts & Crafts

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As Canadian indie pop was crossing over and becoming the big thing in the mid-2000s, Toronto's Arts & Crafts grew from a homegrown basement apartment to one of the most influential labels of that decade. Flash forward to 2013, and label heads Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Jeffrey Remedios announced they would be holding the Field Trip Arts & Crafts Music Festival to commemorate the label's ten-year anniversary. To coincide with the event, a compilation titled Arts & Crafts: 2003-2013 was released. Contributions by flagship artists like Broken Social Scene, Stars, Feist, and Los Campesinos! are included, but instead of simply focusing on the big acts and their greatest hits, a lot of the songs included are rarities. It's a nice selection. The style of music ranges from heady precision punk to rustic acoustic folk, but because the artists on board share in the same optimistic indie spirit, the compilation plays cohesively from start to finish. Interesting, too, to see how the label set the stage for many mainstream acts to follow in the year 2013. [The deluxe version comes with a 24-page booklet, with liner notes written by Stuart Berman, author of the Broken Social Scene oral biography This Book Is Broken.] ~ Jason Lymangrover

Jazz - Released April 3, 2013 | Jazz City Series

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Blues - Released March 15, 2013 | Bear Family Records GmbH

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Electro - Released January 1, 2013 | The Verve Music Group

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Classical - Released October 8, 2012 | Stradivarius

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Jazz - Released August 16, 2012 | Frémeaux & associés

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Jazz - Released July 20, 2012 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released January 3, 2012 | Da Capo

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Pop/Rock - Released November 8, 2010 | Crammed Discs

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Pop/Rock - Released November 8, 2010 | Crammed Discs

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2009 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released August 28, 2009 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released February 29, 2008 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Jazz - Released July 3, 2007 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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Classical - Released February 27, 2007 | Mode

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Dorian Sono Luminus

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Jazz - Released October 28, 2005 | ACT Music

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Classical - Released August 16, 2004 | Supraphon

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Jazz - Released September 22, 2003 | ACT Music

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World - Released October 20, 2002 | Oriente

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Jazz - Released October 14, 2002 | ACT Music

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Rap - Released January 1, 2002 | Rawkus Entertainment LLC

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Lyricist Lounge, Vol. 1 is an excellent showcase of underground and alternative rappers, including Kool Keith, De La Soul, 88 Keys, Natural Elements, Talib Kweli, Bahamadia, Q-Tip, and Jurassic 5, among many, many others. It's a great way to hear a number of the most talented and underappreciated rappers of the late '90s. ~ Leo Stanley

World - Released March 1, 2001 | Oriente

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

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The custom jazz label serves up ten dark, moody selections from its array of artists spanning from seductive female vocalists Melissa Walker and Jenny Evans to Dusko Goykovich's poignant muted trumpet and Karl Ratzer's delectable guitar musings on "Farmer's Charm." An array of other fossil-school flavored jazz pieces, including a vocal by Enja's most familiar artist, trumpeter Chet Baker, makes this priced right -- less than ten dollars online -- a listening bargain. Perfect for rainy days and pensive moods. ~ Andrew Hamilton

Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Christophorus

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 10, 1975 | Ode Sounds & Visuals

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Children - Released January 1, 1961 | BNF Collection

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2012 | Visiona Romantica, Inc, and Seven Four Entertainment - Universal Republic Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2011 | The Island Def Jam Music Group

Pop/Rock - Released March 1, 2010 | Sony Music Entertainment

Film Soundtracks - Released July 28, 2009 | Silva Screen Records

R&B - Released January 1, 2008 | Barclay

Country - Released January 1, 2000 | Mercury Records

Though it's rare when the nostalgia imprint ASV/Living Era finds crossover territory (despite its deep catalog), the genre compilation O Brothers! intriguingly tapped into the bluegrass revival sparked by O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Included here are more than two dozen sides from country harmony groups, all of them comprising relatives (and more than half of those brothers). The compilers picked some of the best artists available from the era: the Carter Family, the Blue Sky Boys, the Louvin Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, the Maddox Brothers & Rose, J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers. It's a shame the compilation doesn't feature more of the lively country boogie that groups like the Delmore Brothers considered a specialty, but between the Carter Family's genre classic "Keep on the Sunny Side," the Monroe Brothers' rousing "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms," and the Blue Sky Boys' heartfelt harmony classic "Turn Your Radio On," O Brothers! has at least a dozen classics of the form in its hour-plus running time. ~ John Bush

Alternative & Indie - Released February 14, 2014 | colette

Classical - Released January 27, 2014 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

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Classical - Released January 27, 2014 | Mirare

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Electro - Released December 9, 2013 | Freshly Squeezed

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Ambient - Released December 1, 2013 | colette

Alternative & Indie - Released November 27, 2013 | Because Music - les inRockuptibles

Soul - Released October 21, 2013 | Soul Jazz Records

World - Released October 15, 2013 | Knitting Factory Records

This is the second volume that the AIDS- and HIV-combatting Red Hot Organization has dedicated to the music of Fela Kuti, the late Nigerian creator of Afrobeat, fearless militant political and liberation activist, and cultural icon. The first, Red Hot + Riot, appeared in 2002 and juxtaposed Fela's music with hip-hop, neo-soul, and African folk styles. This 13-track set, compiled by Anthony Demby and Paul Heck, employs the root sounds of Afrobeat more explicitly. Part of the reason for this is undoubtedly the success of the musical Fela! Another is that on the African continent, AIDS and HIV remain massive problems that have taken their toll on families, populations, and national economies. (Fela died of complications due to AIDS.) The set kicks off with "Buy Africa" by Congolese rapper Baloji with L'Orchestre de la Katube and Yoruban singer and songwriter Kuku. The propulsive beats meet the punchy brass and confrontational lyrics head-on in a dazzling rhythm and rhyme collision. Drummer Tony Allen, a bandmate of Féla's and an Afrobeat pioneer in his own right, collaborates with Baloji and rapper M1 on the bubbling "Afrodisco Beat 2013," that weaves funk, hip-hop, Afrobeat, and dub together with lyrics in French and English. "Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am" is performed nearly straightforwardly by Jim James and My Morning Jacket, with Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. The vibe is slow, snaky, and hypnotic, though at over 14 minutes, it's too much of a good thing. tUnE-yArDs and ?uestlove back Beninoise vocalist Angelique Kidjo and poet Akua Naru in funking up "Lady." Driven by furious breaks and roiling basslines, they turn the original sexist lyric on its head. The labyrinthine, bass matrix dubstep treatment of "Zombie," by producer Spoek Mathambo with Cerebral Cortex and Frown, is the set's most adventurous selection. Nigerian singer Nneka- born Antibalas vocalist Amayo, all front the manic seven-piece unit Superhuman Happiness in a pumped up, four-on-the-floor reading of on "No Buredi (No Bread)," complete with distorted kalimbas, zigzagging, squiggly synths, and popping basslines. Red Hot + Fela's unique yet nearly seamless-sounding collaborations offer a deeper hearing of Afrobeat in light of its wide-ranging implications trans-culturally, both in the present era and as it points toward the future. ~ Thom Jurek

Electro - Released October 14, 2013 | Because Music

Contemporary Jazz - Released October 7, 2013 | Bonsaï Music

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Dance - Released October 7, 2013 | La Musique Fait La Force

Miscellaneous - Released August 15, 2013 | Genius-Islands

Dance - Released June 3, 2013 | Wagram Music

French Music - Released April 29, 2013 | Fanon Records

Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Republic Records

Despite the presence of a few latter-day rap tunes including Queen Latifah's "How I Wish" and Scarface's "Among the Walking Dead," the soundtrack to the Vietnam War drama The Walking Dead concentrates primarily on period Motown hits. Taking care to include some of the label's more socially-conscious classics including Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?," the Temptations' "Cloud Nine," the Undisputed Truth's "Smiling Faces Sometimes" and (of course) Edwin Starr's "War," it's a cut above the usual soundtrack mishmash designed to evoke nostalgia and little else. ~ Jason Ankeny

Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Republic Records