Download of the Week: Duke Ellington
Afro-Bossa from 1963 features Duke Ellington and His Orchestra riffing on some African and Latin themes. The sounds are infectious and fun and the supporting cast including Billy Strayhorn who wrote some of the pieces that make up this sweet suite, Cootie Williams, Ray Nance, Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, and Harry Carney are a powerhouse of musical invention. The overall feel is somewhat restrained, held captive by a slow driving groove punctuated by plenty of percussion that swings oh so gently. If you're looking for a stone cold classic that happens to sound particularly lovely, you've come to the right place.
Number crunchers may be interested to hear that Afro-Bossa scores an overall DR11 on the Dynamic Range Meter, pixel peepers will see plenty of spectral content above CDs brick wall, and music lovers will hear some great sounding and masterfully-played tunes. These transfers from master tape "Remastered specially for HDtracks" (that's as much information as I have) to 24/192 sound open, airy, and oh so lovely. Listening to Afro-Bossa is for me a smile-inducing experience and reminds me of many hours spent with my father listening to this/his kind of music on his hi-fi so I have a big place that this music fills and fits to a T.
You can download Duke Ellington and His Orchestra's Afro-Bossa in stunning 24/192 from HDtracks.