96KHZ/24-BIT FLAC, Neuklang NCD4068 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Not to be confused with the German DJ who founded Top Dog Records, this Tobias Becker is a young musician who recently completed studies in classical and jazz piano at Stuttgart’s University of Music and Performing Arts. Centred on his self-penned Life Stream Suite, a composition in four parts for 17-piece ensemble, the album is an impressive outing for Becker who has already garnered an impressive CV for his talent as a musical arranger. It’s vibrant and exhilarating big band jazz, redolent of Count Basie at his swingin’ best, albeit interspersed with a 21st century twist here and there. The album’s excellent sound quality, recorded in Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, has captured the vivid colours and textures of the Bigband ensemble most authentically. It will challenge your system’s dynamic capabilities when the brass blasts into overdrive, so expect a thrilling ride. JB

Sound quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

The raw blasts of trumpet fill the 40kHz+ bandwidth of this 96kHz recording with bursts of energy close to the 0dBFs endstops [peak, red trace] while the blue RMS spectrum shows some (inaudible) spuriae from 28-36kHz. PM