Inspired Ladies of Song: Two Great Audiophile LPs I brought home from RMAF

With all of the listening to music that I do at shows, I guess it’s no surprise that I always take LPs home with me. Here are two of the LPs I brought home from Denver from two of my favorite female recording artists, Anne Bisson and Lyn Stanley. I appreciate both of these ladies for taking the time to make such great-sounding LPs and for coming to audio shows so that we can meet them.

These two albums show that all audiophile recordings are not of second-rate musicians. In fact, these are just the opposite. They have world-class musicians performing classic songs that sound astonishingly like real music in my own home. I’m not going to get into a discussion of which is better, One-Step or Direct-to-Disc, and I’m going to assume that you know the process for each of these methods of recording an LP. All I’ll say is that both of these LPs sound great in my system.

Anne Bisson Trio – Four Seasons In Jazz, Live At Bernie’s                                                            Hand-Numbered Limited Edition 180g Direct to Disc 45rpm 2LP

Anne Bisson, a Canadian jazz pianist/vocalist that I find to be very versatile in her style and selections of music, was at RMAF this year promoting her album. While I have enjoyed all of her previous albums, my favorite was her first, Blue Mind, which garnered widespread acclaim by jazz critics and fans alike. I also appreciate that she takes the time and effort to release her music in formats that sound as good as the music, and she frequently comes to audio shows to meet many of her fans.

The Anne Bisson Trio’s Four Seasons in Jazz—Live at Bernie’s is a direct-to-disc recording and is the inspiration of Gary Koh of Genesis Loudspeakers and Wuti Larnroongroj of Brilliance Music. The 45 rpm 2LP set features Anne Bisson playing the piano and accompanied by her double bass player Jean-Bertrand Caribou and drummer/percussionist Pierre Tanguay.

The album was recorded over two days at Bernie Grundman’s studio in Hollywood, CA. The engineer, Michael C. Ross, used an all analog recording chain straight to Grundman’s all-analog record cutting system. Ross said, “The trio is playing live, and I’m mixing it live and it’s going right to vinyl.” In addition to using Grundman’s proprietary technology consoles, Ross also used a portable Trident 88 console during the live session.

I love the concept, diversity and reach of this new recording. The album has some very special moments like her beautiful interpretation of “Summer Breeze” and her own “September in Montreal.” My only complaint in any way about the album is that she chose to sing “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most.” It’s probably not fair of me to say so, but it’s hard to compete with Ella and Rickie Lee Jones on this particular song. Still, I promise you this album will get a lot of playing time in my system and is very highly recommended!

Track Listing:
Side A Summer: I Can See Clearly Now; Summer Breeze; Summer Me, Winter Me; The Summer; We Crossed Europe In The Rain;
Side B Autumn: September in Montreal; September Song; Maybe September;
Side C Winter: Midnight Sun; Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams; Sinking Into The Future;
Side D Spring: Up Jumped Spring; It Might As Well Be Spring; Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

Personel: Anne Bisson, piano, vocals; Jean-Bertrand Carbou, acoustic bass; Pierre Tanguay, drums, percussions

Lyn Stanley The Moonlight Sessions Volume Two                                                                                    One-Step Hand-Numbered Limited Edition 180g 45rpm SupersonicVinyl 2LP

Lyn Stanley, a Los Angeles based artist, is often seen at audio shows and, like Bisson, she cares about the sound of her recorded music. At the California Audio Show, I had the privilege to visit with her in both the VAC and Burwell and Son’s rooms. She was there with the lacquer of her now released album, The Moonlight Sessions, Volume Two. An LP lacquer is an acetate-coated aluminum disc measuring 14 inches in diameter that contains all of the grooves of the final master of the recording. It has the exact same grooves that will end up on each and every record that is pressed. The lacquer she had with her had been cut down to the size of an LP, but it was the same lacquer that was used to cut the LPs of the album. While it was a privilege at that show to visit with Lyn and to hear the lacquer on two great systems, I also got to hold and examine the lacquer.

The LP opens with  Stanley’s interpretation of “Makin’ Whoopie.” I really like her rather sexy and humorous interpretation of this number.  It’s interesting how she romantically weaves into “That Old Feeling” and then into “Summer Knows” from the film, Summer of ’42. I think this is her most inspired setlist with song after song that play juxtaposed against one another.

We just heard from Lyn that this LP has been selected for the 60th Grammy ballot for TRADITIONAL POP; Engineering; Album of the Year; PACKAGING -Limited Edition/Box Set; Producer of the Year (Steve Genewick) and for three Vocal Arrangements by Mike GarsonTamir HendelmanChristian Jacob. Good luck, Lyn, but most important of all to us anyway is how much Becky and I enjoy listening to this album. I highly recommend this album, and it will get a lot of play on my system!

Track Listing: Makin’ Whoopee; The Very Thought of You; That Old Feeling; Summer Knows; Over The Rainbow; How Deep is the Ocean; Angel Eyes; At Seventeen; You’ve Changed; Smile; Love Me or Leave Me; How Insensitive; Since I Fell for You; I’ll Be Seeing You.

Personnel: Lyn Stanley: vocals; Mike Garson: piano; Christian Jacob: piano; Tamir Hendelman: piano; Chuck Berghofer: bass; Ray Brinker: drums; Bernie Dresel: drums; Joe LaBarbara: drums; Luis Conte: percussion; John Chiodini: guitar; Chuck Findley: trumpet; Rickey Woodard: tenor saxophone; Bob McChesney: trombone; Hendrik Meurkens: harmonica. The album also includes a 30-piece string section from The Budapest Symphonic Orchestra and harpists Corky Hale and Carol Robbins. Al Schmitt was the engineer for both mixing and recording. Bernie Grundman was the mastering engineer.

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