Lyn Stanley, Part Two, Music for Hot, Sultry, Summer Evenings

Moonlight Sessions

As I continue to look at music for a sultry evening, Lyn Stanley’s recordings jump to my mind. At the California Audio Show, Becky and I got to spend some time with Lyn and listened to the lacquers of The Moonlight Sessions Volume 2. We were mightily impressed, and this is definitely an album for sultry, romantic nights. The musicians are also unbelievably good on this recording, and her voice was in rare form.

Her latest albums, The Moonlight Sessions Volume One and The Moonlight Sessions Volume Two are both done as a One-Step Limited Edition180g 45rpm LP or Hybrid SACD. If you want to know more about this recording process, take a look at my full review of Volume One here. The SACD of the album is now available at Elusive Disc, and the One-Step, 45rpm LP should be soon. We can’t wait!

Lyn’s Earlier Recordings

With all of the well-deserved hoopla over these two recordings, it might be easy to forget how great her other recordings are. Don’t make that mistake!

The cover to Lyn’s first album pictures her as a 1940s diva perched on a piano with a wistful look suggesting that like the title of the album, she’s Lost in Romance. The beautiful, full-toned music of this album never in a million years says new artist or modern recording.

I had not heard of her when this recording came out, but her website says she was discovered in 2010 by world class jazz pianist Paul Smith. Like the album cover, her voice and even the simplicity of the recording is a throwback to the sounds of a simpler time. I have really enjoyed listening to this beautifully done double LP.

I love hearing Julie London, June Christy, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee and Anita O’Day sing this music, but I don’t care who you compare Lyn Stanley too, she will hold her own with any of them. This album is full of the music of Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, George and Ira Gershwin and other giants of their day who would welcome yet another Great American Songbook-rich recording by a female vocalist of this talent.

Her second recording, Potions was dedicated to music from the 1950s. It still has that sultry quality of her beautiful voice and wonderful phrasing. I love her selection of songs on this album. She opens with “Lullaby of Birdland” and then moves on to “Cry Me A River.” She also does a great version of “Lover Potion #9,” but my two favorite cuts are “Misty” and the bonus track “The Man I Love.” I enjoyed all 15 songs on these two LPs. Like all of her albums, not only is the music beautiful, but so is the sound quality of the recording.

Interludes, her third album, uses two different groups of musicians recording at two different venues. Four of the cuts were recorded at Capitol’s Studio A with Mike Garson on piano, Berghofer on bass, John Chiodini on guitar and Paul Kreibich on drums. The rest of the album was recorded at United Recording’s Studio A with Bill Cunliffe on piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass, Chiodini on guitar, Ray Brinker on drums, Bob McChesney on trombone, Henrick Meurkens on harmonica, Brad Dutz on percussion and Cecilia Tsan on cello.

I mention all of these musicians because I think their playing and the arrangements are part of what makes Interludes such a sophisticated album. On this album, she was both more adventurous and more sophisticated, and her phrasing is even more interesting. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed every number on this recording. By the way, the sound quality on this recording was even better than on her first two albums, and I wouldn’t have thought that was possible. Then I heard her first “One Step” recording, Moonlight Sessions, Volume One, and she has definitely raised the bar up another notch on the quality of the recording and pressing.

If you don’t know Lyn’s music, I highly recommend that you get to know her. There will definitely be a review of The Moonlight Sessions, Volume Two. I can’t wait to hear it in its entirety.

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