Lyn Stanley, vocalist – Lost in Romance [TrackList follows] A.T. Music CD 3101 + Numbered 45 rpm double-album audiophile vinyl [8/20/13] ****:
(Featuring: Tamir Handelman, Jeff Hamilton, Mike Lang, Llew Matthews, Bernie Dresel, Paul Kreibich, trey Henry, Jim DeJulio, Kevin Axt, Bob Sheppard, Gilbert Catellanos, Bob McChesney & Thom Rotella.)
This is a unique new singing voice in the Great American Songbook and allied tunes. Turns out Lyn Stanley is a champion ballroom dancer turned singer, and in fact this album is being remixed to a CD to be titled Jazz in the Ballroom – Lost in Romance, and will be marketed to ballroom dancers around the world with a list of dances that can be done with the specific songs on the album. The 15 tunes were chosen with Lyn having in mind how much she liked the vocal treatments that Fred Aistaire and Gene Kelley delivered their songs in the films.
She was first “discovered” by the late jazz pianist Paul Smith in 2010, when she had no previous singing experience. She appeared with his trio, took a singer training program at Yale and began working with top-flight people such as arranger-pianist Tamir Hendelman and arranger-producer Steve Rawlins. She has a voice that is right on the money intonation-wise, with great musicality. She has an ability to seem to tell a story with the lyrics instead of just mouthing them, and her working with the top jazz musicians backing her up couldn’t be more perfect. The sonics are also superb thruout.
The sequence of the 15 tunes is well-planned and adds to the richness of the whole album. One regrets having to get up every three or four songs to change the 45 rpm sides. Real gems such as Michel Legrand’s “Watch What Happens” and Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind” stood out for me. There’s even a foray into the blues area with tunes like “What Am I Going to do with a Bad Boy Like You?” and “Sugar on the Floor,” which to my mind are not quite as successful but still good listening. Stanley’s treatment of Peggy Lee’s famous “Fever”—with its duet with the doublebass—is totally different from the original but still lots of fun.
Studio engineers Tommy Vacari and Al Schmitt did a great job with the audio pickup and mixing, balanceding the excellent backup band musicians and Stanley in just the right way.
Grammy-winning mastering master Bernie Grundman suggested also doing the 180gram/45rpm vinyl which was pressed at Pallas in Germany. I compared it and the standard CD, and was surprised to find that for the first time I could hear absolutely no difference between the two. Normally 45rpm 12-inch vinyls always top whatever the competing format is (except direct disc), but this time there seemed to be no difference. (Perhaps if I had a $2000+ moving-coil cartridge and a $2000+ phono preamp instead of a pair about 50% of that, I would hear a slight enhancement with the vinyls.)
Change Partners – 4:45
Watch What Happens – 4:00
Fever – 4:08
That Old Black Magic – 4:00
The Nearness Of You – 5:18
You Go To My Head – 5:00
I Just Wanna Make Love To You – 3:48
My Foolish Heart – 4:26
What Am I Gonna Do With A Bad Boy Like You? – 3:36
Losing My Mind – 4:47
One For My Baby – 4:07
Sugar On The Floor – 4:29
Too Close For Comfort – 2:40
Something – 3:54
The Last Dance – 3:09