AT Music - ATM-3104-SACD - Hybrid SACD Stereo
Mastered by Bernie Grundman - Limited Numbered Edition -
"As I wait for the vinyl version to arrive, this will prepare me for it — but so good is the sound, I cannot imagine what the LP can add. We shall see. With material in the same vein as the Dino set here, Stanley grows more confident as a superior interpreter of standards, the only ill-advised moment being a torch version of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love.' Some songs do not survive outside of their core genre (no criticism of Ms. Stanley: even Tina Turner struggled with it). The best tracks are 'Nice'n'Easy' and 'It's Crazy,' but all will delight. And if this tickles your disc spinner, note that her two previous releases are also now available as SACDs." — Sound Quality = 89% — Ken Kessler, HiFi News, March 2016
This album was mixed from 24 track 2 inch ATR tape by Al Schmitt
All songs were mastered from ½” analog tape by Bernie Grundman.
All songs recorded, mixed and mastered on analog tape
"... the sound, as absolutely stunning as it was on the first two albums, is up by a considerable margin — something I didn't think was possible. The stage is wide and deep; the instruments remarkably transparent and three-dimensionally solid. The great Al Schmitt engineered to tape at United and Steve Genewick did likewise at Capitol. Neumann U-47s — including Frank Sinatra's courtesy Capitol — captured Ms. Stanley's vocals. If ever you needed a reason why we must insure that great recording studios survive, with sessions helmed by the engineering greats, this album provides it." — Music = 9/11; Sound = 11/11 - Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com. Read the whole review here.
"'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' ... is lesser known but so unusual, and it is indeed featured on Interludes. I can only describe it as deliciously different and exotic-sounding that pulls you in. ... Other great highlights of the album include the opener 'How Long Has This Been Going On?', the infectious 'Just One of Those Things,' a captivating 'More Than You Know,' a deliriously appealing 'Nice 'n Easy' ... She is backed by a magnificent orchestra, sings splendid arrangements ... and the CD itself is packaged divinely. ... What makes Stanley a wonderful performer/singer is that like a fine actress, she delivers the song as if she were doing it for the first time, telling the story with perfect diction, expert phrasing and timing." — Don Grigware, Grigware Reviews
"'How Long has This Been Going On,' the opener for Interludes demonstrates Stanley's command of the standard. But it is not the jazz standard that is special about Interludes. Stanley addresses two more recent compositions: 'Black Velvet,' released by Alannah Myles in 1989 and Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love,' from Led Zeppelin II (Atlantic, 1969). Yes. 'Whole Lotta Love.' Lyn Stanley takes on the most white-hot anthem of the carnality of youth. She does so unflinchingly. There is little to be nostalgic about young love once you've learned what you are doing. And that is Stanley's point with covering this song. Arranged by guitarist John Chiodini the nominal blues-rock monolith becomes a steamy rumba propelled by bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Paul Kreibich, whose deft tom-tom work amps up the performance's already heady sensuality. Then, there is Stanley, who produced this recording, ensuring that a proper mixture of Bobby Gentry's 'Ode to Billy Joe,' Peggy Lee's 'Fever,' and Dusty Springfield's 'Son of a Preacher Man' are admixed into one grown up vision of love, sex, and the whole shooting match. Think if George Gershwin had composed 'Summertime' with J.J. Cale and you may begin to get the idea. Stanley must be applauded for taking this gigantic artistic chance. So many 'jazz' covers of contemporary material end so badly. In this case, not so. This is a special release in every way." — C. Michael Bailey, allaboutjazz.com, November 2014
"In these deconstructed times, it feels like you're spitting in the wind when you try to extol the virtues of an indie act. Stanley was right on the money from the start and the public has born this out. It's hard to be a successful jazz singer in the best of circumstances but Stanley has been doing the best of old school in all levels of the game and the public has responded. ... Making both 'Black Velvet' and 'I'm a Fool to Want You' her own in the same session---all I can say is what do you expect from a gal that records in Capitol Studio and has both Al Schmitt and Bernie Grundman working in the background? Killer stuff throughout like they don't make anymore---and should!" — MidwestRecord.com
"Lyn Stanley's recent Interludes is her most adventurous and exciting recording yet. ... the use of guests and the inventive arrangements of Cunliffe, Chiodini, Tamil Hendelman, Steve Rawlins and Ms. Stanley herself keep the music full of subtle surprises and variety." — Scott Yanow
Singer Lyn Stanley's third studio album Interludes is robust and rousing. Stanley has enjoyed critical and commercial success with her first two recordings, Lost in Romance and Potions (from the 50s); here, her interpretations on another pass through the Great American Songbook employ vocals that are in turn seductive, emotional, saucy and inviting. She sounds comfortable no matter what the setting, finds jazz critic Scott Yanow.
The unique sultry jazz vocalist from the Los Angeles area turns up the wattage on Interludes, starting with the opening selection "How Long Has This Been Going On" a capella. "Just One Of Those Things" employs a creative Bill Cunliffe arrangement — Stanley is heard during one chorus having brief duets with bassist Chuck Berghofer, guitarist John Chiodini and pianist/arranger Bill Cunliffe before the full group joins in. Other tuneful highlights include "Black Velvet," "More Than You Know," and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."
The lowdown and rockish "Whole Lotta Love" and the always eerie "Last Tango In Paris" find Stanley putting timeless feeling into more contemporary songs. Great guest artists such as Hendrick Meurkens on harmonica appear on "Don't Explain," and Stanley begets a fine swing on "Nice 'n' Easy" and a sweet and lush interpretation on Duke Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood." Her interlude concludes with a heartfelt duet with guitarist Chiodini on "I'm A Fool To Want You," that's full of longing and desire.
"Interludes", Lyn Stanley's third SACD release, is the product of a striving work ethic harnessed to artistic aspiration. This collection of Great American Songbook standards and lesser-known songs was conceived and produced by a late-developing vocalist who pursued her goals with efficiency and single-minded determination.
Lyn Stanley's arrival on the music scene did not follow the usual career trajectory for jazz singers. Having been "steered toward a corporate profession… a communications degree, a Ph.D. program, marriage, and a career as a successful businesswoman," she connected with the muse initially through competitive ballroom dancing. Aiming to become an accomplished singer, she sought out an expert vocal coach, and when she felt she was ready, recorded Lyn Stanley: Lost in Romance and Lyn Stanley: Potions (from the 50s).
"Interludes" was recorded to 24-track analogue at United Recording and Capitol Recording in Hollywood, California. Seeking the "golden age" sound of early hi-fi, Stanley recorded vocal tracks with Frank Sinatra's favorite Neumann U-47 tube microphone. The hand-picked team of studio musicians and arrangers insured that the sessions would be at a level of instrumental performance comparable to the great vocal albums of the past. The album was recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt, mastered by Bernie Grundman, and is sold on Ms. Stanley's website as an SACD, a 45 rpm LP set, and a personally autographed, limited-edition reel-to-reel tape.
The decision to release her recordings in audiophile formats was strategic. According to her website, nearly all of Lyn Stanley's live performances for the past two years have taken place at high-end audio shows and music exhibitor conferences in the U.S. and Japan. She enjoys the support of veteran jazz journalists, and her recordings are praised on audiophile forums. Stanley even crowd-sourced the selection process for the songs on her third SACD. From the liner notes: "Help in the development of 'Interludes' came through a team of advisors I created from my fan page."
From the opening bars of Ira and George Gershwin's "How Long Has this Been Going On?", sung unaccompanied, Lyn Stanley displays a level of vocal skill that justifies her investment in the project. Her silky alto caresses the lyrics in the languorous manner of 1950's songstresses Julie London and Peggy Lee. Stanley's unforced phrasing, excellent technique and intonation, and the natural endowment of an appealing alto voice, elevate the familiar standards that comprise roughly half the set.
A team of talented arrangers worked on the project. Steve Rawlins, who arranged or co-arranged seven of the album's fourteen tracks, was clearly in sympathy with Stanley's intentions. On "How Long Has This Been Going On?", Rawlins adds a counter-melody against the vocal line by trombonist Bob McChesney that effortlessly flows into an inventive instrumental solo over the piano, guitar, bass and drums. The trombone's lower register and mellow timbre makes for a smooth blend with Stanley's alto voice. A trumpet or saxophone would have been jarring, and the goal of the album was not to disrupt, but to annotate, the legacy of American vocal jazz.
An audiophile standout track, Harry Warren and Al Dubin's song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (first recorded in 1933, and appearing in the 1934 film "Moulin Rouge") gives solo space to chromatic harmonica virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens and cellist Cecilia Tsan. The arrangement by Tamir Hendelman, which incorporates deft touches of percussion, is very well-served by Al Schmitt's deep soundstage mix. What the performance lacks is sensitivity to the lyrics. Stanley hasn't mastered the art of dramatic interpretation that actress-singers of the past knew in their bones. The lyrics demand pathos, a sense of vulnerability that Stanley doesn't communicate. It's impossible to imagine the empowered, goal-directed singer walking the boulevard alongside, much less inhabiting, the song's world-weary, disillusioned gigolette.
Stanley is on surer ground in pianist Bill Cunliffe's arrangement of "Just One of those Things". The performance opens with solo percussion for eight bars, adds bass under the first verse, then drops one instrument in and another out, guitar, piano, trombone. A bravura framework for a buoyant vocal performance.
If Lyn Stanley ever decides to expand her performing schedule beyond audio and record industry trade shows, and if she continues to collaborate with musicians, arrangers and advisors as talented and discerning as those who contributed to "Interludes", she can only continue to grow and mature as a vocalist. The direct, unmediated encounter with audiences—music lovers, musicians, those who are successful, those who have failed—is the field in which lasting art is cultivated.
(Recorded at United Recording Studio A, Hollywood, CA)
Piano: Bill Cunliffe
Bass: Chuck Berghofer
Drums: Ray Brinker
Guitar: John Chiodini
Trombone: Bob McChesney (How Long Has This Been Going On?, Just One Of Those Things , More Than You Know )
Harmonica: Henrick Meurkens (Don’t Explain, In A Sentimental Mood, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, It’s Crazy)
Percussion: Brad Dutz (Don’t Explain, How Long Has This Been Going On?, The Island, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, It’s Crazy-vibes, Just One Of Those Things)
Cello: Cecilia Tsan (In A Sentimental Mood, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, More Than You Know)
Musicians on 3, 6, 7, 11 (Recorded at Capitol Recording Studio A, Hollywood CA)
Bass: Chuck Berghofer
Drums: Paul Kreibich
Guitar: John Chiodini
Steve Rawlins: Finger snaps
Executive Producer: A.T. Music LLC
Producer: Lyn Stanley
Associate Producers: Steve Rawlins, Steve Genewick, Paul Tavenner
John Chiodini – Whole Lotta Love, Co-Arranger: I’m A Fool To Want You
Bill Cunliffe – It’s Crazy, Just One Of Those Things, I Was A Little Too Lonely
Tamir Hendelman – Boulevard of Broken Dreams, More Than You Know, Co-Arranger: Don’t Explain
Steve Rawlins – How Long Has This Been Going On? In A Sentimental Mood, Last Tango In Paris, The Island, Nice ’n Easy, Co-arranger: Don’t Explain,
Co-Arranger: Black Velvet
Lyn Stanley – Co-Arranger: Black Velvet, Co-Arranger: I’m A Fool To Want You
Mixing Engineer: Al Schmitt
United Recording Session Engineer: Al Schmitt (10 tracks)
Capitol Recording Session Engineer: Steve Genewick (4 tracks)
Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman, Bernie Grundman Mastering
Vocal Recording Engineers: Steve Genewick, Paul Tavenner, Spencer Guerra
Vocals Recorded with Neumann U47s (#4-Frank Sinatra’s microphone courtesy of Capitol Recording Studios) and LAFx.
Recording Studios for vocals: Capitol Recording Studios A & B, Big City Recording Studio and LAFx.This album was mixed from 24 track 2 inch ATR tape by Al Schmitt (except for #14). All songs were mastered from ½” analog tape by Bernie Grundman.
1. How Long Has This Been Going On?
2. Just One Of Those Things
3. Black Velvet
4. More Than You Know
5. Blvd. of Broken Dreams
6. Whole Lotta Love
7. Last Tango In Paris
8. Don’t Explain
9. Nice n Easy
10. The Island
11. It’s Crazy
12. In A Sentimental Mood
13. I Was A Little Too Lonely
14. I’m A Fool To Want You