Jazz LP Review: Lyn Stanley's The Moonlight Sessions Vol.1
I've just played Lyn Stanley's latest jazz vocal, Moonlight Sessions vol.1, on 180g 45 rpm vinyl. It is outstanding from both a musical and sonic perspective. If I had to describe Stanley's musical approach in one word, that word would be intimate. I found myself imagining a smoky after-hours club where I sat nursing a drink and wounded feelings while being consoled by a torch singer who made me believe I was the only person she was singing to - and that she understood. Her intonation is precise, her pitch perfect, and her technique is always appropriate for the emotion she seeks to convey. So far, my favorites include Willow Weep for Me, Moonlight Serenade, My Funny Valentine, How Insensitive, and In the Wee Small Hours. The sonics are spectacular, as you would expect from recording engineer Al Schmitt and mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. But there is another trick up this LP's sleeve: the "one step" pressing process that cuts two generations out of the record making chain. I can see this becoming standard fare at audio show demonstrations, and will be in heavy rotation at my place for the foreseeable future.
Zachteich Thanks I was not aware of this album. I really enjoy jazz vocals and have wanted to try Lyn Stanley but have not purchased anything yet. I was trying to decide whether to buy her music on SACD or vinyl. I am also interested in the "one step" pressing process which I read about in Absolute Sound. Are you into other jazz vocalists. Some others I like in no particular order are: Patricia Barber , Rebecca Paris, Tiern
I just received my copy last week, # 8 out of 2000 of the one step pressing. It sounds excellent and has a very quiet background. I am now waiting for the new direct to disc record from Anne Bisson to be released.
Many thanks Zach for posting this! I appreciate this wonderful review of my One Step vinyl -Volume One The Moonlight Sessions.
A refresher for some who may be confused about One Steps - this is a pressing technique where the lacquer makes the Father or Master stamper. It is this master that makes the record -hence called ONE STEP-and when the Father is maxed out pressing records-- that lacquer and all it’s costs ($400ea just for the actual lacquer hardware and you need 8 for double albums), are gone/lost to production expenses and this is without extra engineering time to master and EQ. So these are precious and very expensive to make records.. Most three step albums, such as a direct to disc (which is a recording technique) and not mastered- just mixed)-are able to save the Father or master disc to make mothers and subsequent production stampers ( these cost considerably less than a master stamper). With instant recording and minimal production costs, D2D are favored with low budget projects. You can simultaneously also record hi Rez files and reel to reel while making the unmastered (it is mixed live) D2D lacquer. This cuts down studio and engineering costs considerably. In my case, using traditional studio tracking, Bernie would never agree to master my lacquer, create HiRez files and tape at the same time because they are different media and must be mastered a bit differently. The three step vinyl is also used to help keep pressing costs down and preserve the Father lacquer. Thanks to everyone for your support from all we artists-- we are grateful!!
NSP, Patricia Barber is a favorite of mine. She doesn't have a voice that I would call beautiful, but she is very expressive and she works around the beat as well as with it. Of the classic jazz vocalists, my favs are Ella and Billie.
Lyn Stanley had totally raised the bar IMHO in every way possible. Song choices, arrangements, sound and technical merit are the best I have heard in decades in any musical recording. Everything is painstakingly created to totally transport you into a world in which the romance of the song becomes one. She takes a great time period in music and IMHO makes it her own labor of love. It is not hard to become completely immersed in the recording. So intense to me I can listen to it over and over and discover yet another lavish, but not overdone detail that becomes the cornerstone of the best effort I have heard in any recording, The single-step process. WOW doesn’t even describe it. It is kind of like calling a reference standard speaker(pick your holy grail set here) just a radio.....NOT. It is times like this where passion, love for the culture, and sound of that time have became a celebration. This is IMHO her best yet, I can only imagine what the volume 2 will bring. This is a showcase in what is possible. If you haven’t got it...you do NOT know how good your rig can sound. Just sayin.
Anyone know if Vol. 2 of the Moonlight Sessions has been cancelled? I checked https://lynstanley.com this p.m. and couldn't find any mention of it. The last time I looked - a few months back - it was available for pre-order.