BWW Review: Creativity Flourishes with MOONLIGHT SESSIONS
International jazz vocalist Lyn Stanley has done it again. Her newest project The Moonlight Sessions Volume One is a knockout with some of the finest orchestrations and vocal arrangements to be heard anywhere ... period. This is her fourth major album in five years, with Volume Two to be released in August.
Stanley puts a lot of love into the enterprise; this goes without saying. Especially with ths project which had its beginning on FB with a secret society of members who helped with the promotion. She generated interest by letting FB members join and then make decisions about the choice of songs and the recording and engineering processes. Their devotion and funds helped to get the vinyl pressed. Stanley has had tremendous star power in the audio world in Japan and Germany; now she reigns supreme on her own territory. And in today's jazz world this is something to shout about.
There is such versatility present in her vocal artistry. Her creativity takes her into unchartered territory, where no previous jazz singer has dared to go. Take for example her opening number. The orchestra plays a familiar segment of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" that quickly and smoothly leads to Stanley's vocals on "All or Nothing At All". Like magic! Who would ever imagine that the two would blend together with such a great sound? Stanley has an ear for such arrangements. She has a soft, subtle, low-key approach to "Embraceable You", "Moonlight Serenade" and "My Funny Valentine", concentrating intensely on the lyrics and the message of each song. But for me, the sexiest one of all is "Close Your Eyes". Her presence is so warm and intimate. Then there's that consummate phrasing on the catchy "Why Don't You Do Right?" What a fantastic harmonica accompaniment on "How Insensitive"...and ... there's a new spin on "Crazy". I have always loved Patsy Cline but Stanley grabs hold of this tune in her seemingly nonchalant upbeat delivery accompanied by the ultimate brassy orchestrations behind her and you could swear you are hearing a brand new song.
This dynamically classy album will be followed up in August with Volume Two which contains "Makin' Whoopee", "At Seventeen" and "Angel Eyes" among a dozen or so others. The great thing about Stanley's voice is that not only is it deep and rich but it has an incredible range. She's up, bright and playful with one song and then slips into a ballad with a slow sultry assault that will take your breath away. It's as if she has personally experienced every song. She knows them inside and out. Don't miss The Moonlight Sessions, Volume One available now and Volume Two in August. Double wow!
Go to Spotify to listen:
01. All or Nothing at All (feat. Christian Jacob)
02. Willow Weep for Me (feat. Tamir Hendelman)
03. Moonlight Serenade (feat. Christian Jacob)
04. My Funny Valentine (feat. Mike Garson)
05. Embraceable You (feat. Tamir Hendelman)
06. Why Don't You Do Right?
07. Girl Talk (feat. Mike Garson)
08. Crazy (feat. Mike Garson)
09. Close Your Eyes (feat. Mike Garson)
10. How Insensitive (feat. Tamir Hendelman)
11. Break It to Me Gently (feat. Mike Garson)
12. In the Wee Small Hours