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Lyn Stanley - The Moonlight Sessions Volume One / jazz & blues report

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A former corporate marketing executive, Southern California vocalist Lyn Stanley has produced this, the first of two volumes that is directed not simply at jazz enthusiasts but also audiophiles, with SACD, hi resolution downloads, high end 45 RPM vinyl editions and even 15ips reel to reel tapes.

She certainly has assembled a stellar cast of play- ers for this recording session: pianists Mike Garson, Christian Jacob and Tamir Hendelman, guitarist John Chiodini, bassist Chuck Berghofer, drummer Joe La Barbara, percussionist Luis Conte, harmonica maestro Hendrik Meurkens, tenor-saxophonist Rickey Woo- dard, and trumpeter/trombone player Chuck Findley. Garson, Hendelman, Jacob, Chiodini and Doug Wal- ter provided the arrangements on the standards and adaptations of pop songs.

Stanley is a marvelous song stylist as opposed to a scatting jazz vocalist who delivers a program of "All or Nothing at All," "My Funny Valentine," "Embraceable You," "Why Don't You Do Right," "Crazy," "Close Your Eyes," and "in the Wee Small Hours," with a soft, sultry voice and direct, clean articulation of the lyrics.

Her natural phrasing and delivery also contributes to the wonderful performances, along with the marvelous musicians, such as Findlay's trumpet on the opening "All or Nothing at All," with wonderful piano and the brassy horn riffs. 

Woodard's tenor sax adds his magic to "Willow Weep For Me," as he embroiders her vocal with guitarist Chiodini adding chords and fills.Meurkens adds his harmonica to a Brazilian tinged treatment of "Close Your Eyes," while harmonica and Chiodini's guitar to the lament, "How Insensitive, " that she sings in a heartfelt fashion.

One here's a definite Peggy Lee influence on her rendition of "Why Don't You Do Right?' that opens with finger-snapping, bass and guitar before La Barbara lightly brushes with Berghofer taking a solo and the choice of the Willie Nelson penned Patsy Cline hit, "Crazy," is an inspired choice with Berghofer opening playing the opening line before the band comes in with a juke joint feel and Findlay and the horns contribute extra spice. 

Another softly sung late night lament, "In the Wee Wee Hours," with Meurkens' harmonica comple- mented by Chiodini's guitar accompaniment and La Barbera's brushes providing the right atmosphere for this marvelous closing performance on a wonderfully sung, played, and recorded album of sophisticated jazz vocals.