An afternoon with Lyn Stanley / part - time audiophile
Lyn Stanley and I first started chatting through email and social media right after I reviewed The Moonlight Sessions: Volume One on my blog back in August 2017. She's the type of performer–and there are many of them–who reach out and thank reviewers when they have kind words for her. After that, Lyn always made sure I had copies of her new releases, in formats that ranged from redbook CD to SACD to LP to reel-to-reel tape. Over the last two years I've had plenty of nice things to say about her and her music. She cares deeply about sound quality. She injects intelligence into her arrangements and musical themes. She has an enormous amount of respect for the history of jazz. Plus, I really dig her voice.
We met at the legendary Ocean Way Recording studios where I got to meet the equally legendary recording engineer Allen Sides,. who was extremely kind and generous with his time. Here's another small world moment for me–Allen and Lyn were keen on me listening to some of the digital masters from her recent Julie London sessions on a system featuring Ocean Way Audio components. The big two-way monitors sitting in the corner of the room looked familiar. I had actually auditioned them at length at one of my old dealers in New York City, and I really liked them. "Hey, I know these!" The sound through the much larger Ocean Way Audio HR3.5 floorstanding monitors was live and real and ultra-dynamic, almost the antithesis of "hi-fi." It sounded like the recording studio, raw and unfiltered, a living and breathing type of sound.
Best of all I had Lyn sitting next to me, giving me all the little details along the way like a film director delivering the DVD commentary. Hear that bassist? We got the same one who played with Julie London and Bobby Troup. Wait, this day I was a little hoarse, and you can here it…right…here. Nope, it actually sounds okay! We were listening to The Challenge LP for London with a Twist: Live at Bernie's where the listener can compare the direct-to-disc recording performed at Bernie Grundman Mastering with a tape-to-disc transfer, and Lyn told me how stressful and chaotic it was to do the direct-to-disc, and how tough it was to make it through to the end without mistakes, and how everyone got so excited in the final seconds knowing this was gonna be the one.