Lyn Stanley is the darling of the audiophile community and she certainly knows how to press our collective buttons to get us all in a lather over her recordings. Not content with just releasing her music on CD, she also releases her output on Reel2Reel and very high quality vinyl too – you may have even caught one of her live performances at High-End Munich (Lyn featured on the front cover of Hifi Pig’s coverage of High End 2015) and other audio shows. 

Interludes-cover-photo-Hi-Rez-Jpeg-

Interludes is Lyn’s third offering and came to life in January 2015 at a jazz conference hosted by her publicist Jim Eigo where she was introduced to the harmonica player Hendrick Meurkins who plays on four of the tracks on Interludes. The album is recorded at United Recording Studios in Hollywood by Al Schmitt and is a collection of songs that “express the many facets of love’s entrances and exits, pieces that struck a chord”. Interestingly Lyn uses, as she has on previous work, a Neumann U47 tube microphone that is over sixty years old and called Telly – this very microphone was Frank Sinatra’s favourite and it is kept in a special box at Capitol Recording Studio with the name “Frank” on it… there you go, that’s one of the buttons pressed already!

Interludes opens with Lyn’s voice alone singing the opening bars to Gershwin’s How Long Has this Been Going On? Before the band join her and this tune sets the tone beautifully for what is to follow. I was expecting an album of jazz standards but Lyn has really thought about the tunes on Interludes. Yes you have Billie Holiday’s Don’t Explain, Sinatra’s I’m a Fool To Want You and Duke Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood plus Cole Porter’s Just One Of Those Things and the album’s opening tune by Gershwin, but there’s also an absolutely sublime version of Black Velvet and a fabulous adaptation of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.

Laidback, beautifully produced jazz is the order of the day of course, but the arrangements and production herein really set Interludes apart from the pack. Lyn’s vocal delivery is gloriously rich and the musicianship on Interludes is second to none making it a must buy for anyone that enjoys this genre. However, there is enough on this record to hold the interest of those with only a passing interest in cool jazz and personally I’d buy it just for the aforementioned Whole Lotta Love…

So, you have the sultry vocal, great song choice and arrangements, plus amazing musicianship, but add to that pot a healthy dose of brilliant production and you have an album that will get your average audiophile hot under the collar and itching to play Interludes to anyone that will listen as it will really make your system shine. Expect to hear this record played at lots of the audio shows!

Stuart Smith

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