4 STAR Album Review by Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones-Jazz Critic FM Fine Music, Sidney Australia.

“Potions [from the 50s-This is a poignant tribute by Lyn Stanley to her mentor, the late jazz pianist Paul Smith, who worked closely with her for three years before his death in 2013 at the age of 91. Smith, who worked with such stellar performer is as Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day and Mel Torme, was a perfectionist and demanded nothing but the best from the former champion ballroom dancer. This is why the final track, Gershwin’s classic, ‘The Man I Love,’ an achingly sensitive duet with pianist Kenny Werner, is included on this album, her second, which spotlights some of the popular music of the 1950s. It was the first song Smith heard her sing. Stanley’s lush, rich voice purrs through jazz-styled versions of some of the best non-rock songs of the era although she covers ‘Love Potion No.9,’ Fat’s Domino’s ‘I’m Walkin’ and ‘In The Still of The Night,’ not the Cole Porter standard, but a ‘hit’ [also The Thrill Is Gone] popularized by B.B. King and The Satins. It takes courage to sing songs associated with one particular artist -‘Misty’ (Sarah Vaughan), ‘Hey There’ ( Rosemary Clooney), ‘Cry Me A River’ (Julie London) for example, but she shines in doing so. Her voice is quietly expressive but full of inner passion on the ballads ‘You Don’t Know Me” and “The Thrill Is Gone”-my favourite track. The backing is impeccable with the tenor of Rickey Woodard a standout. Her assured phrasing leaves the listener wanting more. I, for one, am looking forward to her next album.”