Grammy Voters for FYC auditions contact Info@lynstanley.com for private link to Interludes album.
In the middle of Saturday afternoon at AXPONA 2016 in Chicago, I witnessed what is surely the most demanding test of an audio system there can be—an A/B showdown with The Real Thing. A crowd of around 50 gathered in front of a pricey system
in the Legacy loudspeaker room— several systems, actually—to listen to the playback of recordings featuring a sultry-voiced alto singing popular songs from the mid-20th century, supported on disc by elegantly idiomatic small group jazz arrangements. What made the demonstration unusual was that the artist in question, Lyn Stanley, was standing between the speakers, occasionally singing along with her recorded self. Talk about “the absolute sound” as a benchmark: You can run but you can’t hide.
Stanley has become a fixture at audio shows, in the U.S. and abroad, and has done this kind of demonstration many times. Always a striking presence—she’s a professional ballroom dancer as well as a chanteuse and looks the part, which tends to make her stand out in a crowd of sartorially-challenged audiophiles— Stanley cogently explains to her rapt audience what they should be listening for, musically and sonically. Over the past several years, Stanley has recorded and released three exceptional albums, Lost in Romance (2013), Potions [from the 50’s] (2014), and Interludes (2015). All three are available as hybrid stereo SACDs, on vinyl, and most recently as highresolution downloads from Stanley’s new website, simplythebestdownloads.com. The next two planned projects are a collection of ballads that will honor tenor saxophone great Stanley Turrentine and a big band album that focuses on dance music associated with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly.
Just as notable as the musical and sonic merits of Stanley’s work is her take-charge approach to the creative process that eventuates in a recording. She takes responsibility for every aspect of that process, including hiring the best collaborating musicians and recording professionals—people like recording/mixing engineer Al Schmitt and mastering guru Bernie Grundman. With Interludes, Stanley has also taken on the role of producer, and it’s no mere honorific in this instance.
In person, Lyn Stanley is affable and articulate. To allow the singer to fully expand on her ideas regarding recorded performance and sound, I submitted to her some written queries that she addressed over several weeks; her responses are excerpted here.
This review was originally posted on parttimeaudiophile.com.
It’s not often you attend an audio show demo where a song’s actual singer shows up for an impromptu live versus Memorex moment.
Just such an unlikely event has happened to me twice in the last 18 months, though, both times thanks to the irrepressible jazz vocalist Lyn Stanley.
At the 2014 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, the artist popped into the Valve Amplification Co. room just as her second album, “Potions,” had begun to spin. Stanley responded by treating me and a half-dozen others in the room to a brief sing-along.
In Chicago at AXPONA 2016, Stanley followed up a record-signing appearance at the Elusive Disc in the lobby with a visit to the Kyomi Audio installation on the lower level.
AXPONA coverage brought to you by Underwood HiFi, Exogal and Emerald Physics
As a track from her new album “Interludes” played, Stanley pitted her unamplified pipes against the Kyomi system, which included Marten’s new Coltrane 3 speakers ($100,000 a pair), Convergent Audio Technology monoblocks ($31,990 a pair) and CAT SL-1 Legend preamp/phono stage ($27,990). Turntable was the TechDAS Air Force 3 ($27,000), outfitted with a Graham Phantom Elite 12-inch tonearm ($14,000) and a Van den Hul Colibri Stradivarius cartridge ($7,995). The CD transport was MBL’s 1621A ($28,000) and decoding the ones and zeros was the Merging Technologies NADAC ($10,500).
You have to hand it to Stanley, who may be, if not the hardest-working modern jazz performer, certainly the most determined. Becoming a singer only a few years ago after career stints in dancing and advertising, she self-funds her audiophile-quality albums and markets them as a whirlwind, one-woman promotional force.
In the Kyomi room, the glamorous Stanley cut loose with plenty of stories (including getting permission to use Frank Sinatra’s microphone at Capitol Studios), dancing, and, of course, singing. She accompanied an entire side of her album, including sultry takes on “Last Tango in Paris” and “Whole Lotta Love.”
The Marten-CAT system did a remarkable job, with Stanley’s recorded vocals faring quite well in comparison to the real thing. In particular, the loudspeakers conveyed how much Stanley’s phrasing, pitch and breath control have improved since her debut.
The sound of the piano, played by Mike Garson, accurately captured the David Bowie sideman’s tone and spirited attack. Bass, meanwhile, was full and audible down to the lower depths.
Lyn Stanley in the flesh is a hard act to follow, but Kyomi pressed on with impressive recorded cuts from Charlie Byrd and John Lee Hooker. No matter whether the performer was physically present to not, the system approached the real thing.
Lyn Stanley’s show in Munich, Germany on May 5 – 8 was a huge success. All tickets for her Interludes show were sold out in no time.
This review originally appeared on parttimeaudiophile.com. You can read the entire article here.
Visited the room on day one, and it was already sounding good. Very good. My initial thought was that this was the best I’ve heard EAR Yoshino electronics sound in shows for a while now. Bob Dylan’s classic Oh Mercy LP was spinning on Tim De Paravicini’s Disc Master turntable ($28.500), there was the EAR 912 reference preamplifier or as Tim calls it a “professional tube control center”, a pair of 509 power amps good for 100W/8Ohms connected to a pair of Rockport Atria speakers.
This would have been sufficient for me to give this set up some coverage but then I had the chance of bumping into Lyn Stanley, who presented her latest record Interludes in the place using Tim’s notoriously good modified Denon 610 R2R player and her own voice accompanying the tapes for those lucky enough to be found in the room at the right moment. They gave a run on the new record made from those exact tapes (yes, this is an all analog recording and not some digital to analog transfer, go buy it) but admittedly the master tape was deeper sounding, more fleshy if you allow me the term. Tim’s top of the line electronics can sound extraordinary even in show conditions.
Wow! I knew that this American singer has a great voice, temperament and that she employs only top people in production and mastering. But what the shooting star of the audiophile scene blows out with her new album is breathtaking even for hard-boiled listeners. The singer appears from nowhere directly between the speakers, has the intro for herself before the musicians come in. Her previous two albums were also show-stoppers, but Lyn Stanley took the cake musically and tonally with the 14 standards of “Interludes”. If there were 6 stars for sound – she deserves them.
Lyn Stanley is happy to perform at the Ascap Expo (Sennheiser Exhibit) at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood, California April 28 – 30.
Lyn Stanley will be performing at the Axpona in Chicago, Illinois from April 14-17. The show will take place at the Westin O’Hare.
Lyn is featured in the Legacy Showroom (Madison Ballroom) and by record sellers Elusive Disc (Marketplace).