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Just played Lyn Stanley's latest jazz vocal, Moonlight Sessions vol.1, on 180g 45 rpm vinyl. It is outstanding from both a musical and sonic perspective. If I had to describe Stanley's musical approach in one word, that word would be intimate. I found myself imagining a smoky after-hours club where I sat nursing a drink and wounded feelings while being consoled by a torch singer who made me believe I was the only person she was singing to - and that she understood. Her intonation is precise, her pitch perfect, and her technique is always appropriate for the emotion she seeks to convey. So far, my favorites include Willow Weep for Me, Moonlight Serenade, My Funny Valentine, How Insensitive, and In the Wee Small Hours. The sonics are spectacular, as you would expect from recording engineer Al Schmitt and mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. But there is another trick up this LP's sleeve: the "one step" pressing process that cuts two generations out of the record making chain. I can see this becoming standard fare at audio show demonstrations, and will be in heavy rotation at my place for the foreseeable future.
I listened briefly to Ms Stanley and she is indeed a sweet singer, backed by bunch of fine session-men. I have to say that I look back with some regret regarding almost all of the "audiophile" LP's I bought with my hard-earned dollars in the 80's. Take for example the Sheffield Labs stuff: off-the-main-track orchestras doing classical schlagers, big bands warming-over the hits of the swing era, etc etc. Terrific sounding discs but they've not withstood the test of time. Who the hell were Amanda McBroom and/or Lincoln Mayorga anyway!? Who cares?
In hindsight, I see I was "using the music to listen to my equipment" instead of the other way around. No bueno.
The good news is that I found a few in a box in back of the closet and sold them for BIG BUX in the current record-buying craze that has gripped today's hipsters.
Well, I have a few D-2-D LPs from that era, some of which are outstanding both sonically and musically, and others that, frankly, I wouldn't bother using as frisbies. Technology must always be viewed as a means, not an end. If the program material is banal, it will retain that identity no matter what whizzbangs are used in the recording process. Happily, as I hope I conveyed in my review of Lyn Stanley's latest release, this LP is a great marriage of technology and artistry. Just my $.02, YMMV.
I heard this album at the Munich show last month. In fact Ms. Stanley brought it into the dem room herself and sang with her recorded self at one point.
She was standing about 4ft away from me and it was astounding to hear the close similarity of her voice live and her voice coming from the loudspeakers. It was as if she was double tracking (which in a way she was).
The album sounded wonderful and that system succesfully performed one of the hardest live v. recorded tests that I have witnesssed. Mind you one would have to have quite a large disposable income to afford it ( I don't know what the turntable or cartridge were but there was a Triplanar arm, Vitus amplification and Peak Consult speakers. Oh and Purist Audio Design wires as it says on the banner. See photo ( sorry, not great I only had a phone due to @!!&*!! airline baggage restrictions).
Sounds like a winner! But the only price I can find is $100. That's a lot. Is there somewhere else selling it cheaper?
As it is a one step mastering only a limited number of copies can be produced. Once sold that is it, no more. It is also 2 x 12" 45rpm discs so I would not expect to see it for much less ( give or take a couple of cents :). For example the one step Bill Evans Sunday at the Village Vanguard was also $100 and has sold out.
Over here in the UK it is 120 of Her Majesty's pounds.
I guess it will have to be a record I really treasure. I'm not familiar with the artist.
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