Now here's something you don't chance upon every day: Lyn Stanley's a top-drawer ballroom dancer, who six months after she scored a huge win (USA Pro/Am Champ), debuted as a singer under the mentorship of esteemed pianist Paul Smith, accompanist and arranger for Ella Fitzgerald. The 6'5" gentleman, who wryly commented that he had "the hands of a truck driver", passed on to The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky on June 29 this year at the—yow!—ripe old age of 91, but he's quite nicely covered here by several ivory ticklers, especially Tamir Hendelman and Mike Lang. Ms. Stanley, appropriately, appears in an Avedon-ish cover photograph decidedly Garbo/Deitrich-esque, a depiction entirely in keeping with her métier because the smooth, clean, clear, Golden Age vocals she renders in Lost in Romance are decidedly of another era.
With a blend of Garland, Streisand, Tenille, Newton-John, Clooney, and others, not to mention the swanky uptown nightclub vibe endowed by a rotating menu of skilled musicians, atmospherics range from classy Gatsby venues to lamp-lit stages to late-nite parlors, dens for those familiar with the sophistications of the vocal arts and quietly hungry for intimate recitals bringing back memories and lost moments, not to mention the prospects of romance here and now.
Favorite cut? Watch What Happens. It's flawless, though I'm not terribly impressed with I Just Want to Make Love to You, not sure that blues standard translates well to jazz. Besides, it's a bit rushed in places, though well made up for in the equally swingin' What am I Gonna Do with a Bad Boy like You?, a cut that contains more than few touches of Lorraine Feather, lyrically and laryngeally. George Harrison's Something gets a very interesting piano bar jazz treatment, lightly refurbished with a stronger more determined encantation despite the lyrical dubieties of the original, emphasizing underlying convictions over emotional trepidation, steely certainty more dominant but in several places offset by wistful angst, thus maintaining the aesthetic tension. And that might best delineate Stanley's cardinal strength, that ability to locate a drive that overcomes all reason to hold back when love comes calling, that urge to take the risk and finally attain to what every human being longs to embrace.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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