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  • Jonathan Widran

LYN STANLEY, Favorite Takes London With a Twist Live at Bernie's

Awarded Female Jazz Vocalist of the Year for 2018 by Los Angeles’ KKJZ, the country’s largest jazz station, interpreter extraordinaire Lyn Stanley’s heart and musical muse has been immersed in all things Julie London for the past year.

As its unique title might indicate, on Favorite Takes London With a Twist Live at Bernie’s, she finds a fresh and innovative way to create “Part 2” of a tribute series that began earlier in 2019 with the release of the 17- song sultry and sass masterwork London Calling: A Toast to Julie London.

In the liner notes and an exclusive full color booklet accompanying the CD, we learn about a challenging studio process called direct to disc recording, which bypasses the use of magnetic tape, recording audio directly onto an analog disc. Tracking live one number immediately after another leaves no room for fixing mistakes and requires a quick shift in mindset to the next tune in the cue.

Recorded at Bernie Grundman Mastering with five-time Grammy winning producer Allen Sides, the date finds Stanley vibing with a band so well-heeled and hipster that she calls them the Jazz Mavericks (pianists Otmaro Ruiz and Mike Lang, bassist Chuck Berghofer, guitarist John Chiodini, drummer Aaron Serfaty and percussionist Luis Conte).

It’s dazzling stuff that creates an exquisite audiophile experience, but don’t let all the tech coolness and star power distract you from enjoying Stanley’s magic at center stage. Buoyed by her cats, she winds, twists, bends and opens her heart via lush, lush, alternately whimsical/exuberant, whispery and intimate arrangements of classic London material that once again showcase Stanley’s effortless diversity and sense of reverence with adventurousness.

Just as on the first project, she slyly includes two outliers she imagines that London would have loved doing – in this case, sly, rambunctious takes on Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” (made famous by Natalie Cole) and Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.”

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