Lyn Stanley’s “London With a Twist Favorite Takes Live at Bernie’s” charms with modern classics


Lyn Stanley continues to amaze fans and critics alike. Her latest release, “Lyn Stanley’s Favorite Takes London With a Twist Live at Bernie’s” is a direct-to-CD recording. Without the convenience of magnetic tape, or the opportunity to edit or “fix” later, the music is recorded directly onto an analog disc. The musicians play straight through, and if a mistake is made, either they stop playing or they continue.

The result is a vibrant album that finds Stanley making classics sound like her own. Songs originally done by a range of artists from Cole Porter to Bruce Springsteen, take on a different vibe with Stanley’s sultry voice giving them life.

Two songs not to miss on the album are “Pink Cadillac” and “In the Still of the Night.” Her voice and phrasing and the stellar soundscape created by the skilled musicians she plays with make songs that people have found exciting for decades will allow audiences to re-think them, and perhaps find a new appreciation for them.

In 2018, Stanley was named Female Vocalist of the Year by Saul Levine, programmer for KKJZ-FM, Los Angeles’ top jazz station. She has been amassing an audience since 2010. Her albums have sold steadily, which is no easy feat for someone who built a jazz career seemingl y out of nowhere, except from a place that loves the genre.

Stanley is joined on “Favorite Takes…” by Otmaro Ruiz and Mike Lang on piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass, Aaron Serfaty on drums, John Chiodini on guitar and Luis Conte on percussion.

“Pink Cadillac” by Lyn Stanley

The 1984 unofficial B-side to “Born in the USA,” Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” has the early days of rock ‘n’ roll feel that made it an instant classic. In Stanley’s version, her sultry voice stops just short of being steely. The song begins with what almost sounds like a Latin rhythm, but it quickly morphs into a bluesy, kind of Louisiana rhythm-based song. The piano sways in rollicking chords, drums thump out a complementary beat. Stanley’s phrasing and inflections make the song’s lyrics clear. The song becomes fun and upbeat in the hands of Stanley and company.

“In the Still of the Night” by Lyn Stanley

An energized bass begins running the rhythm section. The piano, guitar and drums play quick and light notes at the same time that the bass continues its groove. The piano and guitar work at almost the mid-point of the song is a nice touch for the song’s texture. The big drum finish sounds like a celebration.

This is the last song on the recording, so there is kind of a sense of triumph. Throughout, Stanley’s voice is gentle, romantic. She blends in with the vibrant cheer of the soundscape, but not in a way that drowns her out. Stanley is cool and calm as she brings the romantic classic to life. With a little swing and a lot of heart, she makes it clear that the songs she’s chosen mean a great deal to her.

“Lyn Stanley’s Favorite Takes London With a Twist Live at Bernie’s” has been available from CDBaby since June 30.


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