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Take your front-row seat and watch Lyn and her Jazz Mavericks' dynamic LIVE audience Julie London tribute show recorded at Capitol Recording Studio A. Engineered by Allen Sides (recording and mixing) and authored by MSM Studios in Munich Germany, this rare concert video offers surround sound (5.1), Stereo 192/24bit, Dolby Atmos and 1080 video quality for an up-close experience as you watch this live performance recorded on June 1, 2019.
"Regular readers may have gathered that I'm unlikely to be found listening to jazz. Which is why I've surprised myself this month by sitting down with a new live music recording with more brushed hi-hats and walking double basslines than you can shake a saxophone at.
The release in question is Live at Studio A, from award-winning vocalist Lyn Stanley and her Jazz Mavericks backing band. This features a tracklist ranging from As Time Goes By and Route 66 to Let There Be Love and Every Time We Say Goodbye. My cat gave me some quizzical looks, wondering what had happened to Aerosmith.
What caught my eye about this release is its multi-format approach. Stanley and her production team have set out to deliver a recording of the highest quality, which means that in addition to the expected 16-bit/44kHz CD, there's also a hybrid SACD version (including 5.1 and stereo options), and a Blu-ray platter, which adds video footage of the 2019 session at Los Angeles' Capitol Studios to DTS-HD MA stereo and 5.1 versions - and Dolby Atmos.
The decision to include the latter dovetails with what my colleague Steve May discusses elsewhere in this issue - the growing realisation that Dolby Atmos and music can work well together. Here, of course, it's accompanied by visuals, but in truth this is a disc that encourages you to close your eyes. Both the multichannel presentations deliver that in-the-room feeling, and the Atmos track really sells the connection between you, Stanley and her players.
Beyond this, each iteration stands out from plenty of discs in my collection by virtue of the sheer sense of fidelity. Percussive tings and tocks seem to hang in the air, bass notes have plump volume, and Stanley's fluid, smooth and sassy vocals pour from the speakers.
It's demo-grade stuff, and had me suddenly worried that I'd been missing out on a whole secret underworld of Atmos jazz recordings. Perhaps I have, but it also transpires that Stanley is a bit of an outlier, being both a musician and a technophile. Two years ago she told our sister magazine Hi-Fi Choice that she grew up in a house with McIntosh separates, TEAC reel-to-real machine and Technics turntable; more recently she's experimented with recording both to 24-track 2in analogue tape and digitally at 32-bit/192kHz, mixing up the formats on the same album.
And Stanley's ethos is 'what you put in you will get out,' reasoning that well-recorded content will sound grand even on 'modest' systems. That's a point of view I can get behind. I'm not denying that a high-grade system will - most of the time - outperform an affordable rival, but what you play through it will be the final arbiter. (More so with music perhaps. In the home cinema arena, we're fortunate that there's been a clear progression in some aspects of movie soundmixes, with modern blockbusters typically more expansive, dynamic and immersive than their 1960s counterparts).
The danger, of course, is that the pursuit of demo-worthy material, content that's recorded, mixed and mastered with care, leads you down a rabbit hole of listening to any old nonsense. Yet Stanley's platter doesn't fall into that category. I've been humming her arrangement of Pink Cadillac all week. Dolby Atmos jazz - who'd a thunk it?" - Mark Craven, Home Cinema Choice, www.homecinemachoice.com
- First pressing limited to 700 copies
- 2 Blu-Ray Discs
- Immersive Supersonic Audio™
- 5.1 Surround Sound
- High Definition 192/24 bit Stereo
- Dolby Atmos
- High-Definition 1080p video
- Recorded at Capitol Recording Studio A, Hollywood, CA on June 1, 2019
- Recording & Mixing Engineer: Allen Sides
- Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman
- Authored by MSM Studios in Munich, Germany
- Two-tray DigiPak
- 20-page booklet with liner note contributions by UK audiophile writer Neville Roberts and Lyn Stanley
- Pink Cadillac
- Route 66
- Blue Moon
- You The Night And The Music
- Go Slow / Nice Girls Don't Stay For Breakfast - Medley
- Let There Be Love
- Goody Goody
- Love Letters
- As Time Goes By
- In The Still Of The Night
- Lover Man
- Cry Me A River
- Girl Talk
- You Never Can Tell
- Bye Bye Blackbird
- Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (Credits: 192/24 bit Audio Only)