One Track Mind: Vincent Lyn, "Stolen Moments" (2011)

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Pianist Vincent Lyn puts a groove into Oliver Nelson’s classic lead-off number from his Blues And The Abstract Truth masterwork.

Leading off Vincent Lyn’s album as well, the jazz instrumentals+vocals Heaven Bound (self released last May), “Stolen Moments” has had its share of interpretations, but primarily within the straight jazz realm, and jazz vocalist Mark Murphy even added lyrics to it so he could sing it.

Lyn, who in the middle of his music career had taken the plunge into acting in various successful Hong Kong based films, wasn’t afraid to add a twist to Nelson’s sacred song, either. Opening the number on solo piano, he plays the familiar theme first with delicate grace and then swiftly moves into an aggressive dance … kind of like a martial arts fighter he’s portrayed in his films.

Backed by Camila Meza’s hollowed-bodied electric guitar, Joe Meo’s sax, Joe Sanchez’s electric bass, Gill Hawkins’ drums and Urbano Sanchez’s percussion, Lyn leads a tight boogie.

Meo tracks Lyn on the main melody and then each takes turns supplying the solos, followed by Meza’s sweetly soulful one. Meo’s is funky in line with the rhythm section and so is Lyn’s, who plays it with a lot of chops … not fusion chops, mind you, but real jazz ones.

And that’s why I don’t mind that he took a majestic, revered song such as “Stolen Moments” and made it into a tough groover: it’s apparent from listening to his take that he reveres the song, too.

A great melody that’s made danceable isn’t always a diluted song. In this case it’s a danceable number with a great melody.

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