Johnny Lytle (vb), Milt Harris (org), Albert 'Tootie' Heath, William 'Peppy' Hinnant (d)
Reference: FSRCD 696
Influenced by Milt Jackson, Cal Tjader and Lionel Hampton, who hailed him as one of the greatest vibes players on the scene today, Johnny Lyttle (born October 13, 1932) was noted for his brilliant technique and a personal sound ideal for the kind of grooving organ combo he led on Blue Vibes and Happy Ground, his debut albums from the 60s included here.
He was good enough to record with the best Louis Armstrong, Hampton, Wynton Kelly, even Miles Davis but, despite a prolific recording career, never achieved iconic status as a jazzman. That was probably more due to his desire for control over his music, which made him refuse to sign up for any major label, than to any lack of talent on his part. After these early recordings gave notice of his talent as a vibes player, chart success soon followed for Lyttle with albums like A Groove, The Loop and Moonchild, which increasingly featured his own compositions.
Whether swinging at uptempo or delivering a soulful ballad, all his work has the irresistible, soul-stirring warmth of a player admiringly nicknamed Fast Hands by his peers.
01. Blue Vibes (Johnny Lytle) 5:37
02. Over the Rainbow (Arlen-Harburg) 5:15
03. For Heavens Sake (Meyer-Bretton) 4:35
04. Movin Nicely (Milt Jackson) 4:56
05. Autumn Leaves (Mercer-Kosma-Prevert) 7:06
06. Mister Strudel (Lytle-Schwartz) 6:27
07. Canadian Sunset (Heywood-Gimbel) 6:21
08. Lela (Johnny Lytle) 4:13
09. Secret Love (Webster-Fain) 6:51
10. When I Fall In Love (Heyman-Young) 4:24
11. Tag Along (Clark-Ness) 3:12
12. Its All Right with Me (Cole Porter) 5:36
13. Happy Ground (Johnny Lytle) 7:13
14. My Funny Valentine (Rodgers-Hart) 4:12
15. Take the A Train (Billy Strayhorn) 2:50
Tracks #1-7, from the 12" album
Blue Vibes (Jazzland R 922)
Tracks #8-15, from the 12" album
Happy Ground (Riverside R 9470)
Personnel on "Blue Vibes":
Johnny Lytle (vibes); Milt Harris (organ); Albert Heath (drums).
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, on June 16, 1960
Personnel on "Happy Ground":
Johnny Lytle (vibes); Milt Harris (organ); William Peppy Hinnant (drums).
Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City, on March 23, 1961
Original recordings produced by Orrin Keepnews
Sound engineer: Ray Fowler
Original art designed by Ken Deardoff
"Blue Vibes" cover photo: Lawrence N. Shustack
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol.
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered