Johnny Lytle (vib), Milt Harris (org), Albert 'Tootie' Heath, William 'Peppy' Hinnant (d)
Reference: FSRCD 696
Bar code: 8427328606967
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.