Search - Johnny Lytle :: Moonchild

Johnny Lytle
Genre: Jazz


CD Details

All Artists: Johnny Lytle
Title: Moonchild
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Muse Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 3/17/1994
Genre: Jazz
Styles: Soul-Jazz & Boogaloo, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 016565543128, 016565543142

CD Reviews

Jasper | New England | 02/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Moonchild" (one word), is not to be confused with "Moon Child" (two words), which is a 1962 Lylte LP. Johnny Lytle had a habit of naming LPs he recorded in the 80s and 90s after ones he'd recorded in the 60s. These later LPs usually featured a reworked version of the title tune from the similarly/same-named 60s set. This may be confusing, but it is not bad, as these later albums turned out to be quite excellent. This particular "Moonchild" was recorded in NYC in August 1991, for a 1992 release date. It finds Lytle in top form. If you have a familiarity with this most mesmerizing of vibes players, then you may be aware that he was a man concerned with the quality of his musical output. By all accounts, Lytle was a man of character, and the effort and joy he put into every recording bears this out.

Right off the bat with "Meet Ben Bailey," our listening is payed off with the bright, luminous tones of Lytle's vibes as enchanting as ever over a percolating percussion groove in the timelessly hip fashion of his 60s/70s works. Some experimentation with more modern forms follows with an unconventional version of "Caravan," featuring a contemporary urban funk shuffle. Everything done over that beat, however, sticks to a classic sort of 60s sensibility, though there ARE tiny manifestation of some of the musical history which had transpired since then. The remaining tracks are firmly in the classic mode. A couple more standouts are the relaxed A-Train-esque bop of "Watch What Happens" and the bright, up-tempo swing of "Well You Needn't."

Of course all of these tunes are longer than the numbers on the classic 60s Lytle LPs, with four of them passing the eight minute mark. This leaves plenty of room for more expansive soloing, and whilst everyone gets in on the act, Lytle remains the driving force.

The personnel:

Johnny Lytle - vibes
Houston Person - tenor sax
Benny Green - piano
Ray Drummond - bass
Cecil Brooks III - drums
Sammy Figueroa - percussion

Length: 52:45

This set is very solid throughout, and lovers of the classic Lytle sound should be well pleased. As far as his 80s and 90s works go, I'd rate this second only to "Possum Grease." Folks new to Lytle should start out with one of his 60s classics (some of which are twofers on CD) such as "The Village Caller!," "Got That Feeling/Moonchild," "The Loop/New & Groovy," and "Nice & Easy."