Arthur Lyman's enchanted vibraphone conjures exotic magic on this 1959 LP. The Legend of Pele is a series of material loosely based on the elusive and transforming Hawaiian volcano goddess, creating soundscapes of land and fauna in awe of a powerful and unpredictable force. Lyman's vibe-powered lounge music is subtle as a tropical mist on "Cumana." Lyman's use of four-mallet vibes (a pair in each hand) and added instrumentation of guitar, ukulele, flute, and glockenspiel result in a mix that is unhindered by much mid- and low-range instrumentation. Thus soaring, Lyman provides aerial views of mysterious and beautiful oceanic utopias and dresses up such varied standards as "76 Trombones" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scherezade."
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AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte