Johnny Lytle

Fast Hands

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AllMusic Review by

It can be expected, in most cases, that Johnny Lytle will have a diverse selection of tunes for the listener. Lytle kicks this set off with "Sister Silver," a song written by the late vibist in honor of one of the lady elders from his hometown. With a piano-paced chorus introduction spiced up with a few saxophone riffs, Lytle patiently plays a single verse before giving way to the chorus introduction encore. As he returns to the verse, his oscillating mallets stroke the keys of the vibraphone with precision, concocting a swinging jazz melody which climaxes with a roaring saxophone solo by Houston Person. "Tomorrow" has a progressive jazzy rhythm arrangement contrasted by Lytle's pop delivery. And with a melody and rhythm that is indicative of its title, "Brightness" just bounces along with its effervescent spirit. Lytle tones it down on the midtempo vintage jazz composition, "Being Green," his vibes prudently shadowed every step of the way by the electric piano of Mickey Tucker; as Lytle poignantly expresses each lyric, Tucker hurls a stimulating exclamation. This number reaches its apex as Lytle and Tucker face off in an exchange of notes. Taken from his 1966 critically acclaimed album release The Loop, Lytle does another take on his former smash hit of the same year, "The Man," retaining the same groovin' rhythm but utilizing more notes from his sidemen. On the Duke Ellington standard "Blues to Be There," Lytle and Tucker humbly stroll through the intro, enabling Person to make a grand entrance by inflicting a bluesy saxophone on the first verse. Lytle counters with a melodious, titillating locution. This southern-seasoned blues number settles with Lytle, Tucker,and Person musing through the vamp. This is an enjoyable album.

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