Johnny Lytle

Got That Feeling!

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Those who read jazz publications in the 1960s encountered many scathing attacks on soul-jazz and organ combos. Many critics disliked the idea of jazz regaining its commercial appeal (something it had during the swing era) and being groove minded, which is ironic because those same journalists were equally critical of the abstract, uncommercial experimentation that was coming from jazz's avant-garde. People who played soul-jazz didn't necessarily dislike free jazz -- some loved it, some hated it -- but they were realistic enough to understand that the genre needed to have some accessible releases if it was going to sell. And even though vibist Johnny Lytle and his soul-jazz colleagues didn't outsell the Beatles or Marvin Gaye, they fought a valiant battle to keep jazz's audience from continuing to shrink. Produced by Orrin Keepnews in 1963, Got That Feeling! is exactly what it set out to be -- groove-oriented and infectious, but swinging, improvisatory, and imaginative. The material on this LP isn't difficult to absorb; accessibility was Lytle's goal, and he accomplishes that goal on original tunes as well as lyrical versions of Ernesto Lecuona's "The Breeze and I" and the Gershwin standards "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and "It Ain't Necessarily So." Also memorable is Lytle's performance of "Pow-Wow," a Nat Adderley/Joe Zawinul gem with a strong Native American influence. The vibist's accompaniment on this CD consists of organist Milt Harris, bassist Steve Cooper, and drummer Petty Linnant -- a solid team that helps Lytle make Got That Feeling! the creative success that it is.

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