Arthur Lyman

Yellow Bird

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Arthur Lyman's enchanted vibraphone conjures exotic magic on this HiFi reissue. Yellow Bird leans more on the cornucopia of actual birdcalls that became Lyman's musical signature later on. Lyman delivers intoxicatingly rich music in the dense interplay of guiro (South American scraped gourd), maracas, and tambourine with the vibes in "Bamboo Taboo." Lyman's use of four-mallet vibes (a pair in each hand) and added instrumentation of guitar, ukulele, flute, glockenspiel, and others results 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 "Havah Nagilah" and the American folk work song "John Henry" to percussive effect. Also here, Lyman switches to the wooden, vibrato-less marimba and adds bass and piano for an unusually deep dive in plumbing the depths of "Arrive Derci Roma."

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