181

Bobby Lyle: Hands On

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Bobby Lyle: Hands On Bobby Lyle has covered a lot of ground in his career. The keyboard/pianist's versatility has surfaced through his efforts as music director for artists like Bette Midler, Al Jarreau and Anita Baker—and jamming, recording or touring with such giants as Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, the Ronnie Laws Band and George Benson. A little bit of everything from Lyle's experience is present on Hands On, a combination of funk, R&B and smooth jazz.

Overall, the album is a bit formulaic. The twelve tracks have less than a one-minute variance. From the 3:42 cover of the Emotions' "Best of My Love to the 4:37 take on the classic "Poinciana, every song fits neatly into the restraints demanded of commercial radio. In addition, Lyle includes some degree of programming on all but the last four tracks, although he includes other musicians—including bassists and a drummer—on most of the songs. It seems to be a requirement among today's instrumentalists.

Hands On opens with the playful "Passion Drive, an easy-going groove that features Dave Caseras on saxophone and Todd Parsnow on guitar. The title song has a strong groove, with Martin Walters providing a funky bass line and Joe Vincelli adding the alto sax lead. Lyle's work on the keys makes this a winner, despite the artificial-sounding drum program. He does a better job of simulating drums on the original ballad "Lost In Our Love, which features co-writer Peabo Bryson on lead vocal. This beautiful song may have the best chance at getting widespread airplay, though the fact that Lyle is present may get lost behind Bryson's easily distinguishable voice.

Lovers of traditional jazz may appreciate Lyle's presentation of "Poinciana. With John Adams on bass, Jorge Ginorio on percussion and Parsnow on guitar, Lyle treats listeners to an entree of piano elegance. It's relaxing but not sleep-inducing. Lyle also demonstrates some excellent fingering on a nearly faithful cover of the Doobie Brothers' "Minute By Minute. And "El Paquito, where Lyle is accompanied only by Walters and guitarist Brennen Nase, is an excellent Latin piece.

All but three of the tracks on Hands On are originals, giving the project an air of freshness, in spite of its formulaic elements. While the format-friendly time restraints and programming may turn off hard-core jazz fans, it's still a good album and should be played all the way through at least once. The textbook smooth jazz factors are there, but thanks to Lyle's songwriting and keyboard skills, they don't dominate. Instead of being boring, the music is a mix of charming, laid-back, romantic and danceable grooves.


Track Listing: Passion Drive; Best of My Love; Hands On; Lost In Our Love; Fancy Pants; Poinciana; Minute by Minute; True Spirit; El Paquito; Take a Step; Return of the Genie; Beth.

Personnel: Bobby Lyle: keyboards, programming; Dave Caseras, Wayne DeLano: saxophone; Todd Parsnow, John Calderon: guitar; Larry Kimpel, Martin Walters, Keith Vivens, John Adams: bass; Larry Spencer: trumpet; Keith Adkins: trombone; Keith Banks: drums; Dailyn Valdez, Melanie Covington, Derrick McCampbell: vocals; Joe Vincelli: alto sax; Peabo Bryson: vocals (4); Brennen Nase: guitar solo (5); Jorge Ginorio: percussion.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "You and I" CD/LP/Track Review You and I
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by James Nadal
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011" CD/LP/Track Review 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2016
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!