An active performer and educator in the Chicago jazz community, young bassist Kitt Lyles is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Jazz Studies and has performed in venues throughout North America, Latin America and Asia. A sideman on various other recordings, Lyles introduces his debut recording as leader on Real Talk presenting eight original compositions of the contemporary nature.
The bassist surrounds himself with a core quintet of Chicago-area musicians, all educators and leaders in their own right among them, guitarist Hans Luchs, Puerto Rican-born saxophonist Roy McGrath, Mexican-born drummer Gustavo Cortiñas and Chicago native and pianist Joaquin Garcia. Also featured here are trumpeter Justin Copeland and alto saxophonist Rajiv Halim appearing on a couple of tracks.
Lyles compositions provides fresh new straight ahead material beginning with the splendid opener "Gone by Now," showcasing a three-piece horn section with McGrath leading the way on the tenor with able support by altoist Halim as the band begins with quite a bang and certainly not a whisper. The tone shifts a bit on the more mellow and warm "Snowfall on Carolina" and the humble ballad "Though the Steady Hand May Tremble."
The band returns to a decidedly swinging side on "Moving Forward Looking Backward" where trumpeter Copeland and saxophonist McGrath lead the way. The leader takes a long bass solo intro on the lengthy "Blues for the Mountain," a piece that provides every member of the band plenty of opportunity for solo moments. To be noted here is that, every tune on this album runs more than seven minutes in duration with the exception of the dark-toned "Can't Keep Living this Way."
Closing the session is the gentle-natured "A Desperate Heart's Last Stand" where McGrath and Luchs shine on their instruments capping off one impressive debut for Kitt Lyles where the language of jazz is well expressed on Real Talk, a new beginning for a bassist with much to offer, well done!
Gone by Now; Snowfall on Carolina; Real Talk; Though the Steady Hand May Tremble; Moving Forward, Looking Backward; Blues for the Mountain; Can’t Keep Living This Way; A Desperate Heart’s Last Stand.