3

Bobby Lyle: The Way I Feel

Chris Becker By

Sign in to view read count
Bobby Lyle: The Way I Feel Pianist and composer Bobby Lyle's first encounter with the great Hammond B-3 player Jimmy Smith was in a Minneapolis nightclub called Big Al's, where the then-teenaged Lyle performed as the "local talent" on the downstairs stage. Upstairs, Smith was playing as the headliner and Lyle, after finishing his set as quickly as possible, raced upstairs to hear Smith and perhaps shake his hand.

"Jimmy was a black belt in karate," says Lyle of that first meeting. "So when he shook my hand, he almost broke my little fingers!"

Lyle would go on to teach himself the organ on the job by playing organs he came across in Minneapolis' nightclubs, including the occasional strip club. There are some things you just can't learn in a music conservatory.

The Way I Feel, is Lyle's tribute to Smith—who, shortly after that memorable first handshake, became a personal mentor and friend to the young organist/pianist. This recording, Lyle's first since 2006, may come as a surprise to those who know him only for his beautifully arranged and produced chart-topping albums of jazz, funk, fusion, and so-called smooth jazz, as it is the first album where Lyle plays Hammond B-3 organ on every track.

The CD is also a tribute to the great guitarist Wes Montgomery, who recorded several popular, genre-busting albums with Smith back in the sixties. Houston-based guitarist Brennen Nase steps up and steps into Montgomery's role and his playing is a joy to hear. Montgomery's sound and technique—not to mention right hand thumb—were truly one of a kind. Nase easily navigates what amounts to several decades of guitar history, channeling Montgomery on the standard "Baby It's Cold Outside" and the Lyle-penned tribute, "Feelin' Wes," bringing some inspired funk to Lyle's "Horizon," and stepping on the distortion pedal for "Hard Workin' Man," which includes some vocals from Lyle and the CD's featured drummer, Patrick Williams.

Not content to just recreate a 1965 Verve recording session, Lyle brings the Hammond B-3's legacy into the 21st century for a program that includes New Orleans second line, gospel, and even sixties-era go-go music. The playing on The Way I Feel is tight and inspired and Lyle's organ playing burns throughout.

Smith may arguably be responsible for making the Hammond B-3 a "viable lead jazz instrument," but with The Way I Feel, Lyle and his co-conspirators carry that legacy and kick it into a funky future.


Track Listing: The Cat; Feelin' Wes; Baby It's Cold Outside; Diddley Boom Boom (French Quarter Strut); B's Bop; Horizon; The Way I Feel; On The Fly; Hard Workin' Man; Walk On The Wild Side.

Personnel: Bobby Lyle: Hammond B-3 organ, acoustic piano, synthesizer; Brennen Nase: guitar; Patrick Williams: drums; Mark Simmons: drums; Mark Prince: drums; Keith Vivens: bass; Milton Comeaux: percussion.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Everything's Gonna Be Great" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Gonna Be Great
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "The Inner Spectrum of Variables" CD/LP/Track Review The Inner Spectrum of Variables
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 25, 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!