April 28, 2014 / allaboutjazz.com / By Gigi Brooks
“THE WAY I FEEL – Bobby Lyle”
For over forty years Bobby Lyle has dazzled the world with his creative and innovative sounds on piano, with recordings on five labels and reaching number one on the Billboard jazz chart, with his 1990 release, The Journey, on Atlantic Jazz. As an accomplished pianist, keyboardist, composer and musical director for greats such as Bette Midler, Al Jarreau and Anita Baker, he has managed to sustain himself as one of jazz’ leading artists.
The Way I Feel, recorded on his label New Warrior Music, is his latest and most brilliant accomplishment, which features him for the first time on the Hammond B-3 organ and incorporating his signature sound on acoustic piano and synthesizer. The project was inspired by his unforgettable friendship with the legendary Hammond B-3 organist, Jimmy Smith and the inspiration of legendary guitarist, Wes Montgomery.
Here Lyle is joined by an accomplished array of personnel with guitarist, Brian Nase; drummers Patrick Williams, Mark Simmons and Mark Prince; bassist, Keith Vivens; and Milton Comeaux on percussion.
The first track “The Cat” pops off with new twist of the original recording by Jimmy Smith. The timing and chord arrangements Bobby Lyle creates on the Hammond B-3 brings a fresh, nostalgic groove to this Jimmy Smith classic.
March 12, 2014 / Jazz Times / By Gigi Brooks
“BOBBY LYLE – IN THE MOMENT: Gigi Brooks Talks with the Keyboardist About His Career as a Bandleader and Musical Director”
Throughout my career I have conducted numerous interviews with some of the most influential jazz legends and artists of our time. The musical artistry of Emmy-nominated pianist, keyboardist, composer, Bobby Lyle has fascinated me to the point that I made it a priority to reach out to him and speak with him about who he is as an artist and his life experience in the industry for over forty years.
His latest release, The Way I Feel, is a heartfelt tribute to his late, great friend and mentor, Hammond B-3 organ player, Jimmy Smith and the late, great guitarist, Wes Montgomery. On this recording, Bobby Lyle takes on the Hammond B-3 with fire and brimstone, grooving throughout each session with precise purpose and a uniqueness all his own. The personnel choice is a one-of-a-kind selection, which iced the cake with Brennan Nase on guitar; Patrick Williams, Mark Simmons, and Mark Prince on drums, Keith Vivens on bass, and Milton Comeaux on percussion.
I had to admit to him that I have been a fan of his since the late 1970’s and that I was elated to have the opportunity to learn and speak with this vastly, multi-talented, veteran artist . . . Bobby Lyle.
August 24, 2013 / Allaboutjazz.com / By Chris Becker
“Bobby Lyle: The Way I Feel (2013)”
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.
June 14, 2011 / Culture Map Houston / By Chris Becker
“Playing with heart: Houston-based Jazz Pianist Bobby Lyle Giving a New Twist to Old Standards”
“People want to be a part of what you’re doing,” says jazz pianist Bobby Lyle, who plays in clubs and concert halls all over the world. “They don’t understand everything you’re doing, but you’ve got to make them feel something, and feel like they can relate to it on some kind of level, you know? You can play as complex as you want but at some point in your presentation, you better play with some heart, too.”
This being Houston, where there is a avid audience for jazz, but not a whole lot of places to go and hear it played, it’s quite possible you have yet to hear pianist and Hammond B-3 master Bobby Lyle. Although based in Houston since 2000, Lyle’s gigs usually take him to L.A. or New York City, so local performances are few and far between.
The buzz among those lucky enough to have witnessed his scorching set on B-3 last April at Discovery Green with saxophonist Everette Harp, or his 2010 “unplugged” duet with Harp at Zilka Hall to benefit Musiqa’s educational programming, or recent appearances with trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis as part of the Divas World Jazz Series, is if you see the name Bobby Lyle on an upcoming program, do not miss that show. Otherwise, shame on your music loving self.
June 5, 2011 / beckermusic.blogspot.com / By Chris Becker
“Interview with Jazz Pianist Bobby Lyle”
This being Houston, where there is a avid audience for jazz, but not a whole lot of places to go and hear it played, it’s quite possible you have yet to hear pianist and Hammond B-3 master Bobby Lyle. Although based in Houston since 2000, Lyle’s gigs usually take him to L.A. or New York City, so local performances are few and far between. The buzz among those lucky enough to have witnessed his scorching set on B-3 last April at Discovery Green with saxophonist Everette Harp, or his 2010 “unplugged” duet with Harp at Zilka Hall to benefit Musiqa’s educational programming, or recent appearances with trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis as part of the Divas World Jazz Series, is if you see the name Bobby Lyle on an upcoming program, do not miss that show. Otherwise, shame on your music loving self.
I was blown away by Lyle’s ability to play an incredible variety of piano styles, often within the context of a single tune, when I first heard him last November at the aforementioned Musiqa benefit concert. Shifting gears after first playing a couple of originals by Harp, the duo headed into standards territory taking well loved tunes into the stratosphere. Their freewheeling set included John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” a Lyle only rendition of “Body and Soul,” and a startling yet perfectly timed drop of the Marvin Gaye classic “What’s Goin’ On?” Lyle also played one percussive piece of new jack swing entirely inside the piano. The whole time, you felt Lyle was as attuned to the audience as he was to his onstage “co-conspirator” Harp.