Two lost smokers from vibes legend Johnny Lytle – back to back on a single CD! The Soulful Rebel is lost early 70s set from Lytle – totally funky, but in a way that's very different than his famous 60s work! The album's got a sweet electric groove that comes not only from Johnny's vibes, but also from the sweet Hammond and Fender Rhodes of Billy Nunn, and the smoking guitar of David Spinozza – who really wails away here, and brings in a cutting edge to the tunes that's a lot sharper than some of his later work! Lytle's vibes are wonderful throughout – filled with that sense of space, soul, and timing that's always made him one of the grooviest players ever on the instrument – and this time around, he seems to have an even greater ear for unusual tones – in a way that makes the album sparkle strongly throughout!
Reissue with the latest 2014 remastering. Comes with liner notes. Available as CD for the first time in the world. Overlooked solo work from John Lewis – a lesser-known, Japanese-only session that features the pianist in a relaxed trio setting! The mode here is as spacious as some of Lewis' more contemplative records – still very much wrapped up in that careful sense of tone and timing – but the overall feel is maybe more personal and spontaneous, as John takes the lead in the company of Connie Kay on drums and Michael Moore on bass. There's a nicely mature feel to the music – but mature in a way that gets past some of Lewis' too-serious modes of a decade or two previous – and titles include "Lela", "Sacha's March", "Visitor From Mars", "Natural Affection", and "Monday In Milan".
In the 1960s, vibist Johnny Lytle was arguably the Milt Jackson of soul-jazz – or perhaps the Cal Tjader of soul-jazz. Jackson and Tjader both influenced his vibraphone playing, as did Lionel Hampton. But Lytle had a recognizable sound of his own – one that proved to be perfect for soul-jazz and organ combos. Two of the fine soul-jazz/hard bop LPs that the vibist recorded in the early '60s were Got That Feeling! (Riverside) and Moon Child (Jazzland), both of which Milestone/Fantasy reissued back to back on this 75-minute CD in 2001.