The Power of Touch

The Power of Touch

by Bobby LyleBobby Lyle


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The elegant funk pianist dresses up his elegant playing, catchy melodies and familiar funk leanings with rhythmic excursions to Latin America, Brazil, and Africa. A sticker on the wrapping of the disc touts the pianist as one of the true pioneers of smooth jazz, but that tag oversimplifies his uniquely global approach. Certainly, an elegant cut like "Aruban Nights" and the easygoing, Will Downing sung cover of "Feel Like Makin' Love" fulfill adult contemporary radio's idea of easygoing adventure, but Lyle's percussive palette runs too wild to tame with such strict categorization. His travels include the opening track, "Timbuktu," with Lyle taking saxman Gerald Albright and guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. into a thick, jungle soundscape provided by the throbbing basslines of Alphonso Johnson and free-for-all percussion by Kevin Ricard. Lyle flys solo to Brazil on the jumpy rhythms and seductive synth-piano textures of "3 Minute Samba," and, along with trumpeter Rahmlee and guitarist Doc Powell, provides a lilting Latin canvas for vocalist Kevyn Lettau's romantic lyrics on "A Moment in Time." Guitarist Phil Upchurch and Lyle's organ performance add bluesy touches to the new agey "Checkin'," whose synth washes float above soft spoken word passages by Adwin Brown. Lyle then recalls the slick urban vibes of his last album, Rhythm Stories, with a hard-driving, bass pumping "Jubilee," featuring the brash sax conversations of Wilton Felder (tenor) and newcomer Mindi Abair (alto). Contemporary jazz-rap often gets a bad rap for being overly predictable, but Lyle edges towards being a true genre revolutionary on the most exotic track, "Midnight Creeper." Over bassist Sekou Bunch's thick and insistent groove, Lyle eschews the piano's melodic graces in favor of opening the lid of his instrument and using the strings inside as percussion instruments. He insists his explorations aren't all that newfangled, but anyone looking beyond traditional jazz masters and classical legends like John Cage might be hard pressed for a modern comparison. At least in the smooth jazz world.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/07/1997
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0075678295126
catalogNumber: 82951
Rank: 74970

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bobby Lyle   Primary Artist,Organ,Piano,Keyboards,keyboard bass
Will Downing   Vocals
Michael Harris   Trumpet
Gerald Albright   Soprano Saxophone
Dwight Sills   Guitar
Phil Upchurch   Guitar
Mike Campbell   Guitar
Sekou Bunch   Bass
Alex Acuña   Percussion,Drums
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler   Drums
Rahmlee Michael Davis   Trumpet
Nathan East   Bass
Wilton Felder   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Fernando Harkness   Flute,Saxophone
Doc Powell   Guitar
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Alphonso Johnson   Bass
Larry Kimpel   Bass
Kevyn Lettau   Vocals
Lynn Mabry   Vocals
McKay   Guitar
Kevin Ricard   Percussion
Melanie Taylor   Vocals
Michael White   Drums
Jerry Brooks   Bass
David Satterfield   Vocals
Andy Korn   Drums
Tommy Organ   Guitar
Gerald McCauley   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Sampling
Mindi Abair   Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Stanley Benders   Percussion
Mike Daigo   Trombone
Mikael Sandgren   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Sampling
Jorge Evans   Guitar
Adwin Brown   Voices
Andre Roberson   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Will Downing   Arranger,Producer
Larry Coryell   Composer
Ronnie Foster   Engineer
Bobby Lyle   Arranger,Producer,drum programming
Eulis Cathey   Executive Producer
Eugene McDaniels   Composer
Mark Partis   Engineer
Rex Rideout   Arranger,Producer
Joe Schiff   Engineer
Greg Mull   Engineer
Bob Tucker   Engineer
Eddie Miller   Engineer
Donald Tavie   Engineer,drum programming
Elizabeth Barrett   Art Direction
Gerald McCauley   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Leon Askew   Engineer
Mikael Sandgren   Engineer,drum programming
Dred Scott   Voice Sample

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