05 November 2015

Bobby Lyle - 1977 - The Genie

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5

Sorry to have been a bit scarce - using your iPhone as a home Internet connection turns out to not be such a great idea as I keep getting bandwidth booted from the net.  Anyway, I'm he delving a bit deeper into the neon sparkles of 70's jazz-funk.  It seems that Bobby Lyle is one of those fellows who gets a lot of flak for blurring the lines between serious jazz and R&B, sort of like Roy Ayers.  I dig both forms of music, so it doesn't bother me.  This album stretches out to both poles to pretty good effect and finds some serious deep groovy to muck muck in.  But I will note the Lyle is best presented as a keyboardist, where he is first rate, rather than his stints as a second rate vocalist.

The title track is one of those things I probably heard somewhere as a kid and it's been bouncing around in my head ever since.  Until I picked this disc up, I wasn't sure if I made it up or not.  "Pisces" takes the mirror image of that melody and converts the groove into a slow burner.  "Magic Ride," "I'm So Glad (and I'm Thankful)," and "You Think of Her" are the vocal numbers and they wouldn't be out of place on a Roy Ayers album.  The third of them is very much your 'midnite luv' scented booty thumper.  "Mother Nile" changes up the groove a bit - matching up a wall of polyrhythms with the most flatulent synths ever.  The album closes with a solo piano piece which is fine when taken on its own, but in the context of the album it ends things with a bit of a fizzle.

Regardless of a few misshapen edges, the prime cuts secure this albums spot as an absolute jazz-funk classic.  One look at the cover illustrates the psychedelic/visionary undercurrent of the music, and that's why we're discussing it here.  There are so many eyes.  It's tangible music for me - with the notes forming globs of glowing plasma converting the entire room into a lava lamp.  Well, figuratively at least.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you much, Doctor. For me jazz fusion from this period works more often than not.