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!
Two gems from The Undisputed Truth – back to back in a single package. First up is Method To The Madness – a killer classic from the second chapter of the Undisputed Truth – that time when the group stepped away from their Motown home, and followed producer/creator Norman Whitfield to his own label in California. The shift of record companies also marks a cool shift in styles too – an approach that still has all the bold, bassy elements you'd know from the earlier hits – but one that also has some fuller, more cosmic elements too – which are hinted at by the image on the cover.
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.