Johnny Lytle – People & Love (Vinyl LP)


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SKU: 888072507906 Categories: , Tag:



Release Date:  2024

Label:  Craft Recordings (Jazz Dispensary Top Shelf)


Track List

Side A

  1. Where Is the Love?
  2. Libra
  3. Family

Side B

  1. Tawhid
  2. People Make the World Go ‘Round



First-ever vinyl reissue

Packaged in a tip-on jacket

Pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI

Cut AAA from the original analog tape by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio

Available on vinyl for the first time since its original release 50 years ago, the downtempo-funk extravaganza People & Love is a crate-digger’s treasure chest, filled with soul-jazz grooves and mesmerizing vibraphone textures laid down by Johnny Lytle, who was touted as “the greatest vibes player in the world” by the big band legend Lionel Hampton.

Full of soaring, funky jams and heady grooves, the latest release in Jazz Dispensary’s acclaimed Top Shelf Series showcases the legendary vibraphonist’s talents as a songwriter, musician, and bandleader, as he guides his fellow musicians through five sublime tracks, including extended, soulful covers (“People Make the World Go ‘Round,” “Where Is the Love?”) and groovy originals (“Libra,” “Tawhid,” “Family”). The 1973 session also boasts a stellar line-up of players, including Daahoud Hadi (formerly Butch Cornell) on the electric piano and organ, Bob Cranshaw on the electric bass, and harpist Betty Glamann.

As with all titles in the album-centric Top Shelf series — which reissues the highest-quality, hand-picked rarities — People & Love features (AAA) lacquers cut from the original tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and is pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI. Rounding out the package is a tip-on jacket, replicating the album’s original art.

Johnny Lytle (1932 — 1995) began his career as a drummer, playing with the likes of Ray Charles, Gene Ammons, and Jimmy Witherspoon before switching to the vibraphone in the mid-’50s. By the end of the decade, he was leading his own group and caught the ears of producer/record executive Orrin Keepnews, who promptly signed the dexterous musician. A consummate showman, whose fast-paced performances earned him the title of “Fast Hands,” Lytle built a significant following in the ’60s — recording for Keepnews’ Jazzland, Riverside, and Milestone imprints, among others.

For 1973’s People & Love (originally released on Milestone), Lytle found inspiration from two popular songs of the day: “People Make the World Go ‘Round” (made famous a year earlier by Philadelphia soul stars, The Stylistics) and Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s 1972 smash hit, “Where Is the Love.” In addition to delivering inspired renditions of the two tracks, Lytle also borrowed from the songs’ titles to name his own album.

In a retrospective review, AllMusic praised, “Everybody knew [Lytle] was a soul man from the word ‘go,’ and People & Love finds him diving ever deeper into the soul-jazz groove. The results are successful, to say the least… Any self-respecting soul-jazz or jazz-funk fan would likely pick this title up based on the fantastic back cover alone. Fortunately, unlike so many other promising jackets, the tunes found inside are just as strong.”


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