These two mid-sixties LPs from spectacular vibist Johnny Lytle managed to remian very popular in Europe, even when they had become quite rare. "The Loop" has often been played to get jazz dances going, and "Selim" was a big request when Johnny Lytle toured the UK in the late 1980s. This lasting (and unexpected) popularity promted Lytle to have these two LPs re-released in the UK in 1990. "The Loop" (1965) and "New and Groovy" (1966) are similar in nature to Lytle's "Moon Child," "Got That Feeling!" and "The Village Caller!" LPs, including the b3 organ and conga sounds Lytle and his admirers enjoyed so much. There are some notable differences, however, such as the addition of Wynton Kelly's piano on sixteen tracks over the course of both LPs, including "Selim," Lytle's tribute to Miles Davis, of whose band Kelly was a recent alumni.
There is a lot to like about these records, and they are absolutely essential for fans of Lytle. People who enjoy swinging hard bop with a soulful, grooving atmosphere will enjoy them quite a bit as well. As far as available recordings featuring Lytle's signature 60s sound go, I rate the "Got That Feeling/Moonchild" LPs (which come together on one CD) as slightly superior, but this set is easily up with Lytle's best-known LP, "The Village Caller!" As for the Bop purists; they may prefer Lytle's LP "Nice & Easy" and his work on pianist Bobby Timmon's "Workin' Out" LP, but they shouldn't rule this one out.
THE LOOP (All players from two sessions):
Wynton Kelly (p); Milt Harris (org); George Duvivier (b); Bob Cranshaw (b); William "Peppy" Hinnant (d); Johnny Lytle (vib,mar); Willie Rodriguez (cga).
NEW AND GROOVY:
Wynton Kelly (p); Milt Harris (org); George Duvivier (b); William "Peppy" Hinnant (d); Jimmy Cobb (d); Johnny Lytle (vib); Roger Sanders (cga) [aka Montego Joe (cga).
It should be noted that the above information is not included in the liner notes of this release. More information can be found online at Doug Payne's excellent Johnny Lytle discography.