Johnny Lytle

Band members                             Related acts

- Johnny Lytle (RIP 1995) -- vibraphone


  supporting musicians: (1967)

- Jim Foster -- organ

- William Hinnant -- drums

- Johnny Pacheco -- percussion




- none known





Genre: jazz

Rating: 1 star *

Title:  A Man and a Woman

Company: Solid State

Catalog: SS-18014

Year: 1967

Country/State: Springfield, Ohio

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; cut top right corner

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 176

Price: SOLD $20.00


I've got no idea where I picked this album up.  About all I can come up with is I must have grabbed it as part of a large soul collection I nabbed at some point in time.  Otherwise I'm not sure how 1967's jazz-oriented "A Man and a Woman" would have come into my possession.  I don't have anything against jazz, and I've been know to occasionally slap on a jazz album, but for the most part I just don't have the ears, or disposition to enjoy the genre.  I guess a similar analogy can be found in the fact I prefer beer over wine.  I've tried to cultivate a taste for wine, but apparently just don't have the DNA ...


So how'd I get so far off topic?  Back to Johnny Lytle.  He was born into a musical family; splitting his early years between music and boxing (he was a Golden Gloves champion).  Initially making a name for himself as a drummer he toured with the likes of Ray Charles and Jimmy Witherspoon, in the mid-1950s he switched his attention to vibraphone, recording over 30 albums between 1960 and his death in 1995 (there are also scores of posthumous releases).


Produced by Sonny Lester, the set (his eleventh studio release), found Lytle jumping aboard the mid-1960s American craze for French art and culture.  Gawd only knows why, but in this  case Lytle essentially re-recorded Francis Lai's soundtrack for the French film "A Man and a Woman" giving the original score's Euro-trash sound a distinctive cocktail jazz feel.  Given the original soundtrack is a staple at Salvation Army and Goodwill stores nationwide, you had to wonder if there was a real need for a knockoff.  Admittedly, Lytle and his backing band (organ player Jim Foster, drummer William Hinnant, and percussionist Johnny Pacheco) could occasionally generate a bit of energy - 'Today It's You' showcased some nice bass, organ, and Latin percussion, while 'Samba Saravah'a actually sported a cool pop-soul melody, but in general, this was pretty lame material.  The title track appeared twice; once in a slow format and then in speeded up variant that sounded like something you'd hear on a Saturday night at a small town roller rink.  I'm just not a big vibraphone fan so I'll readily admit most of the set's 'charms' were apparently wasted on my ears.


Solid State also tapped the title track as a single:



- 1967's 'A Man and a Woman' (slow version) b/w A Man and a Woman'' (fast version) (Solid State catalog number SD 2515)


I've listened to the set a couple of times and while I'd love to tell you it was essential listening, it isn't.  


A Man and a Woman" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Stronger Than Us (instrumental)   (Francis Lai) - 4:43

2.) Today It's You (instrumental)     (Francis Lai) - 3:05

3.) Samba Saravah (instrumental)   (B. Powell - V. Demoraes - Pierre Barouh) - 3:57

4.) A Man and a Woman (instrumental)   (Francis Lai) - 3:43


(side 2)
1.)  A Man and a Woman (instrumental)   (Francis Lai) - 3:29

2.) Stronger Than Us (Bossa Nova) (instrumental)   (Francis Lai) - 4:29

3.) In Our Shadow (instrumental)   (Francis Lai) - 5:05



As you can tell, Lytle's work is a bit outside of my areas of interest.  That said, I stumbled across an extensive Lytle discography put together by Doug Payne and available at:.