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Bebop Bassist Will Lyle Readies Debut Album, 'l.A. Source Codes' Featuring 3 Generations Of Musicians

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Throughout L.A. Source Codes, Will Lyle not only creates fluent solos but contributes stimulating accompaniment that clearly inspires his sidemen.
—Scott Yanow
A source code is a piece of computer language that is readable by a human programmer. The talented young bassist-composer Will Lyle sees bebop and the jazz language as a musical source code that is kept alive by both the keepers of the flame and the younger players who push the music forward.

Born in Southern California, Will began studying cello when he was three and also played drums, guitar, piano and percussion, taking up the electric bass at the age of 12. “I had aspirations to become a producer and I originally went to Berklee for musical production, but during my freshman year I heard Paul Chambers and Scott LaFaro and decided that that was what I wanted to do.” Will acquired an acoustic bass and practiced up to 12 hours a day. After graduating, he toured Japan with drummer Billy Kilson, resettled in Los Angeles, and has since worked with many top artists including the musicians heard on this release, his recording debut as a leader.

L.A. Source Codes teams the bassist with three generations of musicians. Two great veterans, pianist Jon Mayer and drummer Roy McCurdy, are featured on “Be My Love” (taken at a perfect medium-swing tempo) and a sensitive version of “Two For The Road.” The quartet, with tenor-saxophonist Bob Sheppard (who takes several blazing solos), pianist Mahesh Balasooriya, and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith, plays high-quality modern mainstream jazz on “Forasteira” (the first of the leader’s four originals), Cole Porter’s “So In Love” (inspired by Cedar Walton’s big band arrangement), Grant Green’s medium-tempo blues “No. 1 Green Street,” and “I Believe In You,” a song that Will has loved since hearing the Frank Sinatra/Count Basie recording.

On lead single, “Forasteira,” (meaning “outsider" in Portuguese), Lyle shot a multi-camera in-studio performance of the session that shows the musicians in peak form. Though safely distanced in separate rooms, the shared sense of purpose elevates the proceedings with a fiery chemistry. Will elaborates, “Forasteira is a Brazilian baião and Partido alto groove combined with a Cedar Walton influence in the melody and a solo section reminiscent of 1980s and 1990s modal jazz. It was written to represent feelings of alienation or isolation that most people experience in one form or another, and largely in reference to my own feelings as an outsider, be it in school, sports, or the music industry in general. The introduction vamp uses fairly non-conventional chords over the groove and a melody that moves in between different keys. The bass line is a partido alto which is superimposed over a baião drum pattern. Various composers, such as Cedar Walton and Jobim, are referenced in the melody.”

The most adventurous group, a trio with pianist Adam Hersh and drummer Anthony Fung, performs the impressionistic exploration “Above The Clouds,” “rains_of_change” (an abstract piece about dealing with the tumultuous issues experienced throughout 2020), “La Cumbia de MacArthur Park” (a joyful Latin tribute to MacArthur Park’s Central American community), and a swinging “You Stepped Out Of A Dream.” Also included on this set is a bluesy duet version of “It Ain’t Necessarily So” with guitarist Jacques Lesure, who Will credits with having helped him in a countless number of ways since his return to L.A.

Throughout L.A. Source Codes, Will Lyle not only creates fluent solos but contributes stimulating accompaniment that clearly inspires his sidemen.

Arriving May 21, the music on the impressive set forms a source code that all listeners can enjoy.

Track Listing

  • Forasteira (Will Lyle) 5:41
  • Above the Clouds (Will Lyle) 5:16
  • Be My Love (Sammy Cahn and Nicholas Brodszky) 6:36
  • So in Love (Cole Porter) 6:46
  • Two For the Road (Henry Mancini) 4:11
  • rains_of_change (Will Lyle) 2:45
  • La Cumbia de MacArthur Park (Will Lyle) 5:04
  • No. 1 Green Street (Grant Green) 5:08
  • Beginner's Luck (George and Ira Gershwin) 4:47
  • I Believe in You (Frank Loesser) 4:46
  • It Ain’t Necessarily So (George Gershwin) 6:47
  • You Stepped Out of a Dream (Nacio Herb Brown, Gus Kahn) 7:19

  • Personnel

    Will Lyle: Bass;
    
Bob Sheppard: Tenor Saxophone (#1, #4, #8, #10);
    Marvin “Smitty” Smith: Drums (#1, #4, #8, #10);
    v Mahesh Balasooriya:: Piano (#1, #4, #8, #10);
    Jon Mayer: Piano (#3, #5);
    Roy McCurdy: Drums (#3, #5, #9);
    Adam Hersh:: Piano (#2, #6, #7, #12);
    Anthony Fung: Drums (#2, #6, #7, #12);
    Mikan Zlatkovich: Piano (#9);
    Nikki Campbell: Conga (#7);
    Jacques Lesure: Guitar (#11)

This story appears courtesy of 1888 Media.
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