12/20/05

Keyboardist Bobby Lyle Signs to Heads Up

Keyboardist Bobby Lyle, who has played with everyone from Sly and the Family Stone to Al Jarreau to Bette Midler, signed with Heads Up International earlier this month. Lyle’s Heads Up debut is scheduled for release May 23, 2006.

Lyle’s career has spanned three decades and includes 14 full-length releases as bandleader, his last of which was 2004’s Straight and Smooth on Three Keys.

Lyle was born 1945 in Memphis. Six years later, his family moved to Minneapolis, where he began studying piano with his mother, who was a church organist. By the time he was a teenager, Lyle was regularly playing piano and Hammond B-3 at area clubs.

In the mid-seventies, Lyle moved to Los Angeles and toured with Sly and the Family Stone for nine months. That association led to work with Wayne Henderson of the Jazz Crusaders, who produced 1977’s Genie, Lyle’s debut as a bandleader. Over the next two decades, Lyle served as a sideman to George Benson, Anita Baker and Gerald Albright. He became a stalwart on the burgeoning crossover jazz scene and garnered an Emmy nomination in 1997 for his work on Bette Midler’s HBO special Diva Las Vegas.

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