Bobby Lyle: Joyful

Bobby Lyle returns to recording after a five-year absence with Joyful (Three Keys), an ebullient, varied offering that showcases the renowned keyboardist’s technical and improvisational finesse. On Lyle’s take on Sade’s sultry hit “The Sweetest Taboo,” sparkling piano improvisation is laid over the intricately textured rendering of the song’s well-known groove. Norman Brown’s thoughtful guitar work harmonizes with Lyle’s elegant piano on “Give Me Your Heart,” and Lyle and guitarist Peter White convey a merry joie de vivre on the bubbly “Rain Walkin’.” Saxophonist Gerald Albright and trumpeter Rick Braun comprise a horn section that complements Lyle’s deft piano work on the funky “Spankin'” and the bouncy groover “Millennium Dance.” Lyle gives Christina Aguilera’s pop hit “Genie in a Bottle” a dramatic reading on grand piano, with saxophonist Everette Harp along to provide exotic coloration, and the keyboardist wraps it all up with a beautiful and affecting rendition of the James Ingram-Patti Austin classic “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”