On his new CD, pianist Bobby Lyle proves once again that he’s at the top of his game when performing melodic smooth jazz in the style of Joe Sample. Lyle’s longtime fans know, of course, that he’s equally adept with straightahead jazz, as he proved on 2004’s Straight and Smooth. But Lyle’s 15th effort more closely matches his timeless Joyful CD from 2002. As he did on that CD, the pianist offers several cover songs, including Michael McDonald’s “Minute by Minute” and the Emotions’ “Best of My Love.” But most sublime is Lyle’s take on the jazz standard “Poinciana,” a lovely tune you’ll be playing over and over again. Lyle’s “Return of the Genie” is a reference to the title of his first CD almost 30 years ago and to the cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” from Joyful.
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