Debuts with May 2006 Release
Heads Up International, one of the world�s premier crossover jazz labels, today announced the signing of an exclusive deal with pianist Bobby Lyle, whose debut recording will be released on May 23, 2006. Throughout his three decade career, this gifted songwriter/producer/ arranger has developed an international reputation not only for his dazzling piano technique, but also for his versatility and ability to constantly reinvent himself.
�We�re very pleased to start a relationship with Bobby,� says Dave Love, President of Heads Up International. �Bobby is such an incredible pianist, and he plays with ease across a wide range of jazz. He�s also a great composer and arranger who has much to offer.�
�I�m very happy to be on a label that has such a diversity of styles throughout its roster,� Lyle says. �Also, Heads Up has a president who�s accessible and interactive with the artists. Dave Love has a really progressive vision of how this music should be marketed.�
Bobby Lyle was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and started studying piano at age six when his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. After moving to Los Angeles in 1974, he began a nine-month tour with Sly and the Family Stone, and later a stint with the Ronnie Laws Band. This led to a meeting with Wayne Henderson of the Jazz Crusaders who took him to Capitol Records for his first solo recording deal in 1977. After three albums, Lyle returned to the touring circuit, hitting the road in 1981 with George Benson. He followed this with extensive tours with Bette Midler, Al Jarreau and Anita Baker (all as musical director). A recording deal with Atlantic Records in 1988 spawned six albums in nine years, including The Journey, which became a #1 jazz album in 1990.
Lyle continued to tour with his own bands as well as with Midler. He received an Emmy nomination for his musical direction on her HBO Special, �Diva Las Vegas,� in 1997. Lyle�s 2002 album, Joyful, peaked at #8 on Billboard�s contemporary jazz chart and his 2004 release, Straight and Smooth, became the first album in history to appear on Billboard�s contemporary jazz and traditional jazz charts simultaneously.