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Tell Me About Arthur Lyman
OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2008-01-09 06:31 am   Permalink

I have a pretty extensive exotica collection, and either have or at least heard all of the essentials.

For whatever reason, Arthur Lyman doesn't do all that much for me. I have about 6 or 7 of his albums, and the only two I've really gotten into are "Taboo" and "Bwana A." I feel that, in general, his stuff lacks the rhythmic and harmonic spark you hear in the best Martin Denny stuff. On the plus side, I will say Arthur Lyman records rarely contain the annoying novelty numbers that vex some of Martin Denny's albums. I will also say that I appreciate an album such as "Hawaiian Sunset" as a kind of a proto-ambient record, but I wouldn't ever reach for it if I need an exotica fix.

I'm curious if any of you have had similar reactions, or if I'm simply missing something. Also, are there some hidden gems spread across his catalog that I haven't heard?


 
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tabuzak
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2005
Posts: 273
From: New York City
Posted: 2008-01-09 06:57 am   Permalink


I am in agreement with your assessment.

Jack


 
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bb moondog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2008-01-09 07:02 am   Permalink

I own a LOT more Arthur Lyman than Denny...mainly cuz its easier to find ..he seemed to have a lot more PRODUCT out then Martin Denny. He also tried for some unusual things ..like being a HEART THROB of the exotica set and SINGING..neither of which brought him much luck. I DO like a lot of his stuff but its about 50-50..i agree with the schmaltz assessment--BOTH artists produced a lot of DRECK as well as gems; I think Denny had more of a musicians VISION and Lyman was more of a PERFORMER...honestly though, most of my GO TO LPs for quick exotica fixes end up being Lymans (Hawaiian Sunset, Exotic Percussion, Bwana A, Legend of Pele, Ilikai. Latitude 20)

 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-01-09 07:46 am   Permalink

Well...being that he put out some 30 lp's, there is bound to be filler, but some of his best work is really amazing. That being said, playing mostly instrumental music there is an element that is missing to connecting with people and that is Lyrics. Besides, even Martin Denny himself is quotes as calling his music "window dressing", which means, sitting down and just listening to it is not really it's purpose. It's meant to bring out or set the mood in the room.

That being said...the real essence os what Arthur Lyman is about is here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nrP0GcZRTw

It's all about his ability to emote on the vibraphone...this is probably the best version of Quiet Village I've ever heard. just him....beautiful.

Actually, I think I like gene Rains Better than both Denny and Lyman,....but not that many people talk about him.

[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2008-01-09 07:46 ]


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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1576
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2008-01-09 08:05 am   Permalink

I like Arthur Lyman simply for the fact that the man never deviated from his "sound." He never really changed his sound or made a Moog record like Martin Denny. His entire catalog is classic Exotica!!

Arthur Lyman's music will always brings a chill to my spine!!

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff






[ This Message was edited by: Jeff Central 2008-01-09 08:06 ]


 
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bb moondog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2008-01-09 08:13 am   Permalink

MK is ALWAYS the very FIRST Christmas LP I throw on every time November rolls around...that and the HI Kids Choir that is ALL in Hawaiian

 
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sushiman
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2007
Posts: 313
From: Kumamoto , Japan
Posted: 2008-01-09 2:45 pm   Permalink

I have a feeling that Martin and Arthur were in the studio far more often than they might have wanted to be . " Exotica " was hip for a while and the record companies wanted to capitalize on the popularity of Denny and Lyman while the genre was still hot . Early rock groups went through the same thing . The record companies thought rock was a just a passing phase and would fizzle out in a couple of years SO they pushed product out the door as fast as possible and this accounted for a lot of the dreck you will find on early Brit Invasion albums for example .

As for Arthur Lyman , his music has a more calming effect on me , and takes me on a trip to Hawaii in my mind . Leis of Jazz ; Percussion Spectacular ; Taboo ; Hawaiian Sunset ; Pele ...all essential listening as far as I am concerned . Must get the Bahia / Bwana A CD when it comes out as I've heard nothing but good reports about these two albums and dig the tracks I have heard on the Exotic Sound Of The Arthur Lyman Group 25 track CD compilation .


 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2008-01-09 5:31 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-01-09 08:05, Jeff Central wrote:
I like Arthur Lyman simply for the fact that the man never deviated from his "sound." He never really changed his sound or made a Moog record like Martin Denny. His entire catalog is classic Exotica!!...




Well, the fact that world has one more moog album than it would have is not a bad thing!

Probably old news around here, but Martin Denny had little if anything to do with his albums from about "A Taste of Honey" on. They were played by studio groups with MD's name slapped on the covers.


 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2008-01-09 5:33 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-01-09 07:02, bb moondog wrote:
I own a LOT more Arthur Lyman than Denny...mainly cuz its easier to find ..he seemed to have a lot more PRODUCT out then Martin Denny...



I see you're in Arizona. Did the HiFi label have better distribution on the west coast (and surrounding areas)? I've mostly lived on the east coast, both north and south. I've encountered WAY more Denny albums out here than Lyman. Interesting.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11088
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-01-09 8:02 pm   Permalink

I think you have to dig vibes as much as I do. I listen to Cal Tjader as much as I listen to Atta. Having seen him perform live while the tradewinds wafted around me helped too





 
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OnyaBirri
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 419
Posted: 2008-01-09 8:40 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-01-09 20:02, bigbrotiki wrote:
I think you have to dig vibes as much as I do...



Trust me, I do. Ask my vibraphone player.


 
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bb moondog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2008-01-10 07:38 am   Permalink

The Lyman LPs crop up in groups...usually a couple Dennys in with about 5 Lymans...I really don't know distribution wise how it worked out...they are usually in pretty good shape though--I know the Pele I got in Utah was a DEMONSTRATION copy and is REALLY nice

 
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khona
Member

Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 4
From: Indiana
Posted: 2008-01-10 11:21 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-01-09 07:46, tikiyaki wrote:

That being said...the real essence os what Arthur Lyman is about is here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nrP0GcZRTw

It's all about his ability to emote on the vibraphone...this is probably the best version of Quiet Village I've ever heard. just him....beautiful.

[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2008-01-09 07:46 ]




Wow. Great video!

I do not have any of his music on my computer. If I
was going to get one of his cd's which do you suggest?
I know iToons has about 17 albums including three
or four best of albums.


 
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Double Crown
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 87
Posted: 2008-01-10 1:51 pm   Permalink

I just posted on my blog a notice about Collector's Choice Music - they have a bunch of Arthur Lyman 2-on-1 CD's, imports I believe, with many albums not previously available on CD.

UPDATE: Whoops, didn't notice that this is already being discussed in another thread - sorry!

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Sean
Double Crown Records
http://www.dblcrown.com
http://doublecrown.blogspot.com

[ This Message was edited by: Double Crown 2008-01-10 13:54 ]


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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2024
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2008-01-11 12:31 pm   Permalink

You know, this may be sacrilege, but I vastly prefer Lyman's records to Martin Denny's, and I even feel that in a lot of ways, Lyman had more to do with Martin Denny's success than Denny himself did.

For me, the best Lyman albums have a super-smooth and very tranquil feeling that defines Hawaiian exotica. With a Lyman LP on the old Rec-o-cut turntable and a mai tai in hand, all of my troubles melt away. Arthur's records are like audio opium, some sort of lullaby that puts me completely at ease.
In contrast, some of Denny's records often have a choppy, staccatto feeling that I occasionally find dissonant or grating.

In addition, two other points:

First, I may be setting myself up for a lynching here, but I am just going to say this. For all of Martin Denny's considerable an inarguable contributions to Exotica music, he was a rather mediocre pianist. I doubt that many people have ever listened to a Denny record and thought to themselves: "Man, that Martin Denny is a real whiz on the ivories!". He by no means sucked, but he was no virtuoso either. He was a master of style over substance, which of course is what all of Tiki and Exotica is about. But speaking purely musically, his chops were solidly on the good side of adequate, but nowhere near excellent.
Lyman, on the other hand, is a phenominal vibraphonist, nearly equal in my estimation (nearly, I say) with Milt Jackson of Modern Jazz Quartet and the amazing Cal Tjader.
Ca, by the way dabbled in Exotica with two LPs, available on one CD (a must have!):
http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=cal%20tjader%2C%20jade&tag=tikiroadtrip-20&Go.x=0&index=blended&Go=Go&Go.y=0&link%5Fcode=qs

Second, Lyman's records were produced, engineered, and mixed better than Denny's, and I prefer them sonically, hands down. Listen to some of the Denny albums and you'll hear things like a shaker (or something) front and center, drowning out the piano, vibes, and congas. This happens on many of Denny's tracks. These problems crop up much less frequently on Lyman's records which, have a better balance and smoother overall tonal characteristics.

So, you asked, and I answered!
This is the magic of Arthur Lyman!



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