Artist Profiles - Pianist Bobby Lyle

Bobby Lyle is a soul jazz pianist. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee but grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He had his first gig at 16 and played in the 1960s with Gene and Jerry Hubbard in the Bobby Lyle Trio. They were very popular at the Blue Note on Plymouth Avenue on Minneapolis' North Side, and at the Ebony Lounge on University Avenue in St. Paul. When Ramsey Lewis left the Trio which he started and made famous, Lyle became the keyboard player for Young Holt Unlimited.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1974 and toured with Sly and the Family Stone. He also had a stint with the Ronnie Laws band. This led to a meeting with Wayne Henderson of the Jazz Crusaders who then took him to Capitol Records for his first solo recording deal in 1977. After three albums ("The Genie", "New Warrior", and "Night Fire"), Capitol abandoned their jazz division. Lyle returned to his sideman work in 1981 with George Benson.

In 1987, Bobby came to the attention of Sylvia Rhone, then VP of Jazz and Urban music at Atlantic Records. This resulted in a recording deal in 1988 which spawned six albums in nine years.  He received an Emmy nomination for his musical direction on Bette Midler's HBO Special, "Diva Las Vegas" in 1997. He currently lives in Houston, Texas.