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620548 Posts in 24972 Topics by 3549 Members - Latest Member: HotAsIce November 19, 2017, 04:08:30 PM
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Author Topic: RIP Lyle Ritz  (Read 1481 times)
guitarfool2002
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« on: March 04, 2017, 02:45:22 PM »

Just got some very sad news that musician Lyle Ritz has passed away. His contributions to Beach Boys music and Brian Wilson's productions are legendary, a true musician's musician, a terrific studio bassist (electric and upright) and an innovator on ukulele. More info to follow as it comes in.

RIP Lyle. In memoriam, "Diamond Head" with Lyle on uke...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zxcQt1ATvA

« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 03:02:14 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 03:01:57 PM »

For those unfamiliar with his other work, when he wasn't playing bass in the LA studios on any number of legendary sessions, this is what he was doing on the ukulele, which amounts to basically working with a whole new chord vocabulary on the instrument and innovating new sounds. The beautiful "Polka Dots And Moonbeams" from one of Lyle's solo jazz albums:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HDsgPHX-aQ
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 03:31:45 PM »

Some of my all-time favorite session tapes to listen to for pure enjoyment have Lyle working with Brian, either in 1966 in general or on various Smile sessions.

There is one in particular where Lyle lights up his pipe, and as the smell of the pipe smoke starts to waft through the studio to the other musicians, they start asking what's that smell or whatever else, then start cracking jokes and saying "LYLE!" and all this good stuff.

Here is Lyle talking about Brian's sessions from the Wrecking Crew film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93lduXoNuCE
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 03:37:04 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 04:30:46 PM »

sorry to hear this.
I own several of Lyle's jazz ukulele CDs... he was a trailblazer in that regard and a mega talent.

I try and get through the Little Pad chords every time I pick up a uke.
thanks Lyle!
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 07:01:41 PM »

Oh, no.
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Adult Child
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 08:13:26 PM »

I got a strange feeling when I saw this. I hope he's at peace now wherever he is. The records he played were all that much better cause he played on them.

Brian & Lyle c. 1967
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 08:15:29 PM »

Very sorry to hear the world has lost another great talent. R.I.P., Lyle, and thanks for all the great sounds...this very afternoon, I was digging his upright bass part on the "organ bridge" of "Good Vibrations"...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 08:16:45 PM by c-man » Logged
♩♬☮ Billy C ♯♫♩☮
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 11:34:45 PM »

Another legendary talent has left us. RIP Lyle Sad
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2017, 02:16:23 AM »

He was 87. Very sad news all the same. To quote Kimosabe on a uke site, "We've lost your loving feeling". Rest in peace, sir.

https://youtu.be/NONMSNzLhHU

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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2017, 08:09:28 AM »

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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
Debbie KL
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 04:38:23 PM »

Thanks so much for posting these wonderful links.  Great stuff.  Lyle Ritz will be missed.
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 07:47:43 PM »

Rest in peace, Lyle.

And thank you for the music.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 06:39:29 PM »

I was listening to some of Lyle's jazz uke recordings, and knowing more details about his connection to Barney Kessel I can hear more of what drew Barney to Lyle's playing. The story told by Lyle and I guess others is that Barney heard Lyle playing those unique jazz arrangements on the uke and signed him to a recording contract, that was the power Barney had in the 50's in terms of the jazz world. Unfortunately Lyle's albums didn't sell too well in the mainstream, which led him to move to LA and take up session work. So that connection to Barney Kessel makes sense now - Before there was a "Wrecking Crew", Barney had already hit the studio scene and was playing sessions besides his own busy schedule. It would explain how Lyle may have gotten into that scene - It was not easy to break in without having some connection. And the rest is history.

On the old Classic Sessions blog site I documented that Cher session from '66, which shows Barney playing archtop and Lyle playing his P-Bass at Gold Star, and when I thought I had that researched to the end point, there appears another backstory - Lyle and Barney in the 50's.

But anyway, check out Lyle's recordings, especially his arrangements of the jazz standards like the one I posted above. Lyle sounds like he was aiming for much the same thing as Barney in his own guitar arrangements in the 50's, most notably with Julie London on "Julie Is Her Name" - with the piano-less group that relied on the guitar for the main chord accompaniment. On Lyle's records, those standards especially, he's using those thick voicings with his chord melody work, and it really isn't what was expected from a uke. Others like Roy Smeck and any number of Hawaiian uke masters had been doing similar things, but the sophistication and the "touch" Lyle brought to that instrument is otherworldly in a jazz context.

It is a very heartwarming thing to hear that among the uke community of players, he was in the upper echelon of the all-time best on that instrument, and he was able to know and enjoy his status later in life after his original albums didn't catch on originally. In Hawaii, among musicians, Lyle and his albums were tops. A neat couple of final chapters to his story.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 06:40:41 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone

"I will never change with what I think happened in here and you will never convince me otherwise." - Dr. Beach Boy.
"There was no up front fees, period. swedishfrog  and I paid for the domain name. As of June 19, 2016 at 4:32pm edt, that is all I was charged for." - Dr. Beach Boy
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