Betty Lyles honours her father without saying a word in her latest single J. Stanley — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Elegantly and expertly walking a fine, groovy line between smooth jazz, R&B and hip-hop, this lean, clean instrumental is built around a smoky tenor saxophone melody that gracefully dances with a rumbling bassline, glowing electric piano chords and a funky, bottom-heavy backbeat. Soulful, supple and smouldering, it’s a tune that stands on its own nimble feet and brings you back for more — which likely comes as no surprise to its composer.
In May 2021, lifelong Texas musician Lyles began writing a melody that featured a saxophone accompanied by bass, drums and keyboard. The song was originally written for a vocalist and titled Come Back To Me, but Lyles later decided the piece could work as an instrumental. She changed the title to J. Stanley as a tribute to her late father Jewell S. Douglas, a musician, teacher, and former bandleader of the Louisiana group Jewell and the Rubies, best known for the popular 1963 song Kidnapper.
Lyles is clearly a chip off that artistic block. Since she began playing piano at the age of eight, music has been the Houston resident’s passion, warming her soul when the world seems cold. Twenty years ago or more, Betty began writing melodies for church and school. During the pandemic, she felt a void in her life because she was away from her church choir at her beloved Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church. Naturally, she began writing music again. Lyles released her first single Everyday in February 2021, and followed up with the hip hop-influenced Blip in April.