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Sunday, March 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  A Few Clouds
Music
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Vinyl Cave -- Green Lyte Sunday by Green Lyte Sunday
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Green Lyte Sunday was a Dayton, Ohio, band who took a shot at the big time, signing an album deal with RCA Victor in 1969. The resulting self-titled long-player reveals a very talented group of musicians with a distinct ability at blending pop and jazz influences.

But when it didn't become a hit, though the lone single from the album did hit Billboard's easy listening radio charts, they didn't get a second chance. Despite that fact, from what I can find about the group online, they apparently remained active in their local scene in various forms far into the '70s.

One band member who appears on their lone album had already returned from the record wars, and he was the reason I became interested in tracking down the LP: Michael Losekamp. He was a latter-day member of the Cyrkle, one of the few American bands in Beatles manager Brian Epstein's stable. He joined the band just in time for it to wind down, playing with them on their excellent second album and on a few mostly ignored post-album singles released as the group gradually drifted apart after Epstein's death.

With Green Lyte Sunday, Losekamp takes center stage, writing or co-writing all the original songs on the album, playing keyboard instruments and serving as co-lead singer with Susan Darby. This album is very much of its time, and pieces of what was going on in rock music at the time pop in and out of these songs in a way few bands were able to combine successfully. There's detailed jazz-rock arrangements a la Blood, Sweat and Tears, but with Fifth Dimension-esque vocals; the wah-wah guitar of rock power trios fighting with flute for mix time; and somewhat Lydia Pense-ish takes on a couple covers from Laura Nyro's Eli and the Thirteenth Confession album.

Do these combinations all work? Well ... not all the time. But Green Lyte Sunday clearly had ideas and musical ability to spare, and what they created holds up more often than not as some of the most ambitious sunshine pop I've ever heard. (RCA 1970; unavailable since its original release)

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