Considered one of the top vibes players in the world, Johnny Lytle was known for his great hand speed and showmanship. He was also a songwriter and wrote many of his own hits, including "The Loop," "The Man," "Lela," "Selim," and the jazz classic "The Village Caller." Lytle recorded more than 30 albums for various jazz labels including Tuba, Jazzland, Solid State, and Muse. Throughout his career he performed and recorded with jazz greats the likes of Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Timmons, and Roy Ayers. The devoted father of three also featured his son, Marcel Lytle, on several of his recordings as a vocalist and drummer. Lytle was such an admirer of the music of the late great Miles Davis that he wrote "Selim" (Miles spelled backwards) in honor of Davis, which features Davis' former pianist Wynton Kelly. Lytle never recorded with any of the major record labels, and that could be why he never gained the status of a jazz icon like some of his peers. Lytle felt that he would lose control of his music and creative development; Lytle liked to play what came natural to him, and being with a major label might not have afforded him that opportunity.