- Jessica L. Wood
(b Kauia, Territory of Hawaii, Feb 2, 1932; d Ewa, HI, Feb 24, 2002). Hawaiian bandleader, vibraphonist, and arranger. Arthur Lyman’s musical career began on a toy marimba; he taught himself to play along with Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton recordings. At age 14, he joined a jazz combo called the Gadabouts and a few years later, he began playing the four-mallet vibes at a hotel bar in Honolulu. In 1955 he joined the ensemble of Martin Denny, a group famous among the Hawaii hotel circuit for its style of exoticist jazz, sometimes referred to as “Polynesian” music. To this group, Lyman contributed not only on the vibes, guitar and percussion, but also with vocalized imitations of birdcalls. In 1957, Lyman split from Denny’s group to form his own four-piece jazz band, joined by John Kramer (bass), Alan Soares (piano), and Harold Chang (percussion). The Arthur Lyman Group recorded a number of albums on the HiFi label between ...