Arthur Lyman, vibraphonist known for his contributions to the sounds of “exotic music” from Hawaii, died Sunday Feb. 24 in Honolulu from throat cancer. He was 70.
Kauai-born Lyman loved the music of vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, joined a local jazz group as a teen and by his early 20s was playing with mood music on Martin Denny’s “Exotica” albums, which contained the hit single “Quiet Village,” and “Exotica 2,” using the guitar, percussion and vibraphone to produce a soft, ethereal sound.
He formed his own quartet, signed with Hi-Fi in 1957 and released the album “Taboo,” which hit No. 6 on the U.S. charts. In 1961, his single “Yellow Bird” reached No. 4; an album of the same name reached the top 10. His last album on the charts was “I Wish You Love” in 1963.
His band and music were also used on the Warner Bros. TV program “Hawaiian Eye.”