Released in June 2015, "Real Talk" is Kitt Lyles' debut album as a bandleader. Real Talk is an album of original music in which Lyles explores nostalgia for his childhood home of South Carolina. “Lyles’s stimulating originals cover a wide spectrum of moods, from difficult odd-meter tunes to gospel-infused blues vehicles." (Dan Healy, Chicago Jazz Magazine) He utilizes singable folk-inspired melodies to evoke the woods and rivers of the South, and modern jazz harmony and dynamic improvisatory drama to express the tension created by separation from those familiar landscapes and from his loved ones. Lyles’ compositions invite the listener to share in this internal struggle to balance the past and the present, while ultimately affirming the necessity of perseverance and transformation.
Lyles leads a collective of the Chicago’s finest contemporary jazz artists in regular performance of the music from "Real Talk" both in Chicago and on tours around the world. Justin Copeland (trumpet), Roy McGrath (tenor sax), Joaquin Garcia (piano), Hans Luchs (guitar), and Gustavo Cortiñas (drums) join Lyles in bringing the music to life and creating new inspired moments with every audience.