Tyle's first musical job was with Don Kinch's Conductors Ragtime (1976–1979). Kinch (1917-2011), played with Axel Tyle in the Castle Jazz Band in the late 1940s, and went on to work with the Turk Murphy Jazz Band and the Firehouse Five Plus Two.
In 1979 Tyle played and recorded with the Turk Murphy Jazz Band in San Francisco, then returned to Portland to form a swing music band named Wholly Cats (named after a number written and recorded by Benny Goodman and Count Basie). The band was a popular fixture on the Portland scene from 1979–1984, releasing an album in 1982. After disbanding the group's vocalist and guitarist, Rebecca "Becky" Kilgore, went on to become a popular freelance artist and has made many recordings and festival appearances.
Tyle moved to New Orleans in 1989, immediately becoming an in-demand performer with a number of groups, including Steve Pistorius' Mahogany Hall Stompers, Jacques Gauthe's Creole Rice Jazz Band, John Gill's Dixieland Serenaders and others. He also worked with jazz greats Danny Barker (guitar) and Albert "Pud" Brown (clarinet/sax). In 1992 Tyle formed the Silver Leaf Jazz Band, working six nights-a-week at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street.
In 2002 Tyle returned to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a freelance career. He currently performs regularly with the Titanic Jazz Band of Los Angeles, Combo DeLuxe of Seattle/Tacoma, and regularly "subs" with Bob Schulz' Frisco Jazz Band of San Francisco. He also frequently performs in Europe, most notably with the Gambit Jazzmen of England.
In 2006 he became a member of the orchestra for the musical A la Recherche de Joséphine(Looking for Josephine), directed and written by Jérôme Savary, which ran for six months in 2006-2007 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, France, and has subsequently toured in France, and performed in Vienna and Lebanon.
Tyle has made over 50 recordings with a variety of groups, including eight with his own Silver Leaf Jazz Band (see below). A track from his Silver Leaf Jazz Band recording The Smiler (Stomp-Off Records) was used as part of the music for Ken Burns' Jazz PBS documentary. Another Silver Leaf Jazz Band recording, New Orleans Wiggle (Jazzology Records), received the highest rating in the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD 2003, one of only 10 recordings listed in the book to receive this rating.
In addition to musical performance, Tyle is a writer and educator. He has written many articles and is a contributor to Jazz Standards.com. He is a member of the International Association of Jazz Educators and the Jazz Journalists Association.
- A Natural High - Turk Murphy Jazz Band - Bainbridge Records
- Streets and Scenes of New Orleans - Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band of New Orleans - Good Time Jazz Records (Concord Music Group)
- Jelly's Best Jam - Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band of New Orleans - Good Time Jazz Records (Concord Music Group)
- Great Composers of New Orleans Jazz - Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band of New Orleans - Good Time Jazz Records (Concord Music Group)
- New Orleans Wiggle - Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band - Jazzology Records
- The Smiler - Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band - Stomp-Off Records
- Sugar Blues - Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band - Stomp-Off Records
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