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Lyle Mays

Lyle Mays' style is difficult to describe, more atmospheric (with plenty of unique colors) than swinging and an invaluable part of the sound of the Pat Metheny Group. Mays played and composed for the North Texas State University Lab Band in the mid-'70s. He met Metheny in 1975, toured with Woody Herman's Orchestra (1975-1976), and then joined Metheny's band, continuing to play with the guitarist's group. Lyle Mays (who is also an excellent acoustic pianist) has recorded several albums as a leader for Geffen, including the excellent work Fictionary in 1992 and Solo in 2000. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Solo-Improvisations For Expanded Piano

1. This Moment

2. Let Me Count The Ways

3. We Are All Alone

4. The Imperative

5. Procession

6. Black Ice

7. Origami

8. Lightning Field

9. Locked In Amber

10. Long Life

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Track List: Fictionary

1. Bill Evans

2. Fictionary

3. Sienna

4. Lincoln Reviews His Notes

5. Hard Eights

6. Something Left Unsaid

7. Trio No.1

8. Where Are You From Today

9. Falling Grace

10. Trio No.2

11. On The Other Hand

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Track List: Street Dreams

1. Feet First

2. August

3. Chorinho

4. Possible Straight

5. Hangtime

6. Before You Go

7. Newborn

8. Street Dreams, Pt. 1

9. Street Dreams, Pt. 2

10. Street Dreams, Pt. 3

11. Street Dreams, Pt. 4

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Track List: Lyle Mays

1. Highland Aire

2. Teiko

3. Slink

4. Mirror Of The Heart

5. Northern Lights

6. Invocation

7. Ascent

8. Close To Home

Comments

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crburnett51
A distinct genre and beautiful mix.
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Was introduced to Lyle Mays through the Pat Metheny group, but, as good as PM is, I much prefer Lyle Mays. He is in a whole other galaxy of musical talent. Actually, I can't even think of anyone who comes close. Thank you Lyle Mays for your incredible music.
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Pat Metheny alter ego . Always full of surprises .
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lls670
Love them both for years . My favorite group!
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love him.
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ebouler3
Lyle mays. His melodic style can neva b compromised. He will take u on a journey n drop u off there then c*m bac n pik u up, jus follow him!!
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"Definitely a back bone to Pat Metheny Group. I'm still in love with the versatility of the piano, when transformed into synthesizers and organs. So much can be created."
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Love your music ;)
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Magic!!!
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paul00408
One of the best all-time EVER albums in my opinion. Such wonderful depth!
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Rich, rich layers of atmospheric harmony. Mays is the perfect complement to Metheny, but it's really great to finally hear him solo. His music is really expansive and uplifting. Thank you Lyle!
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Outstanding fusion of many jazz elements by technically superior players.Magi c a l .
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Lyle's style is just magical and perfect...
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elkatehar
One of the best ever. He and Pat Metheny are solid as you get. Unfortunatel y Lyle, does not get his due credit for his greatness.
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rlb30
Of fondest memories....
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Incredible talent! Enjoy listening to his music.
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michael25362
All of these reviews and nobody mentions Charlie Brown ... ????
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Magical. Makes me feel like a soaring angel that has been touched by a unicorn whilst being serenaded by an eagle. Lyle Mays is a true giant whose shimmering arrangements make me question my sanity. Breath taking really.
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OMG ifirstt heard Lyle at the Greek in Berkeley ca on a beautiful starry night sky.
I never recovered from the depth his keyboard, soaring sounds if this is what nirvana state of mind feels like well count me home. A true infinite genuis who is true
on his own musical path bring forth more of
Your queite strom filled with so much dynamic textures and feel thank you for the years of great works that you and pat have given my souls journey
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So smooth, truly easy music in which to get totally lost.
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kimovn630
Love, love this. Haven't heard it in quite some time. Very seductive and smooth. Never gets old.
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Love the music Lyle and pat do together. Would love for them to get back together and do some new music!
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Incredible tones, spirits, rejuvenation , alwsus climbing to higher heights...So Soothing..
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Fictionary
by. Lyle. Mays
on Bill. Evans

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The sound behind Metheny Love his melodies and great ideas!
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Lyle is connected to the pulse of the universe! Loved it, thanks
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You & Pat need to do a lil' something !!
Really !!!!! X bring in Wayne Shorter & Joe Lovano for a couple numbers xxxxxx
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Does Lyle Mays still record? tour? what does he do these days? Would love to hear how his playing continues to progress.
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mph_cia
Fabulous!! Sultry, calming...I' m listening at work and I feel transported to a most wonderful place!
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HEY LYLE HOOK WITH UP THE OLD PAT METHENY GROUP AND TOUR THE USA.
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I so miss my friend Lyle. Hope you are planning on coming to the NY - NJ area sometime soon!!! XOXOXOX Aimee'
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russellstern 0
Simply one of the best keyboardist in the world. We met in Nice, France in 2002 after a concert. You're a genius and the most creative musician ever. Thanks for all the great listening. Pat M. Is never near good without you.
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Dear Lyle, Can you come over and help me get the group back together? Thanks, Pat
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Thank you Lyle for all the wonderful music!
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joelzurlo
Lyle...infin i t y becomes you...love j. zurlo
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dvaicek7
Without Lyle Pat is regular guitarist, and fairly predictible. Mays elevated the group to the next level. And it seems unfair that Pat gets all credits for the group success.
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droy234282
His music embodies everything I love in music. Feels like home.
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rjmhudson
I've had the pleasure of hearing him in concert, both solo playing electronic keyboards mainly and with a quartet playing acoustic piano, in small venues. Both were memorable! I can listen all day.
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Lyle is the man.
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His sound is truly ethereal.
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Understated, underrated and sometimes, unbelievable . I believe Lyle is a genius on not a few levels, literally. He is the classy, supreme commander of signature sound. He is to Pat M. as Lennon was to McCartney: each w/o the other not nearly as creative, intelligent and amazing. He keeps so much in reserve. Like a fine Arabian, Ferrari or G5, his cruising speed is way above the pack, and all he has to do to move quickly into overdrive/hy p e r s p a c e , is lightly tap on the pedal of his talent!
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jackcfeldman 1 9 4 8
Lyle Mays' Fictionary demonstrates a keen understandin g of the wonders of straight-ahe a d acoustic jazz music and is a remarkable tribute to the music of the late Bill Evans. I wish Mays would do more of this kind of work. His use of sidemen Marc Johnson and Jack deJohnette was a brilliant stroke. Absolutely superb music....
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Favorite line on any live album (Travels), near the end of San Lorenzo...as always Lyle! You just know Methany trusts that man to Nth degree. Incredible team.
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Interesting roots!!! All the way from North Texas State? I,m surprised Lyle didn,t hook up with Kenton, who was also an innovator? You'd think Leon Breeden might have gotten in the act?
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LISTEN TO FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN SOUND TRACK TOP NOTCH THIS IS NOT AMERICA IS MY FAVORITE TRACK
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I LOVE TEIKO TRACK NEVER GET SICK OF IT ITS AWESOME
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The Voice..
When I first heard Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny on radio back in the late 70's I knew right away what I wanted to do with my life. Be a Jazz radio announcer so I could discover and share music like this. After a 30 year career I am still in awe of this magnificent pianist and event though I'm now retired from radio I can proudly say I was able to share this blessing of music with so many others. There are no others to compare him to because he,s the only one who spoke his language.
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Mays contribution the the PMG is considerable . He is a great keyboardist in his own right with a unique sound that while at times leans toward the commercial side of jazz, is always entertaining . His work on Fictionary is brilliant acoustic jazz ...especiall y his interplay with Jack Dejohnette. Would like to hear more from him on solo projects
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elevenchase
I sat about 5 feet from Lyle as he, Rodby and Wertico were playing at The Green Mill in Chicago a few years ago. Watching Lyle, it seemed that the piano was a fluid extension of his body. It was unbelievable .
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I had a chance to talk to Lyle during a break in their sound checks at the Berkeley Greek Theater during the PMG Letter From Home Tour. First off the guy is so down to earth, friendly and mellow. We started talking about the Still Life Talking show I saw about 2 years previously to this tour. I tell him that he is my all time favorite jazz pianist, he thanks me and then blows my mind by asking..How was our sound the last time you saw us? Whoa.. this guy is so dedicated...
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