“It is with deep sadness that I share that my uncle, Lyle Mays, passed away this morning in Los Angeles surrounded by loved ones, after a long battle with a recurring illness. Lyle was a brilliant musician and person, and a genius in every sense of the word. He was my dear uncle, mentor, and friend and words cannot express the depth of my grief.
From his family, thank you for loving him and his music.”
Wow, that's awful. I'm in the Pat Metheny fan group on Facebook, and yesterday someone posted something that sort of implied that he had passed, but googling turned up nothing. This is a big bummer. I think I saw him play more times than anyone else (aside fro Pat himself).
A band I was in opened for the PM Group in their early days at the Mississippi Nights club in STL...'77 or '78 I think. Lyle was the nicest guy. We carried around this sort of a chopped baby grand. It played with the smoothness of driving a semi-truck in a parking lot but sounded fairly decent through the house system. Lyle commented he loved the band and that he wished they carried something like that.
We met again years later when he was doing a clinic at Musician's Institute in Hollywood , where I was part of the Big Band and small group Jazz ensembles. Bob Sheppard was playing in the group with Lyle. I think it was Steve Houghton and Tom Warrington too. They sounded great, I remember them just playing some Standards and a couple of Lyle's tunes.
When it came time in the program to talk about music, harmony and his overall approach, he had the entire packed room - teachers, students, visiting musicians, the guys on stage- totally mesmerized ! Such a deep, genius type guy. Yet very humble, down to earth and so easy to converse with. I was amazed that he remembered that gig and our band in STL.
This is so sad. I'm literally in tears. The only comfort is that he had already "retired" from the music business and seemed content with his body of work, which is indeed massive. RIP Lyle and thanks for inspiring me to become a musician. The first time I heard "Phase Dance" my life was forever changed.
So sad. Didn't know he was ill. I got to see him with the PMG a couple of times. Such great shows with great musicians. His first solo release is a favorite of mine. Also, he recorded with bassist Eberhard Weber in a live recording that's different than his PMG music, but just as compelling. RIP
Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny had a synergistic effect on each other in their song composition. Metheny wasn't the same without him. Many musicians don't realize what a special talent it takes to be a multi-keyboardist and do it well. Lyle Mays was the best at that.
I was able to see every Pat Metheny Group tour from First Circle to The Way Up. I also attended many of Metheny’s non-Group shows. There was always something special about the Metheny/Mays connection. Many of us always held out hope that one day they would collaborate again and reunite that special chemistry. Sadly, that can never happen. Also sad that during the past fifteen years we heard very little from Lyle. This is an enormous hole in the world of music. RIP Lyle.
Sad, sad day. He was a phenomenal musician. I first experienced Lyle with PMG when I saw them in NYC in '85 at the Pier 84 next to the Intrepid during the First Circle tour. They opened with First Circle and I was transfixed. Lyle's first solo record is still in my listening rotation. The Way Up is a masterpiece.
He was a very early inspiration! We are fortunate to have his catalogue to listen to. I loved his first two solo records...interestingly enough, the first one still sounds good today!
That first record really revealed to me who Mr. Mays was. ( In comparison, I thought he sounded more restricted in the Metheny group...) I played the heck out of all those Metheny and Mays records in 80s and 90s - to the point where I have trouble hearing them with the right ears anymore. Overplayed, possibly?
But Lyle's first solo record (and perhaps "Offramp") still sounds vital and alive today. Thank you so much, Lyle!
Nord Stage 2EX, NI Kontrol S61, Yamaha MX49, Kurz PC3, Mopho Keys, drums, tons of synth software, guitars, amps, and pedals...
From my Lylecentric playlist for today, a track from an ECM album by Steve Swallow called 'Home'- musical settings for poems by Robert Creeley, with Lyle Mays on synth casting a mood that matches mine today. Sadly this link only works for 'YouTube Premium' subscribers; since I'm a 'regular' guy, I'm taking it on faith that it'll work for those who are paid up.
Next up on my list, 'Imaginary Day' in 5.1 surround. Pretty much an epic experience.
Thanks for the beauty you sent into the world, Mr. Mays.
I got to see The PM Group years back when I was still having afterglow from the main prog era and I was floored by Lyle's fluidity. He also showed me a completely new angle on synths that left a positive impression on my own approach. Anything from ECM always has great inherent worth, but I especially liked his work there. I've never been a huge jazz fan in the usual sense, but I've always been a fan of Lyle. He had a superior musical run worth remembering... and re-playing at home.
First SETI contact hailed as aliens beam out Voyager response!: "SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY!"