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Lyle Mays


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Of his four dominant interests - in all of them being a child prodigy - chess, mathematics, architecture (building with LEGO bricks as a kid) and music, the latter developed to be his area of focus. Being the son of musically interested parents - his mother played the piano in church, his father played guitar by ear - he soon was allowed to explore the piano with the help of a teacher, Rose Baron, who was open to letting the kid, who had perfect pitch, improvise after the formal lesson. He soon was playing organ for the church.

At the suggestion of Dan Wheelock, his eighth grade band instructor, he attended summer camps where he met Rich Matteson who first introduced him to important jazz artists. Bill Evans’ album ‘Live in Montreux’ was among his revelations. He attended University of North Texas for its inspiring environment of geeks avid to jam whenever and wherever possible. He composed and arranged for the One o’clock Lab Band and was the composer and arranger of their highly regarded Lab ‘75 album.

After leaving UNT, Mays toured with Woody Herman’s group for about eight months.

In 1975 he met Pat Metheny with whom he founded the still-performing Pat Metheny Group, one of the most successful jazz bands ever. During that period he lived in New York City, so poor that he was “almost starving”, but he continued to pursue his concept of music and artistry. Later, he moved back to rural Wisconsin where, among other activities, he coached an adolescent soccer team. He also flirted with the idea of moving to Brazil but finally - at the end of the 1990s - moved to Los Angeles which is “the opposite of so many cities”.


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  • phialphapi

    A rainy Sunday evening chilling with a glass of wine..

    2 Mar 10:11pm Reply
  • Bentwick09

    and by the way..... .... :)

    12 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Bentwick09

    .... auch ohne Pat sehr gut..., aber mit Pat....., no words..... :)

    12 Oct 2013 Reply
  • koniii

    A true hero of amazing progressions, textures and melodies!

    27 Dec 2012 Reply
  • cocienocardona

    ... auch ohne Pat sehr gut.

    16 Nov 2012 Reply
  • YaderV


    2 May 2012 Reply
  • kaly_

    Happy Birthday !!! <3 <3 <3

    27 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Amidlo

    i started with the self-titled album called "Lyle Mays", and i am extremely happy of it! this is grand! Lyle Mays, you have a new fan.

    24 May 2011 Reply
  • reimusho


    27 Nov 2010 Reply
  • Qaukab

    Old love!

    13 May 2010 Reply
  • adrianorawa

    An album to start with..?

    21 Mar 2010 Reply

    I really would like to hear one day Lyle compositions for his percussion ensemble...

    18 Jan 2010 Reply
  • tastineri

    Without you Pat is a guitarist like the others... your groove is been created by Our Lord to be only a thing with his groove. pd'

    23 Dec 2009 Reply
  • riar68

    Hombre Lyle no seas tan estirado y firmame algun disco que el patricio y el resto de la banda no tiene ningun problema, y si se lo pides te haces hasta la foto. un tio majo el Metheny

    4 Oct 2009 Reply
  • miguy7

    The great pianist & great composer are so blended, it is hard to know which is paramount in your music; that is what it has always been about! Jazz now - or classical then. Luckily I own all of yours... tres bien!

    14 Jun 2009 Reply
  • rainy-taxi

    one of the best piano players of our time…

    2 May 2009 Reply
  • coolic

    really good

    14 Apr 2009 Reply
  • alexrudi

    его слушать Одно удовольствие !!!!

    19 Mar 2009 Reply
  • zackgress

    I wish his albums were easier to find... :-( anyways.. HANGTIME! BEFORE YOU GO! I LOVE LYLE!

    12 Aug 2008 Reply
  • Ask808

    ...Mays is a the Lyle Mays album...

    16 May 2008 Reply
  • All 23 shouts

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