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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Lyle Mays dies at 66

(Report by Russell)

BSH is indebted to guitarist Bradley Johnston for conveying the sad news that keyboardist Lyle Mays died yesterday (February 10). Lyle David Mays was born in Wausaukee, Wisconsin in 1953. Upon graduation from the University of North Texas Mays toured with Woody Herman (Mays can be heard on Herman's 1976 album Live in Warsaw) and would later meet up with guitarist Pat Metheny.


Together Mays and Metheny formed the Pat Metheny Group which would prove to be a defining moment in the career of both musicians. In addition to playing a Steinway grand piano and keyboards, Lyle arranged and orchestrated material and won no fewer than eleven Grammys along the way. Away from the PMG Lyle recorded a jazz trio album Fictionary (Marc Johnson, bass, Jack DeJohnette, drums) and worked as a sideman on numerous projects including Phil Wilson, Joni Mitchell and Earth, Wind and Fire. 

In recent years Lyle distanced himself from music telling Jazziz magazine in 2016 that he was working as a software manager. Jazz critic Ted Gioia said on Twitter: For casual listeners his brilliance was hidden behind Metheny's fame, but jazz musicians know how great he was

David Lyle Mays b. 27 Nov 1953, d. 10 Feb 2020 

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