Home Profiles Keyboard Titans: Pianist, Composer Lyle Mays

Keyboard Titans: Pianist, Composer Lyle Mays

218
0
LYLE MAYS was an American jazz pianist and composer who co-created the Pat Metheny Group.
He was born on November 27, 1953, in McAllister, Wisconsin. During childhood, he had various interests, such as chess, mathematics, architecture, and music. His parents, who were also musically inclined, encouraged his passion for music, and he started taking piano lessons from his instructor, Rose Barron. As a teenager, he attended the Shell Lake Stage Band Camp. He improved his skills and connected with mentors and peers in the music industry.
Inspired by Bill Evans’ Live in Montreux album and Miles Davis’ Filles de Kilimanjaro, Mays initially attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for two years. But he later transferred to the University of North Texas on scholarship. During his time at UNT, he wrote and arranged music for The One O’Clock Lab Band’s Lab 75, which became the first album by a college ensemble to be nominated for a Grammy. After leaving UNT, Mays toured with Woody Herman’s group for about eight months before he met Pat Metheny in 1974.
Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays co-founded the Pat Metheny Group. Mays contributed to the group’s musical signature by providing arrangements, orchestration, and the harmonic and metric backbone. Besides, he occasionally played electric guitar and trumpet. Mays was instrumental in winning eleven Grammy Awards for the Pat Metheny Group and was nominated for four others for his work.
Lyle Mays released several albums as a lead artist. His albums, Lyle Mays and Street Dreams, build on the content of the Pat Metheny Group, while Fictionary is a straight-ahead jazz trio session featuring fellow North Texan Marc Johnson on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. Solo: Improvisations for Expanded Piano is a collection of solo piano improvisations.
Besides his jazz compositions and arrangements, Mays also composed classical music, such as “Twelve Days in the Shadow of a Miracle,” a harp, flute, viola, and synthesizer piece. He also recorded music for children’s records, including “Tale of Peter Rabbit,” with text read by Meryl Streep.
The Steppenwolf Theater Company of Chicago featured an assortment of compositions by Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny for their production of Lyle Kessler’s play Orphans.
Mays’s final recording, “Eberhard,” was released posthumously in 2022. It earned a Grammy in the Best Instrumental Composition category.
Lyle Mays, a legendary musician known for his innovative work, passed away on February 10, 2020, leaving a remarkable legacy.
LYLE MAYS fue un pianista y compositor de jazz estadounidense que cocreó el Pat Metheny Group.
Nació el 27 de noviembre de 1953 en McAllister, Wisconsin. Durante su infancia tuvo diversos intereses, como el ajedrez, las matemáticas, la arquitectura y la música. Sus padres, que también tenían inclinaciones musicales, alentaron su pasión por la música y comenzó a recibir lecciones de piano de su instructora, Rose Barron. Cuando era adolescente, asistió al Shell Lake Stage Band Camp. Mejoró sus habilidades y se conectó con mentores y compañeros en la industria de la música.
Inspirada por el álbum Live in Montreux de Bill Evans y Filles de Kilimanjaro de Miles Davis, Mays inicialmente asistió a la Universidad de Wisconsin-Eau Claire durante dos años. Pero luego se transfirió a la Universidad del Norte de Texas con una beca. Durante su estancia en la UNT, escribió y arregló música para Lab 75 de The One O’Clock Lab Band, que se convirtió en el primer álbum de un conjunto universitario en ser nominado a un Grammy. Después de dejar la UNT, Mays estuvo de gira con el grupo de Woody Herman durante unos ocho meses antes de conocer a Pat Metheny en 1974.
Pat Metheny y Lyle Mays cofundaron Pat Metheny Group. Mays contribuyó a la firma musical del grupo proporcionando arreglos, orquestación y la columna vertebral armónica y métrica. Además, ocasionalmente tocaba la guitarra eléctrica y la trompeta. Mays contribuyó decisivamente a ganar once premios Grammy para Pat Metheny Group y fue nominado a otros cuatro por su trabajo.
Lyle Mays lanzó varios álbumes como artista principal. Sus álbumes, Lyle Mays y Street Dreams, se basan en el contenido del Pat Metheny Group, mientras que Fictionary es una sesión de trío de jazz directa con su compañero del norte de Texas Marc Johnson en el bajo y Jack DeJohnette en la batería. Solo: Improvisaciones para piano expandido es una colección de improvisaciones de piano solo.
Además de sus composiciones y arreglos de jazz, Mays también compuso música clásica, como “Twelve Days in the Shadow of a Miracle”, una pieza de arpa, flauta, viola y sintetizador. También grabó música para discos infantiles, incluido “Tale of Peter Rabbit”, con texto leído por Meryl Streep.
La Steppenwolf Theatre Company de Chicago presentó una variedad de composiciones de Lyle Mays y Pat Metheny para su producción de la obra Orphans de Lyle Kessler.
La última grabación de Mays, “Eberhard”, se lanzó póstumamente en 2022. Obtuvo un Grammy en la categoría de Mejor Composición Instrumental.
Lyle Mays, un músico legendario conocido por su trabajo innovador, falleció el 10 de febrero de 2020, dejando un legado notable.​
A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here