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Mark Stryker

Lyle Mays, R.I.P. (1953–2020)

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Lyle Mays’ niece, singer Aubrey Johnson, is reporting on Twitter that he has died. 

 

She writes: “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. He was my dear uncle, mentor, and friend and words cannot express the depth of my grief.”

Edited by Mark Stryker

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This one hurts, bad... His impact on me as a listener was huge, such a great talent.

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  Blimey, this is pretty shocking. RIP, very sad to hear this.

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Oh my...I watched in awe as he was given total control over the NTSU 1:00 band, something that had never happened before, or has ever happened since. He got the best out of that band, worked them like hell (open rehearsals every day, except for the two weeks leading up to the recording). Past that, he'd play trio gigs in the evening here and there that were fully-formed (or so they seemed at the time).

Synths were liberating for him, too. I remember somewhere early on, maybe after he came off the road with Herman, somebody asked him why he wasn't writing more big band charts and he said something like it's too hard to get people to play them right. Observing how he had to bend the 1:00 to his will (and not in a mean way, mind you), how much work that was, that made sense.

He was not, it seemed, a guy who really had to work to "find his voice", though. It seemed like it was always there, and the question was not how to find it, but how to grow it. And the answer, then and later, was to just get out of his way and let him go do his thing,

Can't say I've "loved" everything he's done, but damn, have I respected him. This is a loss to music in general, this type of talent, this type of skill set, this type of vision.

RIP

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That's too young.

I only know his recordings with Methenywhich I really enjoy on the occasional outing. Seemed essential to the whole sound of that band.

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First time I saw him was with the 70s Woody Herman Herd. He was a major contributor to that line-up, must have been around the time he started recording with Metheny.

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One of my first ECM albums was Watercolors (1977), also his first Pat Metheny album. A huge impact from an album rarely mentioned. Usually folks mention the white PMG album.

"a recurring illness" might explain why he retired from music and the road early, a lesson in impermanence for us all. :(

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He also left music for an improbable second career as a Software Manager. Could never fathom that out at the time it was announced but in light of the reported medical condition, it now makes more sense.

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R.I.P.

Certainly an artist I've heard a great deal, although really only as part of PMG--as 1/2 of the essence of that group.

It's odd timing, in that I was listening to a great deal of Pat Metheny today, though not much to the Group.  I will have to shift over there for the rest of the evening.  

I've been wondering about Lyle being musically quiet for an extended period.

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1 hour ago, Milestones said:

R.I.P.

Certainly an artist I've heard a great deal, although really only as part of PMG--as 1/2 of the essence of that group.

It's odd timing, in that I was listening to a great deal of Pat Metheny today, though not much to the Group.  I will have to shift over there for the rest of the evening.  

I've been wondering about Lyle being musically quiet for an extended period.

His 5 solo albums (Ludwigsburg Concert is an archive release from 1993 out in 2015) all have something to offer. I cannot fathom his statement in a Jazziz podcast he played poorly on Fictionary, he admitted to be in awe of Jack DeJohnette and felt a bit inhibited.  The album I think, is fantastic.

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When I consider he was my age ....... R.I.P.

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12 minutes ago, mikeweil said:

When I consider he was my age ....... R.I.P.

A day older than ME!

RIP, Lyle. :(

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A piece I wrote for New York Jazz Workshop in memoriam: http://bit.ly/38jmxzX

Steve Rodby wrote a very moving post on Facebook about his last day spent with him, and Pat Metheny's further reflections give the story of the past decade post PMG and they had been discussing a Wichita sequel.  I have to admit Lyle's passing hit me just as hard as when Jimmy Smith died... my passion for Metheny's music has lead me to professional connections to him as well as his band mates, and alumni. Antonio Sanchez has become a  close friend, so it hit me VERY hard, to hear of Lyle's passing.  I was going to ask Antonio to connect me with Lyle for a podcast. I know he was not to everyone's taste as Jim Sangrey noted, but he was something special, IMO.

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Rest in peace, Mr. Mays, and thank you for the music.

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In 1975, when my brother was in music at North Texas, he told me, "There's this keyboardist with the 1 o'clock band who writes the catchiest tunes -- they just stay in my head all day."  He added, "I've gone to this pizza joint at night and seen Lyle writing charts in the middle of the racket from video games and chatter."

BTW, Pete was there from '73-76 and was 1st horn with the NT Symphony under Anshel Brusilow.  He got first call when the 1 0'clock needed a french horn. 

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