Lyle Mays (1953 – 2020)

ECM Records Press Release

Lyle Mays, the American pianist and composer best known for his work with Pat Metheny, has died, aged 66.
After an early engagement in Woody Herman’s group the Wisconsin born musician met guitarist Metheny in 1974, with whom he later founded the Pat Metheny Group, for which he was effectively orchestrator and arranger as well as creative soloist, helping to define the band’s sound with his range of keyboard colours. He can be heard on Pat Metheny’s “Watercolors” (1977) as well as on the eminently successful albums‚ “Pat Metheny Group” (1978), “American Garage‘”(1979), “Offramp” (1982), “Travels” (1983) and “First Circle” (1984) by the Metheny Group. 1981’s critically acclaimed “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” was credited to Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. Lyle wrote many tunes together with Metheny including “San Lorenzo”, “Phase Dance”, “American Garage”, “Are You Going With Me”, and “This Is Not America” (recently revived by Julia Hülsmann).
A multiple Grammy winner, Lyle Mays also appeared on ECM albums by Steve Swallow (“Home”, 1979) and Eberhard Weber (“Later That Evening”, 1982).


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