Lyle Mays, synonymous with the music of Pat Metheny, has died. The keyboardist and multi-Grammy winner was 66. He passed away yesterday in Los Angeles after a long unspecified illness.
Pat Metheny on his website writes: “Lyle was one of the greatest musicians I have ever known. Across more than 30 years, every moment we shared in music was special. From the first notes we played together, we had an immediate bond. His broad intelligence and musical wisdom informed every aspect of who he was in every way. I will miss him with all my heart.”
Bassist Steve Rodby, also a key part with Mays in the Pat Metheny Group, writes: “I had the great privilege of having Lyle in my life for decades, as an inspiration and as my friend. As anyone who knew him and his music will agree, there will only be one Lyle, and we all will continue to appreciate his soulful brilliance, in so many ways.”
Mays, who hailed from Wausaukee in Wisconsin, was with Metheny an arranger and composer as well as a key part of the history-making sound that the band ushered in to the vocabulary of jazz from the late-1970s/early-80s that became loved all over the world – and in an immense body of work still is.