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Lyle Mays’ Final Studio Work to Be Released in August

The late pianist and composer's "mini-symphony" Eberhard was recorded in 2019 and 2020

Lyle Mays
Lyle Mays

Lyle Mays, the longtime pianist and keyboardist for the Pat Metheny Group, passed away in February 2020 after a long illness. Before his death, however, Mays worked hard to complete a final, large-scale piece in tribute to one of his heroes. That work is now being released posthumously as Eberhard, available as an independent release on August 27.

Eberhard—named after and dedicated to German bassist and composer Eberhard Weber, whom Mays considered a profound influence—is a “mini-symphony”: a 13-minute, long-form, multi-sectional composition for 16 musicians, including a cello quartet and a three-piece vocal section (with Mays’ niece, Aubrey Johnson, as the featured vocalist). The ensemble also includes such august players as saxophonist Bob Sheppard, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummer/percussionist Alex Acuña.

Recording for the project took place between August 2019 and January 2020 in Los Angeles. Mays died on February 10, working on this final statement until almost the very end.

Eberhard will be available on CD, vinyl, and digital formats. For more information or to preorder the album, visit Lyle Mays’ website.

Mays cofounded the Pat Metheny Group in 1977, and remained a member until 2010, working closely with Metheny and serving as co-composer and primary arranger for the band. They enjoyed considerable crossover success and won 11 Grammy Awards. He also had his own solo career, thereby earning another four Grammy nominations.

Read longtime Pat Metheny Group drummer Paul Wertico’s farewell tribute to Lyle Mays here.