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As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

Lyle Mays & Pat Metheny

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The regrettable title aside, this joint solo effort by Metheny and regular pianist and collaborator Lyle Mays is an impressive outing. In the process of stretching out away from the confines of the quartet setting of prior albums, Metheny and Mays presage the sleeker and more ethereal sound of the band's Geffen years on portions of the title track. And while this side-long number has some dreamy moments, it also bogs down in a trite climax or two; one gets the sense of a jazz fusion and prog rock marriage Metheny luckily never fully explored. Minor flaws, really, since the piece holds together in spite of the worrisome lapses of taste. The balance of the album is just fine, with the highlight being the Bill Evans remembrance, "September Fifteenth" (the date of Evan's passing, which occurred while the album was being recorded). Metheny and Mays appropriately opt for a serene and slightly elegiac piano and acoustic guitar duet. The set is balanced out by the fleet Americana of "Ozark" and the streamlined swinger "It's for You." Topped off by integral and tasteful percussion by future band regular Nana Vasconcelos, this 1981 Metheny date is certainly a worthwhile disc for fans to seek out, while not being essential.

Biografía

Nacido/a: Wausaukee, WI, 27 de noviembre de 1953

Género: Jazz

Años de actividad: '80s, '90s, '00s

Lyle Mays' style is difficult to describe, more atmospheric (with plenty of unique colors) than swinging and an invaluable part of the sound of the Pat Metheny Group. Mays played and composed for the North Texas State University Lab Band in the mid-'70s. He met Metheny in 1975, toured with Woody Herman's Orchestra (1975-1976), and then joined Metheny's band, continuing to play with the guitarist's group. Lyle Mays (who is also an excellent...
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