Lyle Mays’ Final Composition, “Eberhard”, Features Jimmy Johnson & Steve Rodby
The Lyle Mays Estate has released the final work of the keyboard wizard, who passed on February 10, 2020. “Eberhard” is a thirteen-minute “mini symphony” written in dedication to bassist Eberhard Weber, whose work influenced the late artist’s career.
The beautifully orchestrated piece features Mays performing piano, keyboards, and synthesizers alongside an incredible cast of musicians including Bob Sheppard, Alex Acuna, Bill Frisell, Mitchel Forman, and more. Though Weber himself is not on the recording, Mays paid tribute to him with similar soundscapes and two great bassists: Jimmy Johnson and Steve Rodby. Johnson performs a gorgeous fretless bass melody, while Rodby holds it down on the double bass. Rodby also co-produced the piece.
“Lyle’s health took a bad turn in 2019, and at about the same time, he decided to try to get “Eberhard“ recorded,” Rodby explains. “The relationship between those two events is complex. What’s clear is that he would continue writing and extending this music, as was always his process: to try to find every bit of what the material suggested, every note and harmony, and sound it evoked for him. He added parts, expanded orchestration, imagining it all on an even grander scale. The result is this recording, and what he was able to hear in his final days. This wasn’t meant to be Lyle’s last piece of music, and if he had lived longer, he had plans for more.”