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Lyle Mays | Fictionary – [Warner Jazz, 1992]

Lyle Mays, Fictionary

After the general “panning” of his second album (“Street Dreams“) Lyle took some time before going back into the studio without the PMG. The result is a perfectly fine trio album (with Marc Johnson & Jack DeJohnette) very much in the style of the Bill Evans & Keith Jarrett Trios.

Mays has never made a secret of his admiration of Bill Evans (eg September 15 on “As Wichita Falls……..”) & the opening track here pays dutiful, respectful tuneful homage. The title track which follows is dedicated to Chick Corea & again the influence is apparent (personally I’m more a fan of Evans & therefore of the opening track). “Sienna” is a sassy, moody piece (deep, resonant bass lines from Johnson) with a nice groove but which could (if I was being picky) have given more space to Johnson & DeJohnette (Mays does have a slight tendency to “overplay” on this disc). “Lincoln Reviews His Notes” is similar with a lovely minor riff before “Hard Eights” leads off with DeJohnette literally belting his drum kit before Johnson & Mays join in (rather too “straight ahead” for my ideal liking although not without some very pleasant chords from Mays). “Something left Unsaid” is delightful melancholia & “Where are you from Today” has an appealing groove.

Overall a solid effort but one wherein the standard of the second half (ex “Where are you from Today?”) falls away somewhat from the first half. —David J. Ohanlon

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