Lyle Mays

Street Dreams

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Lyle Mays' second solo album ventures even further afield than his acclaimed first record, into areas not associated with Mays nor his employer Pat Metheny. This time, the personnel list is far more varied, with several guest luminaries from the world of jazz-rock, as well as a big band and full chamber orchestra on some selections. Again, the main thrust of the album is bound up in a lengthy suite with new age atmospheric elements, juxtaposing fleet Brazilian grooves with a chamber orchestra, voluble Mays piano solos, and electronic interpolations by Mays and Frisell reminiscent of early classical electronic music. The solo "Chorinho" is a running classical exercise on electric keyboards, almost a contemporary Bachianas Brasileiras (to borrow Villa-Lobos' term) and a considerable feat of invention. The biggest surprise of all may well be "Possible Straight," a brief, straight-ahead piece of big band hard bop, and "Before You Can Go" seems to be the token emulation of the Metheny groove. There's a lot of inventive, mostly easygoing music here, though if one must choose, the level is not as consistently high as on Mays' first album.

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