Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Gary Meek Finds His "Monterey Groove" & Lyle Mays Releases His "Eberhard" Opus

Saxophonist Gary Meek is very well-known throughout the jazz community, having performed on over 200 albums, including six of his own. The pandemic allowed Meek to put together a new quartet for his latest project "Monterey Groove," which will be released August 27th, through Autumn Hill Records. It features eleven tracks, beginning with the up-tempo, positive energy of "For A Long Time," which is how Gary and his group must have felt like, getting back to playing music together. The keyboards and rhythm get a little funkier with the dance floor vibes of "Power Station," while "Midnight Sky" simply glides along with a relaxed, calming tone. The energy quickly picks back up with the swift scales of "Bosphorus Blues," which allows the entire band to shine. Vocalist Flora Purim is featured on the mellow ballad "The Hope," before Gary quickens your pulse once more with the quick-moving notes of "Move Out." He finishes his new album with a return to the funky beats of "Cannery Row" and the beautifully elegant notes of "Jenna's Song." To find out more about Gary Meek and his latest release "Monterey Groove," please visit garymeek.net.

Also arriving August 27th, is one of the final recordings from jazz pianist Lyle Mays, who was a member of the multi-Grammy award-winning outfit, The Pat Metheny Group. This new release features Mays' 13-minute opus titled "Eberhard," which was recorded in the months before his passing in February 2020. The song is a dedication to the German bass player Eberhard Weber, who was a huge influence on Lyle Mays, as well as his collaborator Pat Metheny. The song begins with the subtle hints of a melody played out on the keys, before more musical layers are added, which also increases the volume of the music. During the middle of the composition, Mays' piano work gets more intense with the support of bass, synthesizers, shakers and the angelic vocals of Aubrey Johnson, Rosana Eckert and Gary Eckert. The musical journey comes to a climax with the entire band in support and reaching its crest at the 11-minute mark, before a hint of piano closes out the composition in the same way it started. To find out more about Lyle Mays' "Eberhard" release, please visit lylemays.com.

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