Composer/Arranger. I was first introduced to Gay Pearson with her svelte string sextet arrangement of "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise" on Tyrone Brown's Song of the Sun. That is actually a reprise on an arrangement of the same piece for Pearson's own release, Alone, Independent and Unresolved. Both arrangements are quite excellent, as is the rest of Alone, Independent and Unresolved.
Pearson plays with a classically trained, deliberate style that is rhythmically sophisticated, idea-rich, and readily accessible. Ahmad Jamal's "Fly Away" is almost a popular music romp with high-wire digitation. Pearson squeezes out one of the freshest "Well, You Needn't" I have heard recently. Her ballad playing is smart and cogent as evidenced by "When sunny Gets Blue" and "Here's That Rainy Day". But it is with "Softly..." that Pearson expresses her talents of composition and arrangement, producing truly provocative and thoughtful music. A coolly educated talent deserving wider recognition.
Track Listing: Fly Away; When Sunny Gets Blue; Well, You Needn't; Softly As In A Morning Sunrise; Here's That Rainy Day; All Blues; Uzuri; Mambo Inn; X-Eyez; This Will Be My Shining Hour; Alone, Independent And Unresolved. (Total Time: 50:03)
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.