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 love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.