Mainstream jazz sometimes involves risk-taking. Trade fours with the drummer, turn the bassist loose on almost every number, and concentrate on what you want to say with the piano. But each artist stretches as he sees fit. Let’s have a round of applause for the bassist, Tyrone Brown!
Gay Pearson’s piano trio resembles the group you’ll find at most local jazz clubs and lounges. On this, her third CD, they perform with a quaint manner that you’d love, either in person or on compact disc. Complete information may be found at Gay Pearson’s web site .
Pearson is at her best with Herbie Hancock’s "Maiden Voyage," where she pushes hard and allows creativity to take over. Her guests provide contrasting variety while keeping the session in the mainstream. For "Last Night When We Were Young," John Blake "croons" with a weepy-eyed opening alongside bowed bass and piano before changing-up to a bouncier middle section. The light-hearted nature of the tune makes for a good time. That mood rolls over to "Precious and Playful Baby Blues," which incorporates sampled bird calls from Pearson’s pet parakeet to compete with singer Denise Montana’s natural song styling. The leader’s solo piano performance of John Coltrane’s "Giant Steps" takes on a strong, carefully laid out European classical form, while Pearson’s lounge music piano trio arrangements of "When Lights Are Low," "Second Time Around" and "Whisper Not" loosen up the scene and make you feel like you’re right there sipping your drink in the room, nodding your head, and tapping your toes. Trish V. Johnson plays the baritone saxophone with a fluid Gerry Mulligan approach that works wonders alongside the piano trio with guest conguero Ray C. Williams. Her composition "Easy Does It" reflects a light Caribbean flavor and moves the pianist into a powerful, contrasting interlude that lights a fire to the piece. A similar occurrence in "When Lights Are Low" ignites the session. Recommended, Pearson’s straight-ahead album offers variety while keeping the mainstream fires burning.
Track Listing: What Are You Doing New Year
Personnel: Gay Pearson- piano, violin on "What Are You Doing New Year
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.