Gay Pearson | Chamber Jazz Concert II: Floating On Waves

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Jazz: Chamber Jazz Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Chamber Jazz Concert II: Floating On Waves

by Gay Pearson

I usually improvise over harmonies from the written portion of the piece, ranging from conventional progressions and voicings to more contemporary sounds using sequences , vamps and pedal points with a variety of grooves and meters often within one piece.
Genre: Jazz: Chamber Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Floating On Waves
6:39 $0.99
2. Illusive Time
4:16 $0.99
3. Consequence
4:56 $0.99
4. Schiddisch
3:32 $0.99
5. A Condescending Turnaround
4:17 $0.99
6. Slash and Burn
2:59 $0.99
7. Bent Propeller Blues
3:54 $0.99
8. Falling Grace
4:06 $0.99
9. Here's That Rainy Day
8:08 $0.99
10. When I Fall in Love
4:18 $0.99
11. As We Know
6:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Prior to the chamber jazz concerts, Gay has released four self-produced CDs to local and national acclaim.
"Gay Pearson is a superb addition to the jazz world". Patricia Myers, Jazz Times May 1999
'She plays in a straight ahead manner, yet she has an element of liberation in her delivery that elevates the performance several notches. Pearson is capable of interpreting other writers in a unique way and can maintain a melodic framework while varying the structure within the confines of the tunes' changes. She is a strong player who should develop rapidly given the credentials and stylisti variety that she brings to the music." Frank Rubulino, Cadence May 1998
Jim Santella of Cadence raves "Pearson gives her audience a double barrel of swinging excitement that's married with a love for the lyrical melody".
However, ironically when I compose I usually decide on a harmonic structure before anything else. I never hear melodies first;
they appear as a result of the chord progressions. Meters and form are also the outcome of where ever the harmonic development takes me, tho I often feel ambiguous about what meter to use, and where to use space.
Especially with my quintet/quartet, deciding on what lines I want to give to what instrument can be the most time consuming and frustrating. The traditional jazz trio format (piano, bass,drums) is much easier in this regard, as I can assign improvised sections.
My inspiration comes from many musical sources, including examples and excerpts of features topics in Keyboard magazines going back to the late '80's. Often I would select ideas from piano solos I liked, from any one of hundreds of cassette tapes I used to record of jazz musicians I heard back in the late 80's thru 2004 on Temple University's WRTI.
But since I"ve been studying with Vardan Ovsepian(2008), I often set out to compose based on a particular topic or topics and technics he has taught me.
I also listen intently to the giants Brad Mehldau and Keith Jarrett(whom Vardan has turned me onto) to try to hear and learn from them.
My personnel for the Chamber Jazz II concert were:
Lea Pearson on flute and vocals, Ben Noyes on cello,
Greg Loughman on bass, and my favorite drummer Phil McGowan, with whom I have also had sessions and lessons.

The concert theme was "floating" , which I spent much of every summer here on Mussel Cove doing. But as a pianist, it means the right hand moves freely, independent of the groove . Most contemporary pianists I hear, do this.
Althought I wrote out my solo for "Floating On Waves", I made a point to keep a few measures rhythmically free.
But in the intro and outro( a 2 chord vamp) I focussed more on floating. Lea and Ben wrote their own solos.

"Illusive Time" , for jazz trio, became quite rhythmically complex to notate and play, whenI decided to add some 16th note edginess, which meant accenting the 2nd 16th note of each beat. The piece features improvised bass solos played off 3 different vamp sections.. The final vamp features piano.

"Consequence" utilizes contemporary voicing technics for quintet, then features improvised piano and bass solos from some of the chord progressions extracted from the "head"..
This was first performed on chamber jazz concert I.

I wrote the head for "Schiddisch" a couple years before I finished it, one day when I was feeling particularly schiddish.
The rest of the composition took much revisiting before I finally decided on the style I wanted and how to implement it.
Harmonically it's centered around augmented triads and 7ths, very dense, and building dynamically.
Rhythmically it's loose and shimmering for a while, then becomes a tocatta feel , again building dynamically until the return to the head.
"A Condescending Turnaround" describes this 4 measure vamp, as it's in key of A, with descending chord progressions
until it turns around back to A. There is rhythmic edginess as in "Illusive Time" and the piano solo near the end includes
odd meters.
"Slash and Burn" uses nongeneric slash chords, followed by a "burning" synth solo annd drum solo.

"Bent Propeller Blues" was originally written to be performed at my mother's 90th birthday in 2005.
It was inspired by some lyrics I found in a boating magazine .

"Falling Grace" by Steve Swallow was performed as a jazz trio with improvised piano and bass choruses, followed by an arrangement I wrote for flute, piano and cello, with bass playing chord roots.

I arranged "Here's That Rainy Day" for traditional string quartet in 2009, then adapted to my current group , playing the 2nd violin part on synth, using the pan floot sound. I followed that with a transition and key change into a samba feel.

"When I Fall In Love" was performed as a jazz trio with Lea singing the head, followed by a reharmonization for quartet , again adapted to my current ensemble.

"As We Know" is one of my favorite pieces by Vardan Ovsepian, for jazz trio. Although simple chord progressions, I took to it right away when he first played it for me a few years ago. I love soloing over it. The drum groove features a Civil war snare.



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