"Careless Grooves" was inspired by the late George MIchael's "Careless Whispers", for which I have had the sheet music for decades. After I wrote the introduction, I alternated the Careless Whispers chord changes with a 2 chord vamp over a samba groove. The 4 part "fugue" near the end was very tough for me to write, probably taking more time that all the other sections put together. The intro and outro also include a few measures from Stevie Wonder's "All Is Fair in Love".
Performances from 2016 "Quintessence"
In addition to "Quintessence" referring to my 5th annual concert, there are other references to the use of "5", most importantly, this year being the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, which is why I am revisiting my "9/11 Chorale". In "Lower and Upper Level Divergence", stacked perfect fifths are integral to the harmonic structure. "Diminished Expectations" is almost all written and improvised in 5/8. In " A Quintessential Sequence" there are sequential uses of "5" harmonically and metrically. In the 2016 concert I eliminated the cello and kept the sax. The music was mostly my originals, plus two contemporary jazz charts I had transcribed. The featured quintet work was my original "Lower and Upper Level Divergence". My tune "Anything Goes" should read "sax quartet" (just like "Neat Beats").
"Gay's experience in the jazz world is impressive. Though I'm a composer as well, I don't listen for structure when I listen to music generally. If the structure is readily apparent I can pick it out. But I don't listen critically, I listen for the emotional effect on me. What I like about Gay's music is that the structure, which is clearly well worked out as she describes in the program notes, is transparent. The effect is enjoyable and engaging music". -Richard St. Clair, prolific classical composer, Harvard PhD Cambridge MA
"This is truly luxurious music. Soothing, simplistically complex, unique". -Doris Spears, jazz vocalist, Trenton NJ
Additional Players: Lea Pearson-Flute Tracey McMullen-Sax John Lockwood-Bass Phil McGowan-Drums
Performances from 2015 "Goin' Home-A Retrospective"
For this concert I added tenor sax player Tracy McMullen, featuring only one sextet, where I revisited my classical arrangement with six reharmonizations of the famous jazz standard "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise." Each reharmonization was a different duet combination of flute, synthesized trumpet(on keyboard), cello, and bass. This version of "Softly..." is from my 2nd studio release Alone, Independent, and Unresolved". The other tunes I revisited were Chick Corea's "Sea Journey" and Carole King's "So Far Away", title tracks for my 4th studio release "Sea Journey-So far Away". Finally, Harold Arlen's "My Shining Hour", an upbeat standard, also from Alone, Independent and Unresolved".
I am left handed and had been unofficially diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis in middle finger of left hand. Gripping (tennis racket, oars, ski poles) and comping (playing chords) only exacerbates it, so I set out on certain pieces to play linearly in the left hand. The more the left fingers could be exercised independently of each other, the better chance of slowing down the potential spread of the RA. But Very fortunately, it turned out to be "only" osteo arthritis. However, the same therapeutic techniques apply. So the use of "sinister" is certainly appropriate. For this concert, the featured quintet work was my arrangement of Steve Swallow's "Ladies and Mercedes". The rest was a mix of jazz standards 6 new originals (including a one minute solo piano piece), and arrangements of a couple of contemporary pop and classical composers' music, and a reading of a Bert and I story to free improvisations, by bass and drums.
Additional Players: Lea Pearson-Flute Shannon Allen-Cello Jim Lyden-Bass Phil McGowan-Drums
Performances from 2013 "Floating On Waves"
This concert was a mix of jazz standards (3 of which were my reharmonizations) and my new jazz and classical pieces composed specifically for that concert. My featured quintet work was "Floating On Waves"
The 2012 concert was all my original works, for different combinations of flute, piano, cello, bass and drums. Some pieces were strictly for jazz piano trio. My sister Lea, the flutist, brought her interpretive skills which were useful to my music, as I often don't write in 4/4 or 8 measure phrases, I had had sessions with my drummer Phil McGowan for about 2 years previous to the concert series, to learn more techniques and approaches to interacting with a combo, which paid off for my jazz compositions.