Gay Pearson's Eclectic Ensemble




GOIN’ HOME… A RETROSPECTIVE is pianist and composer Gay Pearson’s second release on Big Round Records.  The album is a live recording of her most recent annual chamber-jazz concert, featuring an eclectic ensemble with Gay Pearson on piano, John Lockwood on bass, Phil McGowan on drums, Tracy McMullen on saxophone, Lea Pearson on flute, and Shannon Allen on cello. This varied ensemble performs a wide variety of music with different instrumental combinations, from Astor Piazzolla to classic tunes of Chick Corea, Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern, to more contemporary original compositions by Pearson herself.


Quoting Pearson, “My compositions do not always begin with a simple idea of a single chord, but it is important to note that I always hear harmony first, out of which melodies may or may not evolve. My favorite and easiest approach is to change one note of a chord at a time and see where that takes me, or to start with a harmonic sequence, then decide how long it should be, at what intervals it will repeat.” This can be seen primarily in the sequence she utilized in her piece Chromatic Exploitations.


In her piece Pent-Up Love, Pearson fuses pentatonic riffs with inspiration from saxophonist Tracy McMullen’s My Truculent Paradise and suggestions of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, creating an entirely new and energetic contemporary jazz tune filled with technical improvisational skills and quartal harmonies.


Sea Journey and So Far Away, written by Chick Corea and Carole King, respectively, are co-titles of Pearson’s 2004 studio release. Inspired at the time by her move back from her home in Trenton NJ to Falmouth ME, Pearson was inspired to revisit and rework these pieces as well as in advance of her next move, “Goin’ Home” again, ultimately back to Newburyport MA. These newest versions are refined live performances, including a compelling bass/piano duo within Pearson’s arrangement of So Far Away.


Also revisited was her milestone and probably unique arrangement of Romberg's Softly As In A Morning Sunrise which included 6 reharmonizations for 6 duets, each for different combinations of flute, cello, viola and bass from her 1998 release Alone Independent and Unresolved.




Music reviewer 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"


The works on this album contain a wide, stylistic variety of tones and textures showcased through many genres, capturing in all cases the technical and passionate presence of Pearson and her eclectic ensemble


GOIN’ HOME: A RETROSPECTIVE is Gay Pearson’s second album release with Big Round Records. Her first album, A SINISTER ENDEAVOR, was released in July of 2015 and can be sampled at www.bigroundrecords.com/catalog/br8941


GOIN’ HOME: A RETROSPECTIVE was recorded in front of a live audience in the Unitarian Parish Hall in Gay Pearson’s hometown, Newburyport MA


This album features four original compositions by Gay Pearson: C-SAW, Chromatic Exploitations, Positive Vorticity Advection, and Pent-Up Love


Gay Pearson is in her 9th year studying advanced improvisation and composition with Vardan Ovsepian and has performed her compositions for the Back Cove Contemporary Composer’s Festival from 2011-2015




A Sinister Endeavor

Gay Pearson















piano, flute, cello, bass, drums


2 Michelangelo 70

(arr. W. Thomas-Mifune for cello and piano)

piano, flute, cello, bass


3 Softly As in a Morning Sunrise

(arr. & reharmonized, Gay Pearson)

synthesizer, flute, tenor saxophone, cello, bass, drums


4 Sea Journey

piano, tenor saxophone, bass, drums


5 So Far Away

piano, flute, cello, bass, drums


6 Chromatic Exploitations

piano, flute, cello, bass


7 Piece of Cake

piano, tenor saxophone, bass, drums


8 Peacocks

piano, tenor saxophone, bass, drums


9 The Song is You

piano, tenor saxophone, bass, drums


10 Goin' Home

synthesizer, tenor saxophone, bass, drums


11 Positive Vorticity Advection

piano, flute, cello, bass, drums


12 Pent-Up Love

piano, tenor saxophone, bass, drums


13 Arise

(arr. Anthony McDonald)

piano, flute, cello, bass, drums


14 Stickslap

piano, tenor saxophone, bass, drums


15 This Will Be My Shining Hour

piano, tenor saxophone, bass, drums





Gay Pearson, piano; Tracy McMullen, tenor saxophone;

John Lockwood, bass; Phil McGowan, drums;

Lea Pearson, flute; Shannon Allen, cello


All tracks recorded live October 18, 2015

at Unitarian Church Parish Hall in Newburyport MA


Session Producer Gay Pearson

Session Engineer Timothy Phillips


Cover Photography Joanne Arnold


Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Brandon MacNeil

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy

Mastering Shaun Michaud, Nate Hunter

Art & Production Director Brett Picknell

Graphic Design Ryan Harrison, Brittney Tambeau

Marketing Morgan MacLeod







Release Date: June 10, 2016

Catalog #: BR8946




Big Round Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.



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