May 1999

Gay Pearson
Nature Girl
GP

Pianist-composer-arranger Gay Pearson is a confessed latecomer to the jazz scene, discovering Miles Davis and jazz combos just a decade ago. She exhibits estimable talent on her first album, a trio outing with bassist Tyrone Brown and drummer Jim Miller that delivers creative versions of Ellington's "Caravan," Jobim's "How Insensitive" and Eddie Harris' "Freedom Jazz Dance."

Guest Richie Cole adds his capricious alto to "If I Were a Bell" and "I Wish I Knew How It Feels To Be Free," and sister Beth Pearson's cello complements "Someone To Watch Over Me." Especially notable are the gospel-imbued original title track and the pianist's funky merger of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto and Al Jarreau's "Boogie Down" into "Rachy Boogies Down." Gay Pearson is a superb addition to the jazz world.

Originally published in May 1999
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