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New album of Gary Lindsay big band arrangements

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    Posted: 01 Sep 2018 at 8:42pm

Although Grammy-nominated arranger GARY LINDSAY has written big band charts that have been performed by everyone from Maynard Ferguson and The Atlantean Driftwood Band to the Airmen of Note and the Florida Philharmonic, THEMUSIC OF GARY LINDSAY: ARE WE STILL DREAMING (Summit Records, July 20, 2018) is the first CD devoted entirely to his big band arrangements. Lindsay is an alto sax player and performs, records, and arranges for the Miami Saxophone Quartet. The group has recorded five critically acclaimed CDs and performs regularly around southern Florida. He garnered a Grammy-nomination for jazz arranging for Arturo Sandoval's album, I REMEMBER CLIFFORD.
ARE WE STILL DREAMING was recorded by THE SOUTH FLORIDA JAZZ ORCHESTRA. Created and directed by bassist CHUCK BERGERON, the orchestra includes some of the best jazz and studio musicians, as well as jazz educators, in the southeastern part of the United States. The members of the SFJO have performed and toured with many of the greatest artists in jazz and pop music. Lindsay and Bergeron are both educators. Lindsay is Director of Studio Jazz Writing and Jazz Composition at the Frost School of Music, which is part of The University of Miami, and Bergeron is Professor of Jazz Bass and Jazz History at the University of Miami. ARE WE STILL DREAMING,the orchestra's third album, was produced by Grammy-winning trombonist JOHN FEDCHOCK. Lindsay has appeared on all of the orchestra's CDs.
Several guest artists joined the SFJO for this project, including acclaimed vocalist JULIA DOLLISON. A graduate of the Frost School and currently a member of the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado, Dollison is featured on two tunes. The first is the medley "Spring Is Here / Up Jumped Spring." According to Lindsay, "I like to write counterpoint, and when I arrange for vocalists, I don't write arrangements where the vocalist sings the melody and the band plays the accompaniment. I prefer to write arrangements where the singer and the band are in a contrapuntal conversation with one another." Dollison's large vocal range and pure tone fit perfectly with the light-hearted, fluid, and swinging arrangement. The arrangements for either tune in the medley can stand on their own, and Lindsay actually created a standalone, radio mix for "Up Jumped Spring."
Dollison also sings a wordless vocal on "Are We Still Dreaming," the title tune. Written by Lindsay, the composition was inspired by a guest appearance by trumpeter Kenny Wheeler at the Frost School a number of years ago. The tune also features solos by guitarist JOHN HART, who has performed with many jazz legends, including Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, Lou Donaldson, and James Moody. The tune also features a solo by saxophonist GARY KELLER,who is not only a member of the Miami Saxophone Quartet but has also backed up legends like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Johnny Mathis, as well as touring with many jazz luminaries.

NICOLE YARLING is another guest vocalist on this CD. A stalwart on the southern Florida jazz scene, she often appears with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra. She's heard on the standard "Easy Living." "When I wrote this arrangement, I had in mind a movie score for a hot, languid day down South," says Lindsay. "Nicole is a true jazz singer who can scat with the best of them." This tune also features trumpet player GREG GISBERT, a top New York City jazz and studio player.
Beside the title tune, Lindsay composed two other numbers for this project, including "Moment in Time," which features a flugelhorn solo by ALEX NORRIS, another guest artist from New York who has extensive big band experience, which includes stints with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi's Jazz Orchestra, and Maria Schneider's Orchestra. Lindsay also wrote "Toward Hope," an exciting composition with a classical influence that features guest saxophonist Rick Margitza, now a resident of Paris.
Lindsay has been a fan of Pat Metheny for many years and included his arrangement of Metheny's "Better Days Ahead." The band played this arrangement with Metheny when he performed at the University. Guitarist Hart is once again the featured soloist.
Monk's "Round Midnight" is the oldest arrangement on the CD. Lindsay wrote it in 1977 with Stan Kenton in mind, after completing a Master's Degree. It features a solo by sax player ED CALLE, a member of the Miami Saxophone Quartet, who is a five-time Grammy-nominee who also won a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album.
Lindsay closes the set with "UMMG" (Upper Manhattan Medical Group), the Billy Strayhorn tune. He gives this widely recorded number his own twist by introducing a distinctive opening groove that he inserts throughout the piece, creating a very different feel from the original or from any other recorded version.
THE MUSIC OF GARY LINDSAY: ARE WE STILL DREAMING is a project that's long overdue. The music is serious but very approachable. Lindsay's arrangements and compositions are unique, beautiful, and satisfying on every level.
Gary Lindsay was born and raised in Rhode Island and began playing music at the age of ten. An arranger, composer, performer, educator and author, he has a Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami, where he is currently the Director of the Master's in Music program in Studio/Jazz Writing and the Doctoral program in Jazz Composition. Besides his work with the Miami Saxophone Quartet and the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, he has performed in pit orchestras for performances of "West Side Story," "Porgy and Bess," "The King and I" and dozens of other musicals. On woodwinds, Lindsay has performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Michael and Randy Brecker, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Turrentine, Natalie Cole and many other pop and jazz luminaries.

Lindsay is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award and a Chamber Music America grant from the Doris Duke Foundation.

THE MUSIC OF GARY LINDSAY: ARE WE STILL DREAMING is available at www.summitrecords.com and in stores and online everywhere.
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