Erica Lindsay



Eric Lindsay, tenor sax; Howard Johnson, tuba, bari sax; Robin Eubanks, trombone;
Francesca Tanksley, piano; Anthony Cox, bass; Newman Baker, drums.

1. First Movement (Lindsay) 8:52
2. Day Dream (Ellington) 6:19
3. Walking Together (Lindsay) 7:13
4. Dreamer (Lindsay) 6:56
5. At The Last Moment (Lindsay) 6:46
6. Gratitude [mp3] (Lindsay) 7:56
Produced by ALAN BATES
Cover Design by TAKESHI MASUDA
Recording by DAVID BAKER
Recorded on March 3-5, 1989

As an ensemble, and a soloist, this group shows considerable affinity with Erica Lindsay's pieces. The set begins with "First Movement," which she describes as "the movement of spring, the force of the first energy coming into the world."

"Day Dream" is, of course, the Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn song, a quintessentially lyrical composition that was made for, and continually illuminated by, Johnny Hodges.

"Walking Together" was written some ten years ago and is the oldest Erica Lindsay composition in the album, "It has a relaxed feeling," she says. "It really is like walking and talking together. And there's humor in it. It's deceptively simple in the way sounds, but musicians tell me it's tricky to play."

"Dreamer" is not only by but, is, Erica Lindsay. "It has to do with a quality of my personality," she says. "Sort of otherworldly. I'm not a 'table is a table' person." Like Lewis Caroll's Alice, she lets her mind and her feelings take her on occasion through the looking glass. She lets her imagination take her where it goes.

"At The Last Moment" is, according to the composer, "a kind of love song. It has something to do with being in love."

"Gratitde" [mp3] is about "the joy of being alive on this earth. It's kind of almost being blessed."

Howard Johnson has long been an internationally renowned master of the tuba--along with the baritone sex, flugelhorn, and the penny whistle. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, an August 7th 1941, he grew up in Massillon, Ohio. By his early twenties, he was in New York where his expressive power was soon recongnized by such jazz creators as Charles Mingus, Hank Crawford, Archie Shepp, Gil Evans and, most recently, Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition.

Robin Eubanks was born in Philadelphia on October 25th, 1955. A trombonist from the age of nine, he graduated from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. Going to New York, he worked with among others, Philly Joe Jones, Frank Foster, and Sam Rivers. Recently he has played with Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, and Dave Holland.

Pianist-composer Francesca Tanksley, a vivid presence on this album, was born on November 21st, 1957 in Vicenza, Italy and grew up in Munich where she began her musical studies at the age of seven. At 16 she was studying piano and composition at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and in 1980 she came to the testing ground for jazz musicians, New York. After playing with Melba Liston, she became the pianist, in 1983, for the Billy Harper Quintet, and has also worked with Clifford Jordan, Cecil Payne and Bill Hardman. As a leader, she has appeared with her own quintet, featuring her own compositions, and has performed in piano/bass duos.

The ceaselessly resourceful percussionist, Newman Taylor Baker, was born in Peterburg, Virginia, on February 4th, 1943. Having received a Bachelor of Science degree at East Carolina University and an M.A. in music at Virginia State, he went on to teach music. But then, in the 1970's, decided to be a full-time performer. In Philadelphia he played with Joe Henderson, Ahmad Jamal and Dewey Redman. Baker came to New York in 1980 and has played and toured with Sam Rivers, Reggie Workman's Top Shelf, Billy Harper's Quintet and the Henry Threadgill Sextet.

Bassist Anthony Cox comes from Ardmore, Oklahoma, grew up in Minneapolis, and studied music at the University of Wisconsin. Back in Minneapolis, he studied bass under James Clute, Assistant Principal Bassist of the Minnesota Orchestra. He came to New York in 1981, and was soon in the big leagues, playing with Sam Rivers, Elvin Jones, Henry Threadgill, David Murray and Craig Harris. More recently, he has worked with Stan Getz, John Scofield, Kenny Burrell, Dewey Redman and Arthur Blythe.

Leonard Feather, whose life as a critic encompasses much of the history of jazz, heard Erica Lindsay play at the Nice Jazz Festival and charaterized her as "an exciting new soloist, whose tenor sax and flute displayed powerful individuality."

That's for openers. for the full scope of Erica Lindsay, there is now this multi-dimensional first album.

--NAT HENTOFF, from the liner notes.


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