Credits

logo

Sting DVD of US Tour - 2010
Andrea Bocelli - West Coast Tour - Dec. 2009
Josh Groban - 2009
Shirley Jones - 2009
Bernadette Peters - 2008
Beyonce - 2008
2008 Grammy's
Paul McCartney - 2007
Aretha Franklin
Jewel
Dixie Chicks
Brad Meldau
Gregory Smith
Music for Disney Theme Park in Hong Kong

 

Disneyland

Recorded new music for the submarine ride at Disneyland. The ride has been re-designed for the first time since Disneyland opened. It's now called Nemo's Submarine Voyage.

The music was composed by Ed Kalnins, who orchestrated for Bruce Broughton on previous Disney projects. It was dejavu for me because I played for the Disney/Pixar movie of Finding Nemo for composer, Thomas Newman.

 

"The Brothers Warner"

A feature documentary written and directed by Cass Warner (grandaughter of Harry Warner) with music by David Campbell. Clarinet solos in the underscoring by Gary Gray.

 

Additional Credits

Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Andrea Bocelli, Summer
Kenny Loggins, Summer
Played solo clarinet for the "Russian Concerts" series
John Mauceri/Conductor
with the Moisev Dance Company of Moscow

Stephen Hartke, "Sextet" on Für Wolfgang Amadeus CD
" Gary Gray handled the clarinet solos with stunning ease and as mellow and gorgeous a sound as may be possible on that instrument."
—Daniel Cariaga

"The happy peak of this concert was Gray's effortless, elegant and energetic playing of the Copland Clarinet Concerto."
—Daniel Cariaga

"The composer gave a clarinetist of Gray's caliber ample opportunity to float long, limber lines, which he did with effortless poise and eloquent point."
—John Henken

"Mozart's Clarinet Quintet K581 was sparked by Gray's stylish eloquence and technical dazzle."
—John Henken

"In Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Gary Gray astonished with his liquid clarinet solos."
—Mark Swed

Mozart, Concerto K622 with the San Francisco Symphony
" Clarinetist Gray is a musician right to the heart...his inspired phrasing made the music alive with conversation. His performance was an exemplar of superior American wind playing."
—San Francisco Chronicle

Santa Monica Symphony
" Gray proved a lively soloist, technically at ease and affectionately shaping the singing lines. His playing of the second movement of the Weber Concerto had particular beauty, with single-breathed phrasing and hushed legato."
—Los Angeles Times

Aspen Music Festival
" Gray displayed strong control and rich softness of tone in the Poulenc Sonata. Brooks Smith's accompaniment throughout was perfection; his lightness of touch never obscured Gray. The audience loved their Poulenc!"
—Aspen Times

Japan Tour 1990
" Guest Artist Gary Gray expressed the romanticism of the Brahms' E flat Clarinet Sonata with persuasive power at last night's Tsuda Hall Concert. He made an excellent case for his instrument as a solo vehicle and contributed much to the success of the All-Brahms Evening."
—Tokyo Monthly Concert Review

San Leandro Symphony
" Gray seemed one with his instrument during the Clarinet Concerto...his performance was flawless."
—Oakland Tribune

"I imagine a talk with Gary Gray would be a rewarding experience. If his clarinet playing is a guide, he would be a perfect conversationalist, as ready to listen as to contribute a well-turned phrase. The jazzy wit of copland and the urbane good humor of Arnold both benefit from Gray's subtle artistry."
—Which Compact Disc Magazine

"Gray's exemplary performance of the Rossini variations is a new B flat Clarinet version...he is a first-rate player!"
—Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine

"A gifted colorist, this soloist exhibits with rare intelligence his instrument's large palette of sonorities, particularly in the Dance Preludes of Lutoslawski. Gray is a musician who deserves our special attention."
—Diapason Magazine, France

"Gray's tender and varied version of the Copland Concerto gives equal prominence to the work's lyric spans and its more obvious jazz element...it's a terrific recording."
—Los Angeles Times

"Gray may have the best sound of any clarinetist in the music business. I recommend this Sonata CD which is a highly-polished piece of work and enjoyable throughout."
—Fanfare Magazine

"An album of twentieth century favorites which received fine performances from this accomplished American artist. His warm round tone is used to maximum effect on works such as the Debussy Rhapsodie and the Saint-Saëns Sonata, whilst pieces such as the Bernstein Sonata and Malcolm Arnold Sonatina are brimming with excitement and display Gray's impressive technique. Clifford Benson's accompaniments are, as usual, superb."
—Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine

Brahms: Clarinet Quintet Op. 115 (for clarinet & string quartet)
Dohnanyi: Sextet for clarinet/piano/french horn & string trio
CENTAUR Records #2745       67 minutes

With the surfeit of Brahms recordings the last two years---just check some of the back issues---I can hardly believe that Centaur has come up with such an incredible reading from an unknown source.

The Hollywood Quartet was one of America's best ensembles, widely recorded and with a broad repertory that put other groups to shame. They were of that "no nonsense" generation where the excesses of romanticism were shorn for a much more direct, "composer first" attitude; yet, like most American quartets, they played with a fervent spirit and collegial, highly emotional tenor that as often as not breathed new life into a stale and staid European performance tradition.

The New Hollywood Quartet, formed with studio and other musicians in the Hollywood area, play a lot like their namesake. I was quite startled to hear their unanimity of ensemble and supercharged, amazingly coherent viewpoint. Gary Gray, Professor at UCLA and widely heard west coast performer, sounds to me about as close to Reginald Kell (another iconoclast) as I have ever heard. Tempos are upbeat...no lingering, autumnal "Brahmsitis" here...and it all works.  Something this bunch is doing....and I am almost at a loss to tell you exactly what it is....gets right to the heart of this music.

I can't tell say that this will outrank the favorites, for there are too many, Kell included. But it goes right to the top of the list with all the others, and even if this is your only recording, you do well.

The Dohnanyi is a Brahmsian, yet not Brahmsian piece that inspires raves every time people hear it.

It is a wonder that it is not programmed more often. Maybe it's the odd scoring for piano, string trio, clarinet and horn.  At over 30 minutes, it is a substantial, very effective piece of chamber music.

The clarity of the writing is remarkable and the the addition of the piano to this mixed instrumentation gives the form an almost quasi-symphonic weight. Any recording of it is welcome and we are fortunate to have had some very good ones. David Mulbury liked a Bridge release with players from the American Symphony (May/June 2005 issue), while Elaine Fine could hardly contain herself when speaking of the Spectrum Concerts release, on Naxos, coupled with the same composer's "Serenade" (Sept./Oct 2003 issue).  I think I can confidently add this present issue, full and sensous, with more superb playing.

The sound here is a bit of a puzzler. It has smaller scope than I'm used to, with the instruments more concentrated into one physical sound space, and it was recorded at a fairly low sound level. But despite the constrictions, it is rich and warm, with a dark color that I find most attractive.

Centaur has certainly suprised me with this one, and I hope these forces will continue their fine work in future releases.