b. 25 February 1928, London, England. After formal studies in clarinet and saxophones at the Guildhall School of Music, Gay worked in various dance bands during the mid- and late 40s. In 1953 he joined the Freddy Randall band and, after leaving three years later, he remained strongly connected with the traditional jazz scene, playing with bands led by Joe Daniels, Harry Gold and Bob Wallis. In the early 60s Gay became a member of Alex Welsh’s band, where he remained for almost five years, returning in 1977 for a further six years. In between these stints, and on into the 80s, Gay freelanced, working in radio and as accompanist to numerous visiting jazz artists. In the late 80s and 90s Gay could be heard leading his own band and also playing with groups such as the Pizza Express All Stars. A sound mainstream performer, Gay’s work on tenor saxophone is particularly pleasing.
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