Archive for the Ray BRYANT Category

Ray BRYANT – Lonesome Traveler 1966

Posted in JAZZ, Ray BRYANT on November 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Ray BRYANT – Lonesome Traveler 1966


Ray Bryant (Raphael Homer Bryant) (born December 24, 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American Jazz pianist and composer.
Ray Bryant began playing the piano at the age of six, also performing on bass in junior High School. Turning professional before his age of majority, Bryant has accompanied many other leading players such as Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Melba Liston, and Coleman Hawkins, as well as singers Carmen McRae and Aretha Franklin. From the late 1950s, he led a trio, performing throughout the world, and also worked solo. In addition, he is a noted Jazz composer, with well-known themes such as “Cubano Chant,” “The Madison Time,” “Monkey Business,” and “Little Susie” to his credit.
The musicians Kevin Eubanks, Duane Eubanks, and Robin Eubanks are his nephews. His brothers are the bass player Tommy Bryant (May 21, 1930 – March 1, 1982) and Len Bryant, who plays drums and is also a singer.
Both Tommy and Ray Bryant formed a trio with Oz Perkins as the back-up band for the off-Broadway run of the comedy show Cambridge Circus, at Square East in 1964. The show starred John Cleese, Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, David Hatch, Jo Kendall, Graham Chapman, Jonathan Lynn, and Jean Hart.
When Ray Bryant rose to national prominence in the 1950s, he was noted for his ability to meet the sophisticated harmonic demands of modern jazz while retaining the muscle and swing of old forms and the spirit of the gospel music that surrounded him when he was a child. Any performance by Bryant is steeped in the blues, even when he’s not playing a blues.
Born in Philadelphia, Bryant (whose older brother Tommy was a bassist) gained experience playing early rhythm ’n’ blues and swing with guitarist Tiny Grimes in the late 1940s. As the house pianist at Philadelphia’s Blue Note, he had opportunities to play with Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and Miles Davis.
Bryant began to gain attention during 1956-1957 when he worked with Carmen McRae and appeared at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival with Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge. After recording with the Jo Jones Trio, Bryant moved to New York, worked with Sonny Rollins, Charlie Shavers, and Curtis Fuller, and led his own series of trios. Of his early recordings, “Django,” (recorded for Prestige in 1957) features his trio work on a bop-oriented repertoire while “Alone with the Blues,” is a masterful set of unaccompanied solos.
Bryant, who wrote such catchy numbers as “Little Susie” and “Cubano Chant” and was never shy to show the influence of gospel music and soul in his playing, has worked and recorded steadily ever since. During 1976-1980 he was in peak form when he cut five albums for Pablo: the trio dates “Here’s Ray Bryant,” “All Blues,” and “Potpourri,” and a pair of solo gems in “Solo Flight,” and “Montreux ’77.”
Bryant continued his recording output in the ‘80’s with sessions for Emarcy, and the ‘90’s with “Tribute to his Jazz Piano Friends,” (1997 JVC) and “Ray Bryant meets Ray Brown.” (1999 IMS) He rolled into the new century with a couple of fine live sets for Label M, “North of the Border,” and “Somewhere in France.” These are reviewed here at ‘all about jazz.’
For many years, his trios have been extremely popular. But Bryant’s cult status, not only among jazz listeners but with classical musicians and fans around the world, has been achieved through his solo piano recordings. Standing apart from musical trends and always being his own man, Ray Bryant has long been a unique, distinctive, and very accessible pianist.
Ray’s choice of material again borrows from a wide musical palette and we are treated to fine performances of jazz originals, standard ballads, a folk tune and a recent Rock ‘n Roll hit. The title tune, Lonesome Traveler, is a fitting follow-up to Gotta Travel On of the previous Cadet album.
If someone can be lonesome and happy at the same time, then this condition must apply to Ray; because there’s nothing lonesome sounding about the joyful groove he and his companions achieve on this track. It’s a mover! By E. Herbert
Ray Bryant- (Piano)
Clark Terry- (Flugelhorn)
Eugene “Snookie” Young- (Flugelhorn)
Richard Davis (Bass)- 1,3,5
Jimmy Rowser (Bass)- 2,4,5,7-9
Freddie Wats- (Drums)
01. Lonesome Traveler (Ray Bryant) 3:14
02. ‘Round Midnight (Bernie Hanighen/Thelonious Monk,Cootie Williams) 6:07
03. These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ (Lee Hazlewood) 3:40
04. Willow Weep for Me (Ann Ronell) 5:20
05. The Blue Scimitar (Ray Bryant) 4:23
06. Gettin’ Loose (Ray Bryant) 3:44
07. Wild Is the Wind (Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned Washington) 4:36
08. Cubano Chant (Ray Bryant) 4:12
09. Brother This ‘N’ Sister That (Ray Bryant) 4:45

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