Ray Bryant – Ain’t We Got Fun (2018)

Ray Bryant - Ain't We Got Fun (2018)
Artist: Ray Bryant
Album: Ain’t We Got Fun
Label: nagel heyer records
Year Of Release: 2018
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

01. Willow Weep for Me
02. If I Can Just Make It
03. Sweetest Sounds
04. My Reverie
05. # Two
06. Threesome
07. Greensleeves
08. Old Devil Moon
09. Back Room
10. By Myself
11. So in Love
12. Glissamba
13. Django
14. The Thrill Is Gone
15. Be-Bop Irishman
16. Blues Changes
17. Gravy Waltz
18. Sneaking Around
19. Joey
20. What Is This Thing Called Love
21. Chariot Swing
22. Sonar
23. Angel Eyes
24. Blues for Norine
25. Daahoud
26. Long Way from Home
27. Misty
28. Moon-Faced, Starry-Eyed
29. Golden Earrings


Although he could always play bop, Ray Bryant’s playing combined together older elements (including blues, boogie-woogie, gospel, and even stride) into a distinctive, soulful, and swinging style; no one played “After Hours” quite like him. The younger brother of bassist Tommy Bryant and the uncle of Kevin and Robin Eubanks (his sister is their mother), Bryant started his career playing with Tiny Grimes in the late ’40s. He became the house pianist at The Blue Note in Philadelphia in 1953, where he backed classic jazz greats (including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Lester Young) and made important contacts. He accompanied Carmen McRae (1956-1957), recorded with Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival (taking a brilliant solo on an exciting version of “I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love with Me”), and played with Jo Jones’ trio (1958). Bryant settled in New York in 1959; played with Sonny Rollins, Charlie Shavers, and Curtis Fuller; and soon had his own trio. He had a few funky commercial hits (including “Little Susie” and “Cubano Chant”) that kept him working for decades. Bryant recorded often throughout his career (most notably for Epic, Prestige, Columbia, Sue, Cadet, Atlantic, Pablo, and Emarcy), and even his dates on electric piano in the ’70s are generally rewarding. However, Bryant was heard at his best when playing the blues on unaccompanied acoustic piano. After a lengthy illness, Ray Bryant died in Queens, New York on June 2, 2011; he was 79 years old. ~ Scott Yanow

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