Rusty Bryant: For The Good Times (2002)
The first session sports a rather unique line-up, with the omnipresent Hank Jones heard on Fender Rhodes (sounding very classy on what often seems like a dated sound these days), Joe Beck on guitar, Tony Levin on bass, and Steve Gadd on drums. In fact, the personnel alone almost suggests a Creed Taylor CTI production. Both “For the Good Times” and “Killing Me Softly” are throwaways, but then the real fun starts with a bluesy “The Last One Out.” Following Steve Gadd’s opening pyrotechnics, “A Night In Tunisia” settles down for a relaxed romp that puts Bryant in the spotlight. The breezy bossa treatment of “Looking Through The Eyes Of Love” is perfect and intoxicating, as is the slight touch of reverb that allows Bryant’s tenor to sparkle.
Until It’s Time For You To Go is something different altogether. A large horn section conducted by Horace Ott gives Bryant a full-bodied environment for some funky grooves. “The Red-Eye Special” is the standout track here and one that has been sampled by today’s hip-hop crowd, but then all the cuts seem to simmer at a medium boil. Again, the neophyte might be wise to look elsewhere for a start, but the initiated will probably want to add this one to the collection.
Track Listing: For the Good Times, Killing Me Softly (With His Song), The Last one Out, Appalachian Green, A Night in Tunisia, Looking Through the Eyes of Love, Theme from Deep Throat, The Hump Bump, Troubles, The Red-Eye Special, Draggin' the Line, Until It's Time for You To Go, Ga Gang Gang Goong
Personnel: Rusty Bryant (tenor saxophone)with Hank Jones, Joe Beck, Hugh McCracken, Tony Levin, Steve Gadd, Horace Ott, David Spinozza, Richie Resnikoff, Ernie Hayes, Wilbur Bascomb, Bernard Purdie, George Devens, Jon Faddis, Joe Shepley, Billy Campbell, Garnett Brown, Seldon Powell, Babe Clarke, Heywood Henry
Record Label: Fantasy Jazz