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Backgrounder: Ray Bryant - Alone With the Blues


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Recorded in December 1958, Alone With the Blues was Ray Bryant's first solo piano album. Growing up, Bryant was deeply influenced by the church, and gospel always played a big part in his approach to jazz. His mother was an ordained minister in Philadelphia and made sure Bryant was with her in the pews. He began playing at age 6, and by 12 he was being paid to play at local events.

Throughout the 1950s, Bryant was the house pianist at Philadelphia's Blue Note, where he played behind many jazz greats who came through town. They took a liking to him and hired him for recording sessions. Alone With the Blues gives you naked sense of what these musicians liked so much about Bryant's approach—a rich, soulful integrity that combined roots and modern harmony.

As Bryant said in Ira Gitler's liner notes, “This is the way I feel the blues. These are basic blues, and there's nothing like them."

Here's Ray Bryant's Alone With the Blues, and a special thanks to Mark Rabin for suggesting the album's inclusion...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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Track Listing

Blues No. 3; Joy (Blues No. 2); Lover Man; Me and the Blues (Blues No. 1); My Blues (Blues No. 5); Rockin' Chair; Stocking Feet.


Album information

Title: Alone With The Blues | Year Released: 1958 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz





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