Although more complex than Gene Harris but not as cerebral as Herbie Nichols or Bud Powell, Ray Bryant is a pianist who likes his hard bop bluesy, funky and full of soul. Bryant was very hard at work in 1980, when he united with drummer Mickey Roker (a fellow Philadelphian) and bassist Jimmy Rowser for the excellent trio date Potpourri. The title is appropriate, for Bryant brings his warmth to everything from Miles Davis' "Milestones" (the modal tune, not the song he did with Charlie Parker) and Monk's "In Walked Bud" to Charlie Shavers' "Undecided" and Duke Ellington's "In A Mellow Tone." And he never fails to swing.
Reprinted with the permission of Myrna Daniels and L.A. Jazz Scene , the largest jazz publication in Southern California.