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Ray Bryant’s Piano. Alone At Montreux is the result of 32 Jazz’s Joel Dorn’s tenure at Atlantic records. Through a collaboration with the Atlantic/Rhino re-release project, music that would otherwise go unreleased, will now see the light of ear. There is little live solo Bryant available, making this offering that much more valuable.
The Blues...as Usual. Ray Bryant is a blues player, par excellence. He is equaled only by Gene Harris and Junior Mance. The blues infuses all that Bryant plays, and play is what he does on Alone At Montreux. A pulpit screaming “Gotta Travel On”, an organic “Blues #3/Willow Weep of Me”, and a crowd-pleasing “After Hours” all illustrate why Ray Bryant is so essential as a jazz pianist. His playing exudes the tradition of the church, barrelhouse, and concert hall. He is at home with each.
Urbane. I have always thought of Teddy Wilson as being Mr. Urbanity, but Bryant’s between performance banter helps him give Wilson a run for his money. Confident and humble, this consummate practitioner executes his craft ably and we are fortunate to have a testament of his performance.
Track Listing: Gotta Travel On; Blues #3/Willow Weep for Me; Cubano Chant; Rockin
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.