Recorded in 1993 before a live audience somewhere in France, this session was sitting around in Ray Bryant's home on a cassette tape that the sound man had handed him after the performance. The artist hadn't had time to listen to it; he hadn't even realized he was being recorded until the performance was over.
The session turns out to be a significant milestone that documents this unique pianist. As a solo piano performance, the music is unobstructed. The sound is well done. But what makes this one special is that Bryant's comments to the audience are captured on the recording as well. He was candid and offered considerable insight.
The pianist's distinctive bass lines appear in each of the styles he performs here. Whether walking the blues, bouncing a boogie-woogie, forcefully "preaching" a gospel piece, or simply interpreting a lullaby, Bryant's romping, two-hand approach remains unique. His theme song, "Slow Freight," makes a lasting impression.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.