Ray Bryant came to general attention when Miles Davis chose the young Philadelphia pianist for a memorable 1955 recording session. Before the decade was out Bryant recorded with his own trio and made the remarkable solo album Alone with the Blues. Following the unexpected popular success of his 1959 recording "Little Susie," Bryant for a time concentrated on formula recordings, trying to make lightning strike twice. All the while, though, he was a favorite of jazz and blues players and audiences. He never abandoned his unique combination of sophisticated modern harmonies, the rolling swing of stride piano, and the down-home credo of the blues. Bryant's four solo albums are among the essential piano items in any collection. This one, recorded in 1975, includes a kaleidoscopic "Take the 'A' Train" and a full-bodied treatment of Bobby Timmons's "Moanin.'" His approach to "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" illuminates the song's lyricism and Bryant's sensitivity.
In De Back Room, What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life, Monkey Business, Blues in De Big Brass Bed, Moanin', St. Louis Blues, Take the "A" Train, Lullaby