Rusty Bryant

For the Good Times

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For the Good Times brings together two early 1970s albums from alto/tenor Rusty Bryant: 1973's For the Good Times and 1974's Until It's Time for You to Go. Both albums find Bryant combining pop and soul-jazz with the aid of electric pianos and funky guitars. Things get started with tepid versions of the title track and Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song," both veering dangerously close to Muzak territory. The pieces are salvaged, however, by Joe Beck and Hugh McCracken's guitar work and Hank Jones' steady hand at the keyboards. Bryant turns in his best solo on a groovy version of "Theme From Deep Throat" that's propelled forward by bassist Tony Levin and drummer Steve Gadd. Musically, things pick up a bit on the last six tracks. Pieces like "The Hump Bump," "Draggin' the Line," and "Until It's Time for You to Go" step up the funk factor by adding horn sections, and guitarist McCracken and David Spinozza are given more leeway. There's also a harder edge to Bryant's playing on pieces like "The Red-Eye Special." Together, the two albums that make up For the Good Times provide a 70-minute backward glance at the strange world of jazz circa 1973-1974. They also offer a chance to hear Bryant cut loose on a number of popular songs.

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