Ray Bryant

Somewhere in France

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Ray Bryant provided the master tape for this live solo piano CD from a personal archive of over 100 cassettes given to him by various soundboard technicians working his concerts over the years. Bryant was unable to identify the tape more specifically than being recorded "Somewhere in France" during 1993; hence the CD's title. The play list and the arrangements overlap somewhat with Bryant's Alone at Montreux date, though the pianist's first-rate performance and the surprisingly excellent sound from Somewhere in France's humble cassette source make this worth acquiring along with his earlier solo concert CD. Highlights include a boogie-woogie version of "Take the 'A' Train," a choppy delightful "Con Alma," "Jungletown Jubilee" (an obscure tune with obvious gospel roots), a swinging take of John Lewis' "Django," and a savory take of the slow blues "After Hours." Since Bryant turned over more than 40 personal tapes that he personally liked, here's hoping that producer Joel Dorn and Label M will release more music from the pianist's own collection. Very highly recommended.

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