Rusty Bryant


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Featuring more dependable, if rather predictable, early-'70s soul-jazz from Bryant, Wildfire is one of several sessions from the era that benefited from the forceful groove of drummer Idris Muhammad. It's the kind of music that network television used to employ at the time as background on film clips summarizing the week's pro basketball highlights -- not a mocking criticism, just an observation. There are a couple of originals penned by Bryant and organist Bill Mason, but most of the album is given over to rock, soul, and pop covers, including an unlikely jaunty reading of the Doors' "Riders on the Storm." On Stevie Wonder's "If You Really Love Me," Bryant takes off into some pretty impressive improv flights.

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