You can quickly lose count when you start adding up all the musicians who have made great contributions to their acknowledged genres, yet have not gotten the recognition they so truly deserved.
Add Ray Bryant to that list. Ray Bryant, who passed away just last week (June 2nd) was without question a truly gifted and brilliant pianist, whose collaborations ran the gamut from Coleman Hawkins to Aretha Franklin and whose simple, elegant and soulful style won a dedicated cult of fans from Classical to Hard Bop.
His one foray into the Billboard Hot 100 charts was by way of The Madison, a hit single more recently remembered for its appearance in the original movie Hairspray.
But that was a tiny part of the Bryant legacy. And so for this Roundtable, I'm posting the title track from his 1966 Cadet Records album Lonesome Traveler which features, alongside Bryant, Clark Terry and "Snookie" Young on Flugelhorn, Richard Davis on Bass and Freddie Waits on Drums.
Classic Bryant and a tribute to a richly brilliant talent. Rest In Peace.
Special thanks to my buddy Mike Finnigan for reminding me what we lost.