Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ray Bryant RIP

I thought Oscar Peterson was the pinnacle of soulful piano improv and then I was stuck in traffic in Boston listening to a concert by Ray Bryant and everyone was honking at me because I was sitting there with my mouth catching flies as this roar of blue notes was coming at me uncontrollably and attacking my brain leaving me worn by the heartache of the ages. Oh, Time, you Thief of Lives, you rob the old to give to the young!

Ray Bryant playing a grand piano with conviction. He was a musical internet before computers, literally growing up with 5o years of music, spreading the music, composing music, a repository of musical traditions and we are losing that because people don't need to learn anything since the internet remembers it for them. There was a time when the chords to Ain't Misbehaving were known only to a select group of holy musicians. They had a big responsibility that Steve Jobs has made redundant.

His catalog is gigantic so get busy listening to his music. He played "Georgia On My Mind" and it was like I'd never heard it before.

There is advertising before the video because someone disrespects Ray Bryant's talent and wants to make 5 cents off his stride piano runs. I profit only in proximity to this master. Ain't it true that everyone gets rich off the black man's heart body and soul except the black man? I'm still grateful for the chance to see him play here and the driven repeated notes at :27 almost made me drive off of Storrow Drive into the Charles River. He should've had a personal videographer follow him around everywhere. His music should be played in tents to heal the sick. Listen! This music isn't redundant.

Ray Bryant - Blues No. 6 by Delta_Mike


Anonymous said...

holy fuckin shitfaced willy wonka tits, that man can express feelings I can't identify yet!!!!

Oggy Bleacher said...

Absolutely blew my mind. Ray Bryant is the voice of solo blues piano. He is seriously like the Bach of blues piano. If Oscar Peterson is Beethoven and Herbie Hancock is Mozart. I guess blues doesn't have to be dirty to be blues.
Find the tracks where he introduces songs with this rich voice. "Thank you. I'd like to play a Dizzy Gillespie song for you now."
So casually launching into an improvised masterpiece.

Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.