Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ray Bryant - Con Alma

The session was produced by John Hammond, but John didn't suggest the repertoire ; everything was picked by me. I never go loking for a tune. First, it's got to grab me, so if I find myself humming a tune it's usually one I feel I can do something with. Different tunes call for different things. "Autumn Leaves" just cried out for an ad lib rubato first chorus and then a little vamp which set the tempo, then into the rhythmic chorus, the melody, and after that, improvisational choruses, then back into the melody. I was on the initial recording of "Con Alma" with Dizzy Gillespie in 1957, I think it was. I just fell in love with its beautiful, haunting melody and this was the first time I recorded it with a trio. I've been playing it on almost every program or concert since I learned it. Everybody loves it. "Cubano Chant" was a little theme that was running through my mind which I would sit down at the piano and play once in a while.I just kept fooling around with it and finally developed it into a real song form. I did not write it as a Latin tune — I was playing it like a gospel chant — when Cal Tjader heard it. He played it a while and suggested that I use a Latin rhythm and call it "Cubano Chant". "Nuts and Bolts" was written more or less the same way : a sequence of chord changes that I finally put into some rhythmic form and made into a tune. I don't know how it came to be a feature for drums, but there were interludes in there and little spaces which just seemed to call for a rhythmic fill. I had forgotten we did "Django" since it wasn't released on the original album and some of the things are a little surprising. That was back in the days when I was practicing every day. I had recorded "Django" for a Prestige album four years earlier, and the tempo is about the same, but I think this is a little more adventurous. I have an entirely different arrangement of "Django" now, but this holds up well. I would play "C Jam Blues" in a slower tempo that I had it that day because I think it swings a little better at a slower tempo... [...] All this gets into what is called style. Style is the soul of Mann.
(From an interview with Ray Bryant, January 1988) Freed Binkley

Ray Bryant
Con Alma


1 Con Alma (Gillespie)  6:55
2 Milestones (Davis)  4:10
3 'Round Midnight (Hanighen, Williams, Monk)  3:51
4 Django (Lewis)  5:38
5 Nuts and Bolts (Bryant)  3:05
6 Cubano Chant (Bryant)  4:22
7 Ill Wind (Koehler, Arlen)  3:12
8 Autumn Leaves (Mercer, Kosma)  5:22
9 C Jam Blues (Ellington)  4:22


[# 1, 3, 5-9]
Ray Bryant - p
Bill Lee - b
Mickey Roker - dr
Recorded at the Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City ; January 26, 1961
[# 2 & 4]
Same as above, except
Arthur Harper - b, replaces Lee
Recorded same place as above ; November 25, 1960


Albertito Jazz said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon

FrankDell said...

Mucho merci, Mel.

Jazzman77 said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon.

Paco's brother said...

The music goes on, may we have a thousand ears and a thousand years to live for her majesty!
Mille merci.

Philo said...

Very nice! I'm really enjoying the music. Thanks Mel.

deGallo said...

Thank you.

jazzfan1 said...

Could you follow up with the 1956 Ray Bryant Trio, cut for Epic? he was already a contender back then.

Thanks for all your efforts, and happy new year.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

francisco santos said...

BIG THX !...

ProfessorCalculus said...


marc said...

Hi Mel, these links have expired, by the way. Thanks for great music.

Melanchthon said...

slr in tx said...

Thanks for this one, Mel (and all the rest- just staggering).

Are you under house arrest, perchance?

Kovina Kris said...

I have very little from Ray Bryant so this is really appreciated. Thank you Mel!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful album. Thank you for keeping these files alive.