His career took on in the late 40's while playing with Tiny Grimes. In 1953 he became house pianist at the Blue Note in Philadelphia, backing such leaders as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Lester Young and Dizzy Gillespie] a.m.o. In 1959 he settled in New York and started recording for Columbia with own trio. With The Ray Bryant Combo he also entered the R&B genre, backing Aretha Franklin on her debut for Columbia and releasing the Bryant co-written R&B hit "The Madison Time", later used in the "Hair Spray" movies. As a composer he is also known for penning the jazz standard "Cubano Chant". In the 60's Bay Bryant released several albums of soul-jazz on the Cadet label. But among his most timeless releases however is his solo piano albums where he interprets blues, gospel and standards, like the 1956 "Alone With The Blues" and the 1972 "Alone at Montreux".
His brothers are the late jazz bassist Tommy Bryant and drummer and singer Len Bryant. His nephews are Kevin Eubanks and Robin Eubanks.
Ray Bryant Discography
- 301 Instruments & Performance
- 243 Writing & Arrangement
- 1 Featuring & Presenting
- 3 Production