|Cozy Cole played drums in Bryant's band in the mid '30s|
Willie Bryant was all right, a lot of fun, but he was no band leader. He didn't even know who was the conductor, they put him out front 'cause he looked like a white man. Basically they took a light skinned character and put a band around him. Bill Dogget was the straw boy for Willie. (50)
|Bryant with singer Gladys Bentley|
"Throwin' Stones at the Sun," "A Viper's Moan," "Rigamarole," "Steak and Potatoes," and "Long Gone (from Bowling Green)," among others. The band's theme song, the haunting ballad "It's Over Because We're Through" (co-written by Bryant himself), is also here, and most of the tracks are interesting and highly listenable because of their engaging solos. That is the case of the growling trombone on Ted Snyder's "The Sheik" and of "The Right Somebody to Love," the latter featuring a flute played by Charles Frazier. Trumpeter Taft Jordan delivers a fine vocal on "All My Life," a danceable ballad that shows that these great musicians were very adept at performing more mainstream pop material as well. The consistently high quality of all these recordings definitely calls for a domestic reissue—perhaps including the 1938 Decca session, too—that would make these great sides more readily available, thus enabling listeners to rediscover them.
|Willie Bryant and his orchestra in the 1930s|