PIANIST, VOCALIST AND COMPOSER BETTY BRYANT (“COOL MISS B”)RELEASES HER NINTH CD “PROJECT 88”AVAILABLE JANUARY 11, 2019
BETTY BRYANT has a long and storied career as a pianist, composer, and singer. A child of the Depression, she began playing piano around the age of four when her parents invited two music teachers, who had fallen on hard times, to live with their family. Although it was a difficult era for most, that turn of events led to a lifelong career in music that is going as strong as ever today.
Besides performing regularly around Los Angeles to packed houses, Bryant is releasing PROJECT 88, her ninth CD. The title is a double entendre, since the piano has 88 keys and Bryant turned 88 a year ago. The CD features a mix of standards and originals penned by Bryant.
PROJECT 88 was produced by Bryant’s close friend, ROBERT KYLE. The two have been friends for 30 years, and Kyle has either produced or co-produced most of her CDs. A saxophonist and flutist, Kyle is a mainstay on the Los Angeles jazz scene and a touring and recording artist who has worked with many top names in both the jazz and pop worlds, including Natalie Cole, Della Reese, Francisco Aguabella, Michael McDonald, Johnny Mathis, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King, Kenny Loggins, Lou Rawls, and Christina Aguilera, to name just a few.
Kyle assembled a top-notch band for this project including bass player TOM GARGANO, who has played on all of Bryant’s previous releases. Kyle and Bryant wanted to create different sounds and styles for the CD, so they switched around the rhythm section as appropriate. Gargano plays on five of the tunes, while RICHARD SIMON plays bass on three and HUSSAIN JIFFRY plays electric bass on two numbers. Kyle also brought on board three different drummers for this outing: JAMES GADSON, QUENTIN DENNARD SR., AND KENNY ELLIOTT as well as Brazilian percussionist CASSIO DUARTE. Kyle also plays tenor and flute on several tunes, and renowned Brazilian guitarist KLEBER JORGE, who has a very busy touring schedule but was in town when Bryant was in the studio, appears on one tune. Each player has their own, unique style that added different and exciting textures to these performances.
Bryant sometimes plays solo or duo, but prefers to play in trio or quartet settings, so the addition of a horn section with Kyle -- TONY GUERRERO on trumpet (who also contributed the horn arrangements), RYAN DRAGON on trombone, JEFF DRISKILL on alto sax, and JAY MASON on bari sax – was thrilling for her.