Timothy Bryson – Playground
(Timothy Bryson – 2003)
by Ray Redmond
In a smooth-jazz world filled with great sax players, i guess we’re going to have to squeeze in a little bit and make room for Portlander Timothy Bryson. Smooth and silky, Summer Some Aren’t is a virtual horn fest, Bryson being joined at times by tenor sax Ron Regan and the horn section. Museum after Hours is jumpin’ right out of the gate, carried by the slick keyboards of John Sanders, Jr., Bryson lays down a smooth groove alongside the guitars of Mike Doolin and Scott Boyd. Lori Allison, penned by Bryson and Sanders, Jr. is more subdued, in the flavor of an old Tom Scott with some new spice.
Facha, also a Sanders piece, has that up tempo “Lorber” feel to it and features Sanders lead on keyboards. Dancin’ Jimmie authored by Jimmie Sanders who also plays B3 here, gives Bryson to show off his solo skills while jumping and jiving. Blue Room, another Bryson original borders on the fusionesque, again with some powerful sax work from Bryson. Other players of note are bassist Ron George and drummer Marty Higgins, percussionist Mike Snyder. It’s amazing to me that a town (Portland) that has NO smooth jazz radio and only a handful of small (but good) jazz clubs continues to consistently come up with great jazz musicians and groups. Timothy Bryson adds to this legacy very capably.