During a recent recording session for her new CD, "No Regrets" in Hollywood, singer/pianist Betty Bryant and co-producer Robert Kyle were discussing the tempo for a medium swing tune.
After coming up with a groove that suited them both, Robert said, "I think that is a good tempo for your generation."
"Which generation is that?", asked Betty.
Robert paused a moment, then said, "All of them."
Betty Bryant makes no secret of the fact that in addition to releasing her sixth CD this November, she will be celebrating her 80th birthday at a Sunday afternoon party at Hollywood's prestigious Catalina's Jazz Club on Sunday afternoon, November 8th.
Not only is she preparing for her new CD and upcoming birthday party, she is currently performing two nights a week at LA's hottest new restaurant, Susan Feniger's Street. Celebrity chef Feniger has been a long time fan of Betty's, going back to the days when Betty was a regular at Bob Burn's Restaurant. Susan always wanted to have a special place for Betty to perform, and this past spring when she opened her new solo venture on Highland Avenue in LA, she installed Betty on Thursday and Sunday nights. Betty works with a bassist (usually the great Tomas Gargano), playing and singing in an intimate upstairs mezzanine. The dinner guests sometimes aren't even aware that the music is live. But Susan Feniger, almost always on site, proudly directs guests up the stair case against the wall to the candle lit alcove where Betty performs her delightful, swinging jazz, blues, and originals. Betty's voice is light and fresh, and her piano playing is great - pure jazz, with a touch of Kansas City blues.
Its no surprise that the Kansas City sound is organic to Betty Bryant's music. She was born and raised in Kansas City, and cut her musical teeth at legendary KC clubs like Millies, and the Jockey Club. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1955, she has worked steadily in top LA clubs, and worldwide in Brazil and Oman.
In 1987 Betty returned to Kansas City, where she was given the keys to the city, and the day was proclaimed "Betty Bryant Day".
In addition to all of her other projects, she is currently preparing for her annual stint at Tableaux, an upscale supper club in the Daikanyama district of Tokyo, Japan where she opens on November 25th. She will take a short break from Street in November.
For more information on Betty Bryant's 80th Birthday Bash and CD Release Party at Catalina's Jazz Club in Hollywood on Sunday afternoon, November, 8th call 323.466.2210. She appears at Susan Feniger's Street Thursday and Sunday evenings. Call Street at 323.203.0500 for more information.