Deliberate and lush: listening to the delicate instrumentation and angelic vocals of Teddy Bryant’s first solo album, In the Beginning, these two words immediately stand out in your consciousness. The son of a Jazz musician, Bryant began learning the piano from an early age and his natural talent for melodic and harmonic compositions didn’t go unnoticed for long. Following the many dynamic musical years playing local shows with his Contemporary Jazz band Urbyne (since 1998) and releasing a Neo-Soul album in 2012 as Moonlight Ora, Teddy is now inviting listeners to take in the many rich textures of the world he has grown up in.
There is a passionate sincerity in the South-Carolinian’s compositions and performances that show a deep understanding of the roots of soul music and the titans that came before him – from Quincy Jones and Sade to Sun Ra and Prince. Every melody serves as a subtle allusion to a piece of Black music history, yet in the ruthless confidence that the LP so masterfully oozes, the maestro shows us a possible trajectory for Soul’s unique future in contemporary R&B.
Our pick is ‘Autumn Love’, an ode to the loves we find as summer ends, which is packed with warm harmonies and keyboard stings in playful and effortless conversation with a simple yet buoyant synth organ.
In The Beginning will be released on 20th October on NBN Records.