First Listen: Beth helps Blair Bryant celebrate Sade classic

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    (March 31, 2022) Beth Griffith-Manley and Blair Bryant both hail from musical families and hometowns that helped set this nation’s beat – Detroit and Kansas City respectively. Beth is the daughter of legendary pianist Johnny Griffith, who was a member of Motown’s house band, the Funk Brothers, and she’s performed with and served as backing vocalist for a who’s who of the Motor City’s musical luminaries, including Anita Baker, Kem and Ali ‘Ollie’ Woodson of The Temptations.

    Bryant honed his skill on the bass, absorbing great music while traveling throughout to churches throughout the country with his parents. Bryant proved to be a musical sponge, eventually learning to play 14 instruments, and earning a degree in Jazz Studies from the Music Conservatory of Missouri. It didn’t take long for both talented artists to step out of their parents’ shadows.

    (March 31, 2022) Beth Griffith-Manley and Blair Bryant both hail from musical families and hometowns that helped set this nation’s beat – Detroit and Kansas City respectively. Beth is the daughter of legendary pianist Johnny Griffith, who was a member of Motown’s house band, the Funk Brothers, and she’s performed with and served as backing vocalist for a who’s who of the Motor City’s musical luminaries, including Anita Baker, Kem and Ali ‘Ollie’ Woodson of The Temptations.

    Bryant honed his skill on the bass, absorbing great music while traveling throughout to churches throughout the country with his parents. Bryant proved to be a musical sponge, eventually learning to play 14 instruments, and earning a degree in Jazz Studies from the Music Conservatory of Missouri. It didn’t take long for both talented artists to step out of their parents’ shadows.

    Beth went on to use the business degree she earned to start a record label so that she could release her music independently, which she has done while also being a contestant on “The Voice.” Bryant serves as musical director of jazz saxophonist Najee while also releasing three albums.

    Now, the two collaborate on cover of Sade’s “Kiss of Life.” The track will be featured on Bryant’s upcoming project, Red Dragon, which drops on April 15. Their version is a straight ahead homage with a few distinctions, notably the jazz improvisation comes from Bryant’s bass rather than Stuart Mathewman’s tenor saxophone. Beth’s approach to the vocal has more of an R&B vibe, which is distinct from Sade’s intimate and laid back jazz version. Still, both Beth and Bryant handle this cover with ease, and give some pleasing nighttime music. Check it out here.

    By Howard Dukes

    Blair Bryant and Beth
    “Kiss of Life”

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