Russ Bryant has arrived. He's talented, he's hip, and he's brightening the old world of jazz music. So don't giggle if he's only 23 years old. Just dim the lights, recline the chair, and light up a cigar. You're gonna need it when you hear Russ Bryant's CD, Never Assume, an innovative jazz recording that melts all colors of the rainbow into fluffy white candy for the ear. A unique marriage between Russ Bryant and his golden saxophone, Never Assume is a cocoon of colorful ideas Bryant has been brewing for more than two years. Eight original tunes will prove, undoubtedly, that Russ Bryant is among the world's batch of young jazz lions. Never Assume is an exotic collection of Russ Bryant's genius blended with local, broad-minded jazz musicians, including Mike Esnault, Roland Guerin, Troy Davis and Gino Giles. My favorite tune on this album is Falling Time, Bryant's original blend of instrumental discipline and aged magic. One can taste the fun this rightfully acclaimed sax star is having with the street musicians of New Orleans. This artist embraces all spectrums, even in the remake of James Brown's I Feel Good. Representing the growing jazz community in Baton Rouge, this youthful saxophonist has been performing in Louisiana for several years now with such artists as Wessell Anderson, Alvin Batiste, Bill Grimes and Tabby Thomas. Russ Bryant uses different combinations of five instruments in Never Assume. The full quintet is featured on four of the tracks. Never Assume is a conversation between the saxophone and guitar, with bass. Some Other Time, a beautiful Bernstein ballad, features a harmony between the saxophone and guitar, leading to the guitar utilizing harmonics for added color. The quintet takes on a funkier approach with Bryant's composition, Altered Reality, a subtle approach at the more fusion side of jazz. Never Assume has two different forms of quartet: a guitar as the harmonic instrument, as featured on A Cool Day; andagain in a harmonically rich ballad, as featured on One Day, a beautiful recording which has a solo saxophone introduction with the chorused guitar adding to the ethereal feeling of the composition. A Cool Day features the Latin percussion work of Troy Davis and a bridge reminiscent of great John Coltrane. The second form of the quartet substitutes piano for guitar. The first example, Falling Time, features mixed meters and a solo section in five-eight, which winds around chords, bringing a unique feel to the session. Bryant uses a New Orleans feel of a second line beat in his interpretation of Well You Needn't. With a stirring version of Body and Soul and another original, Walkin', this combination provides a strong presentation of new and old jazz. The two remaining tracks use smaller groups. GO uses only the saxophone, bass and drums. Based on the ever-popular 'Rhythm Changes,' Russ Bryant follows a long-standing lineage of musicians to write a new melody for these changes. This cut features the amazing technique of bassist Roland Guerin. Last, but not least, is a return to Bryant's beginning: Outta State Tag a gorgeous blues duo of saxophone and guitar, shows how Bryant and Giles have grown since their debut album last year. Bryant expresses his deep appreciation for the other musicians on this recording and for helping him to document his latest compositions and helping him progress musically. This recording is only one more step in the path of this young saxophonist, and we will continue to watch him move forward. Rebecca Breeden - The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA.