Conceptually, the titles of the tracks symbolize past and present periods of time and reflection for Gerry Bryant (e.g. Yesterday, As Time Goes By, Dreaming, etc.), and then the future (Tomorrow), concluding with the title track, One Day I’ll Fly Away, when he will fly away, leaving his entire catalog of music for all to enjoy.
As with all of his previous solo piano albums, Bryant blends together classical and jazz elements in a personal and original way. This album can easily be thought of as having three parts. The first part is the opening original, Anon In G Major, which has Bryant joining forces with his frequent collaborator, violinist Mark Cargill, where they expound on the four-note melodic theme by treating it in diverse ways in different sections.
The other two parts of One Day I’ll Fly Away consist of piano solos. Six reimagined and reinvented standards and pop tunes alternate with five charming classical pieces by Florence Price (1887-1953), who was the first Black woman to have a symphony performed by a major American classical orchestra but whose music has been neglected through the years. Bryant has championed her legacy and recorded some of her other works on his PARMA Recordings/Navona Records release, THE COMPOSERS.
The other six tracks are reimagined popular songs. For example, Bryant takes the Beatles’ Yesterday on a journey through various musical genres. As Time Goes By (which begins with the piano simulating a ticking clock) is dramatically reharmonized while retaining its classic melody. The Summer Knows has its melody slightly modified rhythmically but the song retains its emotional poignancy, and One Day I’ll Fly Away explores several different thematic variations.