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Len Bryant

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Beginning as a doo wop singer in the '50s, Len Bryant has spent half a century performing as both a drummer and vocalist. Some sort of musical genes are sure to be found in his extended family, particularly his sister Vera Eubanks, who in addition to being a multi-instrumentalist in her own right gave birth to not one but three jazzy sons, guitaristKevin Eubanks, trombonist Robin Eubanks, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks. Len Bryant's brother Ray Bryant is a stellar jazz pianist, while another brother named Tom Bryant, unfortunately deceased, was a vocalist. From this diverse group of related influences it was Ray Bryant who perhaps had the greatest impact; while in the Army, Len Bryant became fascinated with both the piano and the way his brother played it, joining up with other players from the Army band to form rehearsal and jam bands. He soon began working out on the drums, for several years playing both piano and drums before finally settling on the latter. Bryant nonetheless dropped music for a while after rejoining civilian life, eventually opting for formal training at the Granoff School of Music, where he once again engaged in the tandem exploration of piano and drums. Soon he was picking up work as a drummer in R&B bands, but longed to be involved in jazz similar in style to what his brothers were involved with. One drummer on the Philly jazz scene, the brilliant Mickey Roker, was a huge influence. Eventually Ray Bryant and Tom Bryant involved their drumming brother in a family band that basically imploded after Tom Bryant's death in the '80s. His activities largely confined to the Philadelphia area, Len Bryant became known for singing a few numbers on every gig, a talent that listeners encouraged with suggestions that he pursue a career entirely devoted to vocalizing. His album It's Now Midnight Waiting for Your Love was released on the Orchard label in 2000. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

Years Active:

'90s, '00s