Oral Histories

Interview of David Bryant

Jazz bass player.
Central Avenue Sounds: David Bryant
Central Avenue Sounds Oral History Project
African American History
Biographical Note:
Jazz bass player.
Isoardi, Steven L.
Bryant, David
Persons Present:
Bryant and Isoardi.
Place Conducted:
Tape I: Horace Tapscott's home in Los Angeles, California; Tapes II through IV: Bryant's home in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Steven L. Isoardi, UCLA Oral History Program; B.A., Government, University of San Francisco; M.A., Government, University of San Francisco; M.A., Political Science, UCLA; Ph.D., Political Science, UCLA.Isoardi prepared for the interview by consulting jazz histories, autobiographies, oral histories, relevant jazz periodicals, documentary films, and back issues of the California Eagle and the Los Angeles Sentinel.
Processing of Interview:
Alex Cline, editor, edited the interview. He checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paraphrasing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Whenever possible, the proper names of the nightclubs were checked against articles and advertisements in back issues of the California Eagle. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed.Bryant reviewed the transcript. He verified proper names and made minor corrections and additions. Susan E. Douglass, editor, prepared the table of contents, interview history, and index. Cline assembled the biographical summary.
4 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
Interviews in this series preserve the spoken memories of individuals, mainly musicians, who were raised near and/or performed on Los Angeles's Central Avenue from the late 1920s to the mid-1950s.
Moves to Los Angeles in the 1920s; surviving the Depression; learns to play the violin and bass at Jordan High School; Charles Mingus; early musical influences; the Woodman brothers and the Woodman Brothers Studio; seeing Watts Towers as a child; job prospects for African Americans in the thirties; first jobs after high school; enlists in the United States Army and is sent overseas; attitudes towards African Americans in the army and overseas; changes on Central Avenue during and after World War II; police harassment and the shutdown of Central Avenue; attending the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Art and Westlake College of Music; recovery from tuberculosis; playing with Charlie Parker; Lloyd Reese; playing with Gerald Wilson's band; female musicians on Central Avenue; musicians and drug use; changes in the makeup of the Los Angeles African American community; tours with Nellie Lutcher; tours in the South with Charles Brown; performs with Horace Tapscott; the Pan-Afrikan People's Arkestra; the amalgamation of the American Federation of Musicians Locals 47 and 767.