Keyboardist and composer Dave Bryant is best known for his work as a member of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time group. Bryant’s addition to the group marked Ornette Coleman’s first extended work with a keyboard instrument in decades. Starting in 1990, Bryant toured as part of the group and performed on the Prime Time “Tone Dialing” CD. During Bryant’s tenure with Prime Time, the band also performed with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, and numerous symphony orchestras throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Kurt Mazur.
Bryant’s first CD project was a self-titled debut album with his trio Shock Exchange in 1986, featuring bassist John Turner, percussionist Chris Bowman, and liner notes by Coleman. In 1999, Bryant released a second CD, “The Eternal Hang,” recorded with Turner, Bowman, saxophonist George Garzone, drummer Bob Gullotti, and noted recording engineer Roger Nichols. Also in 1999, he performed on the John Tchicai /Charlie Kohlase Quintet CD, “Life Overflowing,” which was named Boston Music Awards Jazz Album of the Year. Bryant has now released a new recording “The Garden of Equilibria,” featuring musicians Tom Hall, Neil Leonard, Curt Newton, Eric Rosenthal, Jeff Song, and Jacob William. Other credits include performances with Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Badal Roy, Bern Nix, Calvin Weston, Wadada Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Rakalam Bob Moses, Gregg Bendian, and Eric Person. Most recently, he has performed in Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, and Istanbul.
Bryant has also composed and performed scores for silent films including Battleship Potemkin, Greed, Metropolis, and Pandora’s Box. He now produces and performs in a monthly concert series called Third Thursdays in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Appalachian Springs Foundation. The series features many long-time Prime Time associates as well as special guests.
Dave Bryant attended Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music before moving to Boston, where he attended Berklee College of Music, graduating with a B.M. in Jazz Piano Performance in 1982. He began studies with Ornette Coleman in 1983. Bryant has conducted master classes in harmolodic theory and performance at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, the Longy School of Music, and the Conservatory at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. Currently serving as a faculty member at the Longy School of Music, Bryant resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.