Written: by Lee Evans

The music world took
yet another hit with the passing of Larry Payton, founding member and
awesome drummer for Brass Construction, on March 20th 2016. Payton was
a great part of the ‘Funk Band” era of the mid 70s and 80s, having 10
albums and a string of hits including Changin, Movin, The Right Place,
Walking The Line, Get Up To Get Down under their belts on United Artists
and Capitol records.  They take their place among the likes of P-Funk,
Ohio Players, Confunction, Lakeside, the Barkays, Cameo, BT Express and
many more.
remember when I first heard Brass’ Movin and Changin’ songs, I 
flipped. This band had that rugged thugged tight groove which I loved. I
quickly became a big fan. Being from the South Bronx, my musical tastes
had a strong urban edge…they were it for me. When
I found out they were from Brooklyn I was even more blown away. So I
felt totally blessed when I was asked to join the band.
joined Brass Construction around 1980 as a second keyboard player and
to give Randy Muller the ability to get from behind the keys and be a
front man. The band quickly became my ‘On The Road” family as I traveled
extensively abroad with them doing tours of Germany, France, London and
much more, and kicking A**
on  every gig. Led by Randy Muller (until the mid 80s)  Mick Grudge,
Morris Price, Larry Payton, Sandy, Joe, Jessie, Tyrone, Wayne, Wade Lee
Twine, and myself became a force of funk to be reckoned with.

Payton was a strong solid drummer, able to hold down that ‘Brass
Construction’ style funk groove.  Solid and a heavy hitter, Larry was
the nucleus of the BC sound. His playing was strong solid and ‘in the
pocket’ He
was also a ‘show drummer’ always great to watch, and getting the
audience involved. I learned a few showmanship tricks from Larry.
and I became friends and had long inspiring talks about what lied ahead
for himself as well as the BC band. Larry was a funny guy, always had a
joke or quip for everyone. He was always ready to give of himself and
was a true team player. I remember him volunteering himself many times and went way out of his way to
pick me up with my keyboard at the Brooklyn train to do a rehearsal. He
put his heart and soul into his work.
2011, Larry embarked on his own solo project with me at my studio,
JAMBOX Entertainment Studios in NYC. A promising project that was never
completed because of his declining health.
was also a great family man. In our conversations, he would always
very highly of his wife and children. In fact, his wife Vanessa used to
run Randy Muller’s office at 1650 Broadway. She is one of the sweetest
women you’d ever meet. I met her (around the time I joined the band) we
quickly became friends. She was very knowledgeable and helped me
immensely to learn how things ran with Brass, and in the music biz in
My heart goes out to the Payton family and the large family of musicians friends and
fans whose heart Larry Payton has touched over the years. He will be truly missed.
Here are two top Brass Construction records featuring Larry Payton on Drums
l-r Sandy Billups, Morris Price, Wayne Davis, Larry Payton, Lee, Evans, Lee Twine, Danny Newman, Mick Grudge 


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