Global Bass Online December 2000
TONY SENATORE, a previous guest of Global Bass Magazine and a professional bassist in his own right, reviews the newest release of prolific recording artist Dann Glenn, his 10th, an album entitled ‘SUBHARMONIA’
like an ocean, with every wave a new idea…
Dann Glenn is an iconoclast, that much is certain. With
the release of SUBHARMONIA, his
greatest musical statement to date, he has dug even deeper into his soul than
before, and created a milestone in the evolution of the fretless Bass Guitar. In
this article, I feel honored to discuss and share Dann Glenn’s music with the
In 1978, I was a 16-year-old kid growing
up in New Jersey. I was a neophyte bassist and a typical high school kid. I
quickly grew bored with the music that my peers were into, so I reached out for
some more knowledge.
two best friends and I would hang out in my basement listening to music every
Friday and Saturday evening. Friday was Jazz Night, featuring the music of
‘Bird’, ‘Trane’ and Miles, followed by a heaping helping of Ornette
evening we dove into Classical music. We would listen to Bach, Bartok and
Mozart. I’ll admit that once in a while we’d light up a joint, which seemed
to help with the whole ‘mind expanding process’. Then all hell would break
loose as we’d break out the Milton Babbitt and Conlon Nancarrow. At the time,
we thought that we were the BIGGEST LOSERS to ever have walked the planet. Such
Twenty-two years later, I have come to think a bit differently. The wide and diverse styles of music I listened to in those early years has helped achieve a musical maturity allowing me to understand what I feel to be the genius of Mr. Dann Glenn.
own personal favorite track on this recording is ‘OPUS FOR THREE BASSES’.
Reminiscent of Dave Holland’s ‘Conference of the Birds’, yet Dann manages
to capture the interaction and interplay of a septet, ALL BY HIMSELF!
what does Dann think about when he is conceiving his music, and more
specifically, his solos? Simply put, he taps into his life’s energy and
Thoughts and memories of a fallen comrade in `Nam.
A painting by his uncle (a world-renowned painter).
picture of Jaco Pastorius on a T-shirt.
understand this however…Before you start going all ‘New-Age-y’ on me,
thinking that perhaps Dann is into Aromatherapy and Yanni, nothing could be
farther from the truth! He is a pragmatist at heart. This however, does not
preclude him from drawing his creativity from a Higher Source.
Like any professional, Dann has all the building blocks in place, all the tools. Scales, modes, harmony, melody and rhythm. This knowledge is something he has access to, but as with any true artist who completely knows his tools, he has transcended them. They have become incidental, inconsequential. A doorway to a larger room.
true Master moves beyond the tools of his trade, and in drawing from that Higher
Source, in ‘channeling’ the Muse, produces artistry that even surprises
themselves. The music flows through you, not from you.
Speaking of the
cut entitled ‘OPUS FOR THREE BASSES’, he says “It’s a very thick sonic
hologram, with so much going on. Different levels, colors, all of it in motion.
Someday someone will print out the score for this on their Mac and this music
will be performed live. I can just picture some poor clarinet player standing
there counting his ass off!”.
the track, ‘The Old Harbor at Honfleur’, Dann shows his Charles Ives’
influences. Of ‘Honfleur’, Dann says, “My uncle, who
just passed away this year, was Craig Smith, a world famous Artist. A lot of
artists struggle and yet live like paupers, but my Uncle Craig did quite well.
You know that solo (in ‘Honfleur’) where the Upright voice comes in? I blew
that solo staring at that painting on my wall, and I thought, ‘There it is:
you have to name it The Old Harbor at
named another track, ‘The Baton’, for Jaco. “It’s about what Jaco passed
on to us”. I asked him about the harmonic ostinato at the top of the track and
contrary to what you may think when hearing it, he did it all in real time and
with no sampling. He says that, “If you listen closely, turn off the TV and
drink about 10 cups of coffee, you’ll hear that I messed up!”.
continues, “Everything I play is in real time, that’s what messes with
people’s minds. They also think that bass players couldn’t harmonically pull
off the stuff that I do.”
So after a musical statement like SUBHARMONIA, what could possibly be next for Dann?
line with this evolution and in truest Dann Glenn fashion, he says, “I pretty
much have done all I can do with Midi. I’ve made some serious statements.”
Dann hipped me to some new, cutting-edge ideas that he has in regards to the future, but they are such innovative ideas, I feel I will remain silent at this time, for fear they might be stolen.
whether it’s walking up and down Hamburger Hill, or hanging out at the place
where Curley (Jerry Howard) from The Three Stooges died, just so he could
“Trip on Curley’s energy”, Dann is one of a kind.
of his life experiences are drawn upon as he reaches out to compose his
astounding music. If you are the type of person who can watch the cult classic
‘Erasurehead’ and get something amazing out of it, you are the type of
person who will understand where Dann Glenn is coming from.
Everything he does is steeped in character and conviction. A brilliant musical mind whose imagination moves like the ocean, with every wave a cutting edge idea.
Note: Every track on this
recording except the drum cuts were generated and performed on electric fretless
bass by Dann Glenn.
website can be found at:
Tony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
His website is http://www.senny.com/
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