Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dave Glenn: National Pastime

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 3.4.10
Buy CD: National Pastime

Dave Glenn, director of jazz studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., is another of the many excellent musicians who makes his home in the Pacific Northwest.

After receiving both bachelor's and master's degrees, he moved to New York City and spent 11 years as a professional trombonist. Ten of those years were with the Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, and Glenn also toured with Bill Watrous' marvelous Manhattan Wildlife Refuge and somehow found time to work with Chuck Mangione, Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Mel Lewis Orchestra.

Glenn currently teaches, instructs and composes commissioned works for musical groups around Walla Walla.

This is Glenn's second album as a leader. He's an avid baseball fan, and he composed and arranged all these tunes after a monthlong journey during which he attended 18 major league games, in 19 days, at six different ballparks. Each track relates to the sport's history: individuals, the fans and elements of the game.

The supporting sextet is excellent: Dave Scott on trumpet, Rich Perry on tenor sax, Gary Versace on piano, John Herbert on bass, Jeff Hershfield on drums, and Jim Clouse on soprano sax. Aside from two tracks done as ballads — “Roberto Clemente Bridge” and “Reliving the Glory Days” — everything is mid- to up-tempo; the melodic lines are clever, and the solo work is top-drawer.

It should be noted that the CD was produced by John Fedchock, quite a trombonist himself.

This is a neat album, whether or not you're a baseball fan.

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