Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Abandoned by his father (James b.1927-?) and later estranged from his mother (Patricia b.1927-?) and only sibling, (Terry b.1948-) who both joined a religious cult, Dann spent much of his late adolescence and early teens with his aunt Estelle Smith (b.1919) in Los Angeles California, who was the wife of renowned painter Craig Smith. (1922-1998).
Dann was encouraged by his aunt to pursue his interest in music. Dann returned from the Vietnam war and attended College of Marin and UC Berkeley (1971-1973). During the 70s, Dann played with many blues artists, including Luther Tucker, Michael Bloomfield, and Freddy King.
Dann was mentored by jazz bass legend Monk Montgomery (the first to play electric bass on a jazz record, with Lionel Hampton), brother to the legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery and vibraphonist /pianist Buddy. After spending years on the road playing in show bands, Dann returned to Los Angeles in 1977, where he studied the Simandl method with bassist and pianist Herb Mickman.
Dave Liebman came over to Dann’s condo years ago in North Hollywood when Dann was one of the first cats to have a contra bass guitar. Dave jumped up and called Steve Swallow in NYC. "Hey man...you ever hear of a six string bass?" After this Dann played and recorded with many musicians and bands in the LA area, while on the faculty at Musicians Institutes Bass Institute of Technology (1988-1991).
During his time in LA, Dann became close with bassists Jeff Berlin and Jaco Pastorius, who was murdered in 1987. Dann and Berlin went on to become lifelong friends, often associated in the music press because of their views on music education for bass guitar players.
The pair spoke out against popular gizmos such as "hand-grip squeezers," "perfect pitch tapes" and the misinformation sometimes sold to unsuspecting students. Dann and Berlin contended that since music has been the same for hundreds of years in terms of its basic principles, such as harmony, it is music that should be taught - not licks and tricks. They also opposed tablature notation, and constantly encouraged young players to simply learn to read music, instead of wasting time learning what they considered to be a musicial non-language.
Glenn played with guitarists Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson/Jeff Beck) and John Goodsall (Brand X) before leaving Los Angeles for good. Glenn and his wife Francoise (b. May 20 1963, Paris, France) relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1993, where he set up his own studio to compose and record his music. In addition to his love for jazz and jazz fusion music, Dann took up orchestral composition, ultimately writing six symphonies by 2007.
He has also written many columns for magazines, and became a published novelist with his first book entitled, Almost a Proverb, an examination of the human condition based on his experiences during the Vietnam War.
Glenn ultimately became disenchanted with playing the bass, and changed his primary instrument to the electric guitar. Dann plays in a jazz fusion band called "BangTower” with fretless bassist Percy Jones, and has also recorded solo projects.
Dann, who has been compared to Charles Mingus for his temper as well as his musicianship, is known for his speed as a player and his unusual use of time and space as a composer. He has also mentored many younger players over the years, fulfilling a promise he made to his own mentor, Monk Montgomery to help others, as he had been helped.
Recordings as a leader:
Street Without Joy (1993) Emerald Tiger (1994) Atlantis (1995) Symphony No. 1 (1995) Maybe Never (1997) Symphony No. 2 (1998) Octavia (1998) Little Toy Horns (1999) Subharmonia (2000) Bassics Sampler: Legends, Movers & Shakers (2000) Symphony No. 3 (2002) Symphony No. 4 (2003) Symphony No. 5 (2004) Symphony No. 6 (2005) Bass Talk 7: Lords of the Bass (2002)
As a sideperson:
Slider/Glenn: A Whispered Warning (1984) Barry Coates: Move Like a Dancer (1987) Sam Riney: At Last (1988)
Notes Magazine-November 1989 Vol.2 No.1, Dann Glenn-Musical Weather
Notes Magazine-January 1990 Vol.2 No. 2, Dann Glenn-Fretless Wonder
Bass Frontiers Magazine-1994 Vol. 4 No. 2, Dann Glenn-Fretless Visionary
Bass Frontiers Magazine-1999 Vol. 7 No. 4, Dann Glenn-Fretless Master
Bassics Magazine-July 1999 Vol. 9 No. 3, Dann Glenn-The Fretless Grace of
Bass Player Magazine-May 2000, Dann Glenn-Home Alone
Bass Player Magazine-May 2001, Dann Glenn-Creating your own music
Bass Professor Magazine-April 2000,(Germany) Dann Glenn-The Mad Professor of Bass