Take Five With Dan Dean

By Published: | 5,343 views
Meet Dan Dean:

Bassist, Sample Library developer, Engineer/Producer. Played with jazz greats like Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
1929 - 1992
guitar, electric
, Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin
b.1934
piano
, Stan Getz
Stan Getz
Stan Getz
1927 - 1991
sax, tenor
, Eddie Harris
Eddie Harris
Eddie Harris
1934 - 1994
saxophone
, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
Eddie
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
1917 - 1988
sax, alto
, Shelly Manne
Shelly Manne
Shelly Manne
1920 - 1984
drums
, B.B. King
B.B. King
B.B. King
b.1925
guitar, electric
, Ernestine Anderson
Ernestine Anderson
Ernestine Anderson
b.1928
vocalist
, Diane Schuur
Diane Schuur
Diane Schuur
b.1953
vocalist
and others. Created the Dan Dean Sample Libraries for GigaStudio. Wrote and produced the Hal Leonard Electric Bass Method and Studio Series books.



Instrument(s):

Electric Bass.

r>Teachers and/or influences?

William O. "Bill" Smith, Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
1929 - 1992
guitar, electric
. I spent a lot of time while I was a young guy listening to Howard, Joe Pass
Joe Pass
Joe Pass
1929 - 1994
guitar
and other great guitarists. About the same time, I discovered Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
and the outside players of jazz when I took a history of jazz class at the university. It was a real eye-opener for me. Bill Smith was my professor at the UW, and I learned a ton from him and later played weekends in his trio.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I spent hours playing my aunt's Hammond bass pedals while she played the melody and accompaniment. When I discovered I hated moving side-by-side refrigerators up three flights of stairs only to find out we delivered the wrong color. Come to think of it, I never really wanted to be a musician—it just happened!

Your sound and approach to music:

Different. I play bass with a pick and focus on soloing and chordal playing. People ask me who my main influences are—what other bassists? That sort of thing. I actually listen to every other instrument besides bass. Great solos come from sax players, trumpet players, piano players. This is where you really hear the melodies and interesting harmonic content.

Your teaching approach:

Design the instruction so that the student discovers what I want him to. The teacher needs to focus on making the lessons fun and rewarding to the student.

Your dream band:

Marian McPartland
Marian McPartland
Marian McPartland
1918 - 2013
piano
, John Scofield
John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
, Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
b.1952
saxophone
, Bernard Purdie
Bernard Purdie
Bernard Purdie
b.1939
drums
, Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Gonzalo Rubalcaba
b.1963
piano
, There are too many to list, really.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

There was once a gig on which there was no AC power for me to plug into, so the venue rented a really loud gas operated generator. This sat right behind my amp. It droned in the crack between Bb and B, so we had to change all the tunes keys to B. Funny for a moment or two—maybe.

Favorite venue:

The Greek theatre/LA. The place was packed, the audience was jazzed—what a great time.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Jaunty Jolly by Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
1929 - 1992
guitar, electric
. Little did I know that I would be playing bass with him less than seven years later.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

A different take on playing the electric bass. I don't approach it from an R&B standpoint, but from a more melodic perspective.

Did you know...

I am not a night owl. I also really dislike going to movies during the day, leaving the theatre in broad daylight.

CDs you are listening to now:

George Duke
George Duke
George Duke
1946 - 2013
piano
, In a Mellow Tone (Heads Up).

Desert Island picks:

Roger Kellaway
Roger Kellaway
Roger Kellaway
b.1939
piano
, The Roger Kellaway Cello Quartet (A&M);

John Scofield
John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
, Slo Sco;

John Scofield
John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
, Blue Matter (Grammophone);

Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
, Treasure Island;

Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
Howard Roberts
1929 - 1992
guitar, electric
, Jaunty Jolly (Capitol).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

This is a difficult one. It seems like we're in a transition, waiting for the next big thing, which no one really has an idea what that will be. There are fewer venues, less potential to make a living, all sorts of things which seem to be counterproductive to the proliferation of jazz.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Jazz artists need venues to play in. It seems like there are less and less of them. Also, the current state of the digital world makes content essentially worthless, so it is difficult to make a living doing jazz. Somehow, preventing copying of recordings needs to be rethought. It is also time for a new recording standard—one that makes listening to jazz more realistic and three-dimensional. As handy as MP3s are, they sound nothing like a CD.

What is in the near future?

A new project is in the planning phase, probably the next step in the 2 5 1 series with more great players.

By Day:

I create sample libraries and write/produce commercials for radio and TV and engineer.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

A surgeon or pilot. Where I live, a lot of the guys I know are surgeons, lawyers or CEOs, and they all want to be musicians. They can hardly wait to get home from the office to play. I think I'd do the opposite for a while!

Photo Credit

Photo Courtesy of Dan Dean

comments powered by Disqus
Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google