Historians often declare, “if we don’t understand our history, how can we go forwards?” My personal musical journey has taught me that this statement certainly applies now, more than ever, in my continued development as a player. But we are often forced to search on the periphery of our industry to discover educators who deliberately tap into the past in order to ignite imaginations. Standing just within the shadows of Zoro and Stanton Moore, we have been blessed with another fresh, vintage pioneer, who has fallen in love with the art as practised by our forefathers.
My awareness of Daniel Glass was brought to me by reviews of his clinics at the Chicago vintage drum shows over a couple of years. Here was another youngish man, tapping into the past and talking loud about the forgotten players who defined how the Drumset is applied within today’s popular music. With his knowledge on Big Band Swing drummers, morphing into a definitive study of the work of the early R&B players, Glass was an ideal choice for teaming up with Zoro on their joint educational book venture, ‘The Commandments of R&B Drumming’. Again, this is another educator from a tiny pool who has helped bring me even closer to the roots of my instrument, greatly enhancing my appreciation and fascination for the past.
In todays drum world where the never ceasing pursuit of speed and methods to fit as many notes as possible into small passages of barely musical time, what Daniel Glass offers can certainly be pigeonholed under the ‘boutique’ category. That doesn’t mean that it’s snobbish or something that should be used in an argument about Metal drummers v Jazz drummers. It’s just another rites of passage for those of us who have spent many years sitting behind a Drumset wondering what it’s all been about. I for one, am very grateful to Daniel for tapping into this essential knowledge pool and recording what otherwise, would be confined to the ghosts of a near forgotten era.