Glenn...reinforcers my belief that some of the fine trombonists just keep coming out of the woodwork. It's not clear if National Pastime is his first recording as a leader (he's been working since the early 70's) but whatever the circumstances it would be safe to say Dave Glenn is more than ready, even overdue, to helm his own recording project. And a project it is because there's no question that this is a certified concept album in the best sense of the term. Baseball, being an All-American sport, has several parallels with Jazz. So, although personally I have never felt that sports and music particularly fit together very well, this album idea was long overdue. Although most of these titles ring bells with me, some--like "The Denizens of Rathskellers," and "The Hammer," drew blank stares from me.
Come to find out Rathskellers is a local tavern in Pittsburgh and "The Hammer" was the nickname for Hank Aaron. The group expands to a septet on that cut with the addition of Jim Clouse, who takes a restrained fishhorn ride. And the dedication to the late Buck O"Neil is the Blues with a kick. Glenn's slide sports a bit of Curtis Fuller fuzz on the on the next selection, dedicated to his former roommate, Dennis Irvin, a bassman that will be sorely missed by all Jazz fans familiar with his work. Although the tunes are fairly nondescript this is a well-executed unit that up the ant with conversant solo spots. Baseball fans will find it to their liking as well.