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Audio CD, January 9, 2012
This 25th anniversary edition was digitally re-mastered from a high-resolution transfer from the analog master.
Album liner notes by Bill Milkowski (of DOWNBEAT):
Ever since Jaco Pastorius burst onto the scene in 1976, electric bass players have been stretching their own limitations, exploring the potentials of their instrument. No longer content to just keep time and hold down the bottom, they began experimenting with harmonics, chording and a kind of nimble-fingered soloing style that had previously been associated with guitarists, not bassists.
Jaco definitely turned things around for bass players. Among them was a classically-trained violinist from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who was majoring in Philosophy of Science at Princeton University. Inspired by Jaco's bass playing and by the refreshing group sound of Light As A Feather-era Return to Forever, Dan Krimm put his violin on the shelf and picked up the electric bass.
Now, nearly ten years later, Krimm bursts onto the scene himself with this impressive debut album. Funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, SENTIENCE is a showcase of Krimm's considerable skills as both a bassist and composer. The seven original compositions here represent different periods in Krimm's growth from 1978 to 1981, and his accomplished playing on them is enough to make even Jaco sit up and take notice.
Basically self-taught on bass, Dan met and began playing duets with pianist Gary Monheit when the two attended Princeton together. Dan moved to New York in 1981 and began gigging around town in duo and trio situations. His work with Gary on SENTIENCE highlights the close musical rapport the two have had since their Princeton days.
For SENTIENCE, Krimm assembled a stellar cast of musicians. Saxophonist Marty Fogel, an ECM recording artist with the Everyman Band, lends his distinctive tenor sound to the swinging "Mordor," named after the land where dwells dark lord Sauron (of Lord of the Rings). He overdubs tight soprano and tenor harmony lines on the funky "Rumpus" and stretches out with a highly expressive soprano solo on the hauntingly beautiful "Spirit Dance."
Guitarist Vic Juris, who has toured extensively with Barry Miles, Larry Coryell and Birellie Lagrene, lends some fleet-fingered solos to "Golden Bisque" and "Wheat Fields."
Drummer Grant Jarrett, who plays on George Young's new album Chant, and whose brother Keith is the renowned pianist, hooked up with Krimm after answering an ad in the Village Voice. Check out his subtle brushwork on "Dolphin Dance," his insistent backbeat on "Rumpus," his relentless swing and disciplined stop-time playing on "Mordor."
Flutist Jan Leder adds a gentle touch on the etherial "Partly Cloudy on the Sheep Hills" and flutist Herb Kloss blows with fervor on "The Rise and Fall."
Compsitionally, the influences on SENTIENCE are apparent. Jaco, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock and Return to Forever figure prominently, yet Krimm is able to assimilate those influences and produce a sound that is uniquely his own. From the fusion of "Golden Bisque" to the jazzy cha-cha of "Mordor" to the swinging funk of "Rumpus," Krimm keeps things fresh and flowing. Check out the clever middle section of "Rumpus," the darkly-colored soundscape of "Spirit Dance," the tricky 7/8 over 7/4 meter of "Wheat Fields." This is a talented composer in full flight. And as a player, Dan Krimm makes strong statements throughout SENTIENCE.
His extended intro to "Partly Cloudy" is a virtual clinic on the art of playing harmonics. His sonorous solo on that one recalls the melodious bass playing of Steve Swallow while his nimble funk lines on "Golden Bisque" and "Rumpus" bear the unmistakable stamp of Jaco. Check out Dan's swing factor on "Mordor," his melodic lines on "Dolphin Dance" and his evocative playing on the modal "Spirit Dance." This is a gifted bassist who bears watching. SENTIENCE, his auspicious debut album, is only a beginning. You're gonna hear from Dan Krimm.
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