At the tender age of 25 Dan Gaynor is one of Portland’s brightest young stars. Since graduating from PSU Dan has become one the North West’s most respected and busy pianists, working with players like Nancy King, Glen Moore, Bobby Torres, Barbara Lusch, Dan Schulte. I talked to Dan about his trio with Glen Moore and some of his other projects.
DCV: So you’re playing with Glen Moore at the Blue Monk?
Dan: Yes, on February 3rd and 4th. We played there in December with Charlie Doggett and had a really positive response. This time we're playing with Gary Hobbs. Tyson Stubelek and Glen and I have rehearsed for a while as a trio and have had a couple of gigs in the past together, while Tyson still lived in town. Now that he's studying at New England Conservatory in Boston, we only get to play with that trio for the holidays. Our trio thing is getting really flexible. We're playing with four different drummers, depending on the context. We've played with Tyson Stubelek, Charlie Doggett, Ken Ollis and now with Gary Hobbs. Glen and I have both played with Gary (Glen has recorded with Gary, and Gary played in Oregon for a hot minute), but this will be our debut as a trio.
DCV: How long have you been working with Glen Moore?
Dan: Glen and I have been playing since I was at Portland State. I took his improvisation class and we really hit it off then. I also played in the "Oregon Ensemble" which performed Ralph Towner's music and had a gig at the Oregon Bite in 2004. (With Mary Sue Tobin, Josh Cliburn, Dan Duval, Eric Gruber and Tyson Stubelek.)
DCV: Will you be playing out of the Oregon book at the Blue Monk?
Dan: We'll be playing about 50-70% Oregon material. We have a lot of Ralph Towner's songs in the book, but we also have songs that Glen recorded with Nancy King and some standards. We have tunes by some of our influences (Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Herbie Nichols, Duke Ellington, Lee Konitz) in the book. We also do a Lawrence Williams song. When we do standards, sometimes we take it to a magical place, you see. We'll be doing All or Nothing at All, but it resembles the Frank Sinatra record in no way. When we played LVs Uptown Jazz Club last week, we played an extended version of Caravan, which we hadn't planned on doing, and it seemed to be one of the more memorable numbers we played.
DCV: What other projects are you and Glen involved in right now?
Dan: We're working on the beginning stages of a couple of projects together, including some marching band arrangements (the good kind) and some work with a trio and a choir. Besides playing with Glen, I'm doing some things with Nancy King and with the Dan Schulte Sextet. Nancy and I are playing Abou Karim on January 20. Gary Hobbs and I are recording this month with Barbara Lusch for her upcoming CD.
DCV: I've heard rumors that you're heading for the East Coast.
Dan: Rumors are rumors, even if I'm the one starting them. I would definitely like to pursue an advanced degree in a big city, but I'm doing a lot of things around here that are challenging me.
You can hear this piano tyro with world-renowned bassist Glen Moore at the Blue Monk Feb.3rd and 4th (3341 SE Belmont st, Portland, Oregon 97214, ph: 503.595.0575)
With legendary vocalist Nancy King at Abou Karim on January 20
(221 SW Pine St, Portland, OR 97204, (503) 223-5058)