Roger Glenn is ingredient X. The secret sauce. The cat behind the cat. Known among his peers as a supremely talented improviser, Glenn has played flute with vibraphonist Cal Tjader, vibes with flautist Herbie Mann, and both flute and vibes with Dizzy Gillespie. He made his recording debut with legendary pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams and contributed to classic albums with Cuban percussion maestro Mongo Santamaria (Mongo´70, Atlantic Records), pioneering funk/jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd (Black Byrd, Blue Note Records), and Latin jazz star Cal Tjader (Grammy Award-winning La Onda Va Bien, Concord Picante Label).
“I’ve been playing with numerous icons of jazz and Latin jazz for years,” says Glenn, a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since the mid-1970s. “I love all of these various musical exchanges. They’ve all led me to this moment, knowing it’s the right time to make my own musical statement. These original tunes are truly coming from my heart.”
His versatility has kept him busy. In the past few years he’s done a series of runs with blues great Taj Mahal, playing vibes, flute, sax, clarinet, and even piccolo and triangle. He’s featured on the Hoku Award-winning CD Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band: Live from Kauai. Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Kurt Elling featured him as a soloist on flute and vibes, and Glenn took his whole bag of tricks on the road to lead an organ trio that toured the West Coast opening for Steely Dan. Another tour took him to New Zealand and Australia playing baritone sax with the Count Basie Orchestra.