Mike Glendinning
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Mike Glendinning

Albany, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Albany, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Mike Glendinning showcases his excellent guitar technique on Random Acts of Grunge Jazz."

Mike Glendinning showcases his excellent guitar technique on Random Acts of Grunge Jazz. The first track, "Fade," is manic. Then, suddenly eases into a clean sound and fades away. "Dead End Summer" is a pleasing jazz rock tune. "Swine" combines distorted guitar and interesting harmonies with female vocal overdubs, which are a nice touch. All songs on the album were written by Mike, except for three covers. He does a lovely, acoustic instrumental guitar arrangement of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," and an interesting "grunge jazz" guitar instrumental of Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso." He also performs a beautiful electric jazz guitar arrangement of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The song, "Vincent," is a funky instrumental, showcasing Mike's virtuosity with Deb Tjoa playing fiddle. Great, musically solid album!
Mary Lemanski - looseylucy (Mar 18, 2008) - Mary Lemanski - looseylucy

"Random Acts of Grunge Jazz by Mike Glendinning is a very good jazz album."

Published on: 25 Feb 2008
Random Acts of Grunge Jazz by Mike Glendinning is a very good jazz album; guitar centered with some quite pleasant vocals. It is a mixture of personal compositions with interesting interpretations of classic popular songs. It is definitely more jazz than grunge. The grunge portion is like a spicing, not a defining attribute in my view.
When “Fade” starts, I had images of hillbillies. The rhythm is fun and creates an offbeat introduction to this first opus. “Dead Red Summer” is a soft jazz ballad, even if the electric guitar voice is present with a near grunge sound. It produces an island in the sun feel, a Brazilian tinge. “Swine” continues to cruise in that quiet musical direction, with a pleasing effect. “I left My Heart in San Francisco” created by Douglas Cross and George Cory in 1954 has known fame in 1962 when Tony Bennett made it the title song of his 1962 award winning album. It was also adopted by the City and County of San Francisco as one of its two official anthems. Mike Glendinning offers us a convincing acoustic guitar interpretation of this great American classic. “Sun King” is more pop/rock sounding, in the likes of Eric Clapton. “Cold Heat” is spiced up with some grunge sounding guitar and is a bit heavier than the rest. It is one of my personal favourite on this CD, a real catchy song. “Misterioso” is one of the most famous pieces of Theleonius Monk, for many people one of his very best. Mike Glendinning has made a rock guitar version of it which is quite original. “Home” returns to the ballad format, a form Mike is very good at. “Vincent” is a jazz fusion piece, and a very good one at that. It is for me the best piece of this CD. “Somewhere over the Rainbow” is an instrumental interpretation of the song created by Harold Arien & E.Y. Harburg. Who could forget Judy Garland singing that touching song in the Wizard of Oz? The approach here is minimalist but effective.

Random Acts of Grunge Jazz is a promising début album, one that I strongly recommend for lovers of jazz and jazz fusion music with a grunge spicing.
MichelF - ProGGnosis (Feb 26, 2008) - MichelF - ProGGnosis

"Track by Track Review"

Track by Track Review

This cut blasts into the CD sounding almost like blues, but the jazz takes over with some great guitar riffs. The upbeat tempo proves itself a solid ground for what's to come.

Dead Red Summer
This one has a more mellow, Jimmy Buffett-type feel to it. It nearly throws you off from the morbid lyrics, such as “He's a waste of life/Cutting his wrist would be a waste of a knife.”

Here's where the grunge comes into play - not in the Seattle Grunge fashion, but in a way that only Mike Glendinning can portray. Sticking with the laid-back feel, this number feels much like Deep Purple's “Lazy.”

I Left My Heart in San Francisco
An interesting little ditty, this acoustic instrumental reminisces days gone past.

Sun King
Sticking to the mellow tone, this track has an overall feel that reminds the listener of BB King meets Santana.

Cold Heat
Grunging forward into his new sound, Glendinning shows the harder sound that seems inspired from the psychedelic seventies.

Another instrumental, this one is a bit harder and sticks to the psychedelic side. The awesome guitar riffs keep on wave after wave.

Softening up again, a sound of longing and loneliness is sung here.

Adding a little funk to the mix, this instrumental has its roots in Jimi Hendrix. The guitar never seems to let up, giving the listener constant change to an ongoing groove.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
This track slows back down to end the album on a note of outlook to the future. One of the more interesting takes on this well-known classic, the solo guitar creates a smooth finish.
Jeremy Seffens - Music Street Journal (Feb 11, 2008)
- Jeremy Seffens - Music Street Journal

"unique sound that is entirely his own"

Review by Jeremy Seffens

With a unique sound that is entirely his own, Mike Glendinning sets up the perfect face for “grunge jazz.” The inspirations for this disc are as numerous as the sounds portrayed, giving the listener an overall feeling of relaxation without worry. - Review by Jeremy Seffens

"Review - Mike Glendinning’s ‘Ugly’"

As an independent music critic, I’m bombarded on a daily basis with typical indie acts: hip hop artists, rockers, singer songwriters, and the like. These acts, of course, widely vary in quality and originality. Many are quite derivative, and their influences aren’t just clear, they’re a bit too present. Once in a blue moon, however, I’m presented with someone that’s particularly different and left-field. That is definitely ‘Ugly,’ a new EP by Mike Glendinning.
Glendinning has a fairly interesting resume as a guitarist who’s been around the scene for quite some time playing different types of music. He’s released several albums with some notable performers and he’s been lauded as a “one of a kind.” His self-described genre is ‘grunge jazz,’ a style that he declares that “once you’ve heard it, you never forget it.” The six songs on ‘Ugly’ are an excursion through that style, and they’re most surely… different.
The introduction to the album, ‘Keep It Cr’ass,’ is a bizarre culmination of erratic beats, occasional synthesizers, and overdriven guitar noodling. It’s not exactly user-friendly, so I imagine it will weed out faint of heart right out of the gate. It’s oddly satisfying, though, and sets up ‘Tenderloin’ nicely. The song, which feels shoegaze in nature, is an intriguing jaunt through Glendinning’s surreal lyricism and vocal delivery. The song is reminiscent of Neil Young’s ‘Psychedelic Pill’ record from a few years back.
‘Find Myself’ then takes an entirely different turn, evoking a Beck-esque soundscape of eccentric drum machine sections and peculiar guitar melodies and riffing. It’s arguably the most accessible track of the album, and it’s enjoyable in its own weird way. (Which is really how you may feel about this whole EP, honestly.) ‘Fufu Blues’ follows with an oddball blues tune that’s actually pretty excellent, albeit unusual.
‘Warm Toxic Breeze’ utilizes acoustic guitar sections to create a very smooth, easy-riding atmosphere that’s tinged in psychedelic musings. It may remind listeners of Mac DeMarco - an indie scene favorite over the last few years. ‘One Arm Waltz’ closes the album with the most cohesive track of the bunch, and it’s arguably the finest song of the six.
‘Ugly’ is a weird album. It defies genre. Instead, it plays jump rope with a variety of genres, all masked by a haphazard production that sounds like it was recorded on a TASCAM tape deck. Hell, Glendinning’s website is, in itself, an outlandish relic of 2001. (At least, that’s how it looks.) Here’s the thing, though: it’s actually very good. It’s fun to listen to. Glendinning has found a wonderful niche to reside in and he thrives in it. This is the kind of music the indie scene is made for.
Read More... - Brett David Stewart


2002 Machine In The Sky "Binge"

2005 The Mike Glendinning Band

2007 Mike Glendinning "Random Acts Of Grunge Jazz"

2009 Psychotic America: Lullabies & Necrophilia

2011 Cr'ass

2012 The Adventures Of The Zoester and Gee Gee The Wonder Bear. ( Children's Songs For Adults)



Mike Glendinning is one of a kind, a guitarist whose anger and sense of beauty run close to the surface, exploding from amplifiers or CDs a unique, edgy, fluid style he calls grunge jazz. It's outsider music finding its roots in two distinct zones: the intuitive, soulful poetry of jazz improv, and the edgy, dirty attitude of a metal guitar survivor flipping off the universe. And that's just for starters.

Jolted awake to the magical possibilities of electric guitars when he heard Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin at age 12, Mike knew exactly where he wanted to go in life. His influences expanded to include King Crimson, John Coltrane, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Jeff Buckley, Gary Wade, and George Cole. By studying with Alex Skolnick (Testament), Mimi Fox (Stanley Jordan, Charlie Hunter, Branford Marsalis, David Sanchez) and Andre Bush (Nnenna Freelon, Steve Smith, Paul McCandless, Charlie Haden), Mike developed the musical vocabulary and skills to teach young guitarists the basics of folk, rock and jazz, the wild energy to sustain hours of jaw-dropping street performances, and the twisted vision to conceive a rock opera about America's most celebrated necrophiliac.

Mike has released four CD's with guest appearances by drummers Brian Collier (Lauryn Hill, Santana, Freddy Clarke) and Mick Mestek (Tower Of Power) and production help from Curtis Ohlson (Ray Charles, George Duke, Bob Weir, Pete Escovedo) and James Boblak (The Police, Robert Fripp, Joe Satriani, Stu Hamm). Judging from the reviews of his work, Mike's grating textures, complex chords and sweet melodic lines are an unheard of combination that the music press raves about while cheerfully trying to pigeonhole.

Mike's heroes have always been the musicians who dared to do something different, and he's genuinely concerned by what he sees as a prejudicial attitude toward musicians, or what he refers to as "my culture."

"I'm not saying everyone who picks up a guitar or drumsticks, or who sits down at a keyboard is automatically good," he says, "but anyone who commits to making this music, this art a part of their lives, anyone who has the balls to play in front of an audience and share what's in their hearts, these people deserve respect for trying. And if music is your livelihood, shouldn't you be treated like anyone else who's in business?

Mike Glendinning's music inspires respect at first listen. Because who else could possibly throw so many diverse styles into a blender and make them work? You have to hear grunge jazz to believe it. And once you hear it, you never forget it.