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The Departure Of Stratos Bassist Doug Lunn

We are very heavy at the news of Stratos Ensemble bass player Doug Lunn's passing yesterday. Dean had the following statement prepared for his personal walls, so we are sharing it hear as well. It personifies how we feel.

Dean De Benedictis:

Just when you start counting your blessings, something off-the-charts questionable happens, and these days it's usually a notable baby boomer death. I have very heavy and mixed feelings today after receiving the news that my friend, industry legend, and bassist for the Stratos Ensemble, Doug Lunn, passed away yesterday from cancer. For those who are educated on modern and progressive instrumental music, many of you know who Doug was, and I'm sorry to have to bring you that news. Doug's most regular bass work was for film composer Mark Isham and progressive rock band The Fire Merchants, but he also held firm positions playing bass for the likes of Andy Summers, Sting, Dweezil Zappa, Chad Wakerman, Terry Bozio, Wayne Shorter, Reeves Gabrell, David Torn, the list goes on and on.

I was a fan all my life. Having Doug in my band along side musicians like Coco Roussel from Happy The Man was a dream. Doug is actually the featured bass player on the new Stratos album, Accident At Clear Lake, which our CD release gig next week is in celebration of. This is one of Doug's last recorded studio performances. Anyone who knew him or were fans of his playing are encouraged to check out the album when it comes out or show up to the CD release party. We will be dedicating our set to him and doing some give-aways. You will see more announcements on that over the week.

Those who knew Doug are going to miss him deeply. I share many mutual friends of his. He was easily just as notable a presence off stage as he was on. He was an exceptionally deep thinker and was extremely articulate to match. He understood the ramifications of the emotional content in the music he involved himself with, and he had a conceptual understanding of innovation to match that too. He was also an extremely understated bass player for a genius, the guy you can count on to play the most appropriate bass accompaniment imaginable without any exhibitionism. This is also why he was not a superstar. He was not a star, he was an artist. Doug played bass on projects and albums that were so dripping with emotion that some of my most memorable early experiences in life are synonymous with that music. This primarily involves his early work with Mark Isham, which changed my life. Further, Doug also knew a little about travel and the outdoors, so he identified with me when I told him of the many early experiences I had with his music out in nature in the early 90s, and thus he also understood the importance of my current travel project. This is a loss for us, and for those who know what he meant.

Here is the only decently filmed interview with Doug currently online, which was an EPK for his project with Chad Wakerman. There will be more decent footage of him online soon. The two bands he and I were a part of were Zen Land and The Stratos Ensemble, some of the only projects he involved himself with in the end. Both bands just happen to be releasing albums and promo material this month. The timing is an anomaly.

Rest in peace my friend. You leave behind a legacy of excellence and timelessness, and the world will relive this in some way through your work. You will be in our deepest actions and pondering from now on, no time more than right now.

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