Gary Dean Smith moves up to #11 on the NACC Top 30 Jazz Chart

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Born in Los Angeles but raised in the south, Gary Dean Smith’s guitar playing, and songwriting reflect a diverse array of influences. He began his musical journey in his teens as a rock guitarist, driven by The Allman Brothers Band and other “southern rock” artists. Later, after moving back to L.A., he sought to expand his style and skills, doing so as a student of the jazz great Joe Diorio.

Currently, Smith is helming a jazz fusion group – Xpansion Of A Sum – whose debut album AWAKENING was produced by legendary bassist and founding member of The Yellowjackets, Jimmy Haslip. The players in this aptly named quintet are: bassist Spencer Pyne, keyboardist Donald Young, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Phil Reyes and drummer Steve Fitzgerald. As the name implies, the sum is greater than its collective parts. Also notable among the special guests appearing on the record is heavyweight fusion pianist Jeff Lorber, who collaborated with Smith – and Mer Sal of The Symbols – on a new track written specifically for this project. Mer Sal’s dynamic vocals fit well with Smith’s guitar and the rest of the guest players on this track who, along with Lorber, include Haslip and drummer Gary Novak.

1. Awakening 3:46
2. Hummingbird 2:48
3. Lucky 4:57
4. This Yearning 5:33
5. Lenny’s Lament 4:30

Mer Sal – vocals
Spencer Pyne – bass, trombone
Phil Reyes – sax, flute
Gary Dean Smith – guitar
Donald Young – keyboards, trumpet, horn arrangement
Steve Fitzgerald – drums
Jimmy Branly – percussion
Jeff Lorber – keyboards on “Lucky”
Jimmy Haslip – bass on “Lucky”
Gary Novak – drums on “Lucky
Producer: Jimmy Haslip

Record Label: MFRecordz
Artist: Gary Dean Smith Project
CD Title: Awakening
Label: MFRecordz
Add Date: February 11, 2019
Street Date: February 8, 2019
Available at all fine retailers

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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