Walt Wagner’s new ensemble, The Walt Wagner Trio, has just issued its first recording, an EP titled ‘TRAJECTORY’.
After just two gigs together at Seattle’s famed Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, pianist Walt, electric bassist Dan Dean and drummer Ben Smith decided to go into the studio, just to see if they could come close to capturing the riveting energy, virtuosity and tightness which marked those live engagements. Though the plan was just to make a demo, after the session the guys all agreed these five tunes just had to be released for people to hear.
‘Tag’, ‘Facade’, ‘Low Fat’, and ‘Spiral’—all Walt’s compositions—are loaded with innovative rhythm, chord structures and melodic lines. Walt says, “Always my greatest fear is to cause even one second of boredom”. Also included is a hypnotic cover of DJ Shadow’s ‘Building Steam With a Grain of Salt’.
Based in Seattle, Walt Wagner has performed with Jay Leno, Bob Hope, George Burns, Lily Tomlin, Roberta Flack, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bob Newhart, and as pianist-conductor for Peggy Lee. Walt played often at Sun Valley, Idaho, and was featured for two years at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at University of Idaho.
Dan Dean, bassist, has performed and recorded with the some of the world’s finest musicians, including: Shelly Manne, Howard Roberts, B.B. King, Eddie Harris, Tom Scott, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Ernie Watts, the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Mays, Peggy Lee and Della Reese. He has produced, engineered and mastered many albums.
Ben Smith was the drummer for the legendary rock band Heart. His vast experience includes years in New York playing with Blues, Jazz and Latin bands, and he has worked live and in studio with notable artists including: Taj Mahal, Cyndi Lauper, Deniece Williams, Peter Frampton, Nancy Wilson, Ernestine Anderson, Kenny G, and Phoebe Snow.