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Genres You Will Love
Blues: Funky Blues Jazz: Jazz Fusion Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Mood: Upbeat Moods: Featuring Guitar

By Location
United States - Colorado

Gary Dean Smith

Born in Los Angeles but raised in the south, Gary Dean Smith's guitar playing and songwriting reflects 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 straight-ahead 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.