Sunday, June 3, 2018

NYC-based bassist Frank Wagner's new album "Floating Holiday" .. an interesting palette of colors

Floating Holiday is the exciting new album from NYC-based bassist Frank Wagner. The title is a reflection on a painting by Magritte and it describes both the weightlessness of a character in the painting, as well as the peaceful feeling Wagner gets when he is playing music. 

Floating Holiday is primarily a collection of tunes I wrote during my formative years while studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston. It also includes some tunes I recently wrote in 2016. This project is the fulfillment of my desire to re-examine my earlier tunes and to reshape their existing harmonies and rhythms. In this way, I was able to merge the past with the present as well as to deliver an interesting palette of colors for the listener to experience.” 

Frank Wagner was born in Levittown, New York. Graduating in 1980, Frank attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying jazz bass with Steve Swallow and Ron McClure as well as classical music with William Curtis from the Boston Philharmonic and Walter Botti of the New York Philharmonic. He has performed all over the world in a host of musical settings including all star jazz bands, Broadway shows, national tours, recording sessions, cabaret, society bands, and classical orchestras. Some of the big bands Frank has toured with are Buddy Rich, Larry Elgart's Manhattan Swing Orchestra, Glenn Miller and Clem Derosa's All Stars.  Mr. Wagner has played numerous Broadway shows, jingle sessions, society orchestras and classical chamber groups.  He has taught music throughout his career in a variety of capacities. Mr. Wagner served as a faculty member at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City.

Mr. Wagner has played in many small jazz band settings including: Tiny Grimes, Milt Jackson, Ray Nance, Gary Smulyan, Earth Kitt, Bobby Sanabria, Joe Puma, Johnny Ray, Eddie Fisher, and Carrie Smith to name a few.  

In 1989, Mr. Wagner returned to formal study and entered the City College of New York as an art major with a minor in psychology.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993, Magna Cum Laude and was admitted into Phi Beta Kappa.  In 1995, Mr. Wagner was accepted into NYU’s Music Therapy program and in 1997 graduated with a Master’s Degree in Art.  For the past ten years, he has been practicing music therapy at Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital in Inpatient Psychiatry and chemical dependency department. He is an adjunct professor at Queensborough Community College and Pratt Institute, teaching composition, jazz theory and music therapy.

Mr. Wagner's website is:

Sample the album on CD Baby