The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio has been performing jazz/roots/blues music – both covers and original material – for 25 years in Vernon and Western Canada. They have performed concerts and gigs, both large and small, and have, in their own quirky and quiet way, become an underground legend here in the Okanagan, especially for their elasticity, breadth of musical genres, and, at times, outrageous energy.
The Trio has opened for performers as various as Long John Baldry, Leahey, Campbell Ryga, Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes. In 2005, the Trio released its first CD, Shadow Moon, to critical acclaim. Four years later, while contemplating a second CD, the Trio members each began to experiment with reaching out to singer/songwriters/performers here in the valley and seeing the trio’s own performances more as The Lent/Fraser/Wall Project than The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio, including bass players like Bill Lockie, Bernie Addington and Brian McMahon, singer/songwriters like Andrew Smith and Betty Johnston, and other performance configurations with duos and quartets and quintets that might focus on different genres that included wonderful players like Mark Nishihara, Sean Sullivan and Craig Thompson.
In 2015 Andrew and Zachary Smith began to produce a CD of John Lent’s songs called Strange Ground, and Lent launched that CD this fall with Fraser, Wall, and Craig Thompson and Lent’s brothers Harry, Michael and Timmy from Edmonton.
For the upcoming performance at the Vernon Jazz Club on Jan. 11, The Trio is going to collaborate again with Lent’s brother, Michael Lent, who has played jazz bass for years with players as various as P J Perry, Mose Allison, Tommy Banks, Audrey Ochoa, Sandro Dominelli, and folk and pop performers Ferron, k d Lang, Jann Arden and George Canyon. Michael has also produced CDs for other artists in Western Canada like Ben Sures and May Moore.
The Lent/Fraser/Wall/Lent Quartet will perform John’s Strange Ground, new compositions by Neil Fraser and Shelby Wall and some classic, and hopefully crazy Lent/Fraser/Wall classic covers like All Along the Watchtower and Soul Of A Man. And it will be a special joy to be able to play with Michael Lent again, especially in the Vernon Jazz Club.
Lent Fraser Wall and Lent will be onstage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31 St.) on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Cash only bar on site. Tickets $25, only available online at vernonjazz.com with a $5 rebate at the gig for VJS members.
Paul Hunter is with the Vernon Jazz Society