by R.J. DeLuke
Drummer Steve Smith has traced the history of jazz drumming--pretty much most of American music drumming--in his storied career that has seen him drive big bands, small jazz combos, and fiery fusion groups, including tenures with Jean Luc Ponty and the rock band Journey. Though sometimes--as in the case of jazz-rock fusion--he was thrown into the fray without much experience, he has always been up to the challenge. He handled each situation with aplomb, and as a result ...read more
by David A. Orthmann
Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy Cecil's Jazz Club West Orange, New Jersey October 17, 2008
Is that all you got?" some wag yelled to Steve Smith immediately after the end of the opening set at Cecil's Jazz Club. Do you want to come up here and try doing this?" Smith shot back with a smile. The heckler wisely declined the invitation, and the rest of a very enthusiastic audience was left to wonder what more ...read more
by Bill Leikam
Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, Douglas Beach House Miramar Beach, Half Moon Bay, California October 5, 2008
Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy quintet dropped into the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society Sunday afternoon for the fourth stop on its fall tour. Accompanying him on the stage was Jim Snidero (alto sax), Walt Weiskopf (tenor soprano saxophones), Mark Soskin (piano) and Baron Browne (bass). This powerhouse jazz group thrilled the house ...read more
by Bill Leikam
Steve Smith and Vital InformationBach Dancing & Dynamite SocietyHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaNovember 11, 2007
What do you get when you bring together the intricate and spirited beat of Steve Smith (drums and vocals) with the driving pulse of Baron Browne (bass), the virtuosity of Vinny Valentino (guitar & vocals), and the sonic blisters of Tom Coster (keyboards & accordion) playing The Bach on a November Sunday? Nothing less than a formidable juggernaut of a band ...read more
by John Kelman
Drummer Steve Smith's flagship group, Vital Information, approaches the 25-year mark with Vitalization. Keyboardist Tom Coster has been a member since 1987, working with Smith on other projects since the mid-1970s. With bassist Baron Browne holding down the bottom end since 1997; newcomer Vinny Valentino (replacing longstanding guitarist Frank Gambale) represents the first change to the core group in a decade.
Some might miss Gambale's aggressive fusion energy, but Vital Information has been gradually evolving towards the cleaner sound heard ...read more
by Jack Bowers
Saxophonist/arranger Michael Zilber has been Zilberizing" popular and jazz standards for more than twenty years, and drummer Steve Smith, with whom he has played in various groups for the past six, suggested that he record an album of his reimagined" tunes, which is what we have here. Reimagining, writes Zilber, is the process where[by] everything in the tune except some form of the melody (sometimes rewritten) is fair game, from changes to meter to form to tempo."
The album's subtitle ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
Drummer Buddy Rich had that swagger, that cocksure grin; and he put together bands big and small that swung hard and clean, thanks in large part to tight arrangements and his work on the skins. Drummer Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies are very much in that mode; and on Very Live at Ronnie Scott's, Smith and his bandmates relive some of Buddy's finest moments at a London club where the legendary drummer recorded one of his finest live performances.
In ...read more