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INTERVIEWS

Steve Smith: Drummer For All Seasons

Read "Steve Smith: Drummer For All Seasons" reviewed 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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy at Cecil's in West Orange, NJ

Read "Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy at Cecil's in West Orange, NJ" reviewed 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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy at the Bach, Half Moon Bay, CA

Read "Steve Smith's Jazz Legacy at the Bach, Half Moon Bay, CA" reviewed 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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Steve Smith's Vital Information Performs at the Bach, Half Moon Bay, CA

Read "Steve Smith's Vital Information Performs at the Bach, Half Moon Bay, CA" reviewed 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steve Smith and Vital Information: Vitalization

Read "Vitalization" reviewed 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steve Smith/Michael Zilber: Reimagined, Vol. 1: Jazz Standards

Read "Reimagined, Vol. 1: Jazz Standards" reviewed 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies: Very Live at Ronnie Scott's

Read "Very Live at Ronnie Scott's" reviewed 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 ...


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