Posted by flotz on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 | Live Review

SS Vital Info BandWas billed as one of the greatest drummers and didn’t disappoint: school was in session fer sure. Really a monster player. Crazy kit, including two snare drums, a synth pad, a hand drum and lots of cymbals, toms. Mesmerizing to watch and hear. Rest of the band kept it real, super pro. They’ve been playing together for decades and it showed.  Felt like a sound from a different era: jazz fusion at its finest. Lots of fun moments during the set. At point got the whole crowd clapping along to 15/8 time or 7 1/2 as it were. Keyboardist Tom Coster playing very inventive accordion for a couple tunes, only using one hand, letting the other create tremolo effect, almost sounding like harmonica. Very emotive playing. Guitarist Vinny Valentino, super fluid playing. He and Smith did some Indian vocalizing, 32nd notes with vocal cords, and Valentino also doing some singing of his solos, pretty amazing.  For encore, Smith asked the club for an ironing board and played final piece using just brushes, getting minimal inventive sound out of the set up. 

These guys play another show tonight; if yr a fan of ridiculously proficient jazz fusion, check it out…

Posted by flotz on Monday, November 4, 2013 | Video

School will be in session on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week at Jazz Alley when the drum titan Steve Smith will be on hand with his band Vital Information. The all star lineup includes keyboardist Tom Coster (Santana/Gabor Szabo), bassist Baron Browne (Jean H Luc Ponty/Billy Cobham), guitarist Vinny Valentino (Bill Evans/Jimmy McGriff) and of course drummer Steve Smith (Journey/Hiromi/StepsAhead) voted 2012’s #1 Fusion Drummer in Modern Drummer Magazine. As he puts it himself, “Our music allows for individual expression and reHinvention. We thrive on swing, groove, and creativity. We want to surprise each other every night on the bandstand with new ideas and in the process keep our audience ‘in the moment’ with us.” Git ready...