The Best of Steve Smith: The Tone Center Collection

The Best of Steve Smith: The Tone Center Collection

by Steve Smith



Drummer Steve Smith's career as a premier jazz-rock fusion drummer has offered him the opportunity to play with a wide variety of musicians, whether leading his own band Vital Information, working with the co-op GHS trio, or any number of legitimate big-name stars. This collection represents work from 1998 up to 2005, showcasing his powerhouse style, and teaming him with many different artists of varying approaches in amplified music. There's nothing weak here, no ballads or downhearted blues, but instead highly charged music guaranteed to energize his fan base and remind everyone why Steve Smith has been at the pinnacle of excellence for all his adult life. Most mainstream jazz mavens will know the revered Horace Silver hard samba evergreen "Nutville," done righteously by the Buddy's Buddies quintet, all star alums from Buddy Rich's big band, featuring the potent sax work of Steve Marcus (tenor) and Andy Fusco (alto). "Ya Gotta Try" is another classic from the book of Rich, Sammy Nestico's bopper with pianist Mark Soskin on fire alongside the two saxes in a live track at Ronnie Scott's in London, England. Marcus again appears on "Scotland" with the Count's Jam Band, doing a revised take of Larry Coryell's seminal free-to-stomp-down fusion icon, with a snake-like swirling soprano accompanying Coryell's burning electric guitar. "Wrong Is Right" revisits another Coryell composition, but in this case with a hard-swinging bop organ combo featuring the guitarist and keyboardist Tom Coster. Then there's "Caliente" in a completely different vein, fusing slight Latin inferences with the sophisticated country fusion of ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Jerry Goodman, and the always wonderful Howard Levy playing electric keyboards, or his ever familiar harmonica. You get two tracks with guitarists Scott Henderson, or Frank Gambale in the case of "Geo 100" with the GHS trio, most noticeable for bassist Stu Hamm's Jaco Pastorius-like popping bassline that buoys Gambale's shiny and bright persona. Included are two solo drum excursions and the combo piece "Flashpoint" featuring an on-fire Dave Liebman with his trusty soprano sax, accompanied by electric keyboardist Aydin Esen and electric bassist Anthony Jackson that suggests latter-period Miles Davis funk/fusion. All in all, this is quite the worthy compilation, supremely diverse in the music chosen that spans all of the many facets and phases in Steve Smith's intriguing and exciting career as one of the top-drawer, in-demand, and on-command contemporary jazz-based drummers.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/18/2009
Label: Tone Center
UPC: 0026245406926
catalogNumber: 454069

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Smith   Primary Artist,Drums
Jerry Goodman   Violin
Stuart Hamm   Bass
Larry Coryell   Guitar
Tom Coster   Accordion,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Aydin Esen   Keyboards
Frank Gambale   Guitar
Scott Henderson   Guitar
Steve Marcus   Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Mark Soskin   Piano
Baron Browne   Bass
Oteil Burbridge   Bass
Andy Fusco   Alto Saxophone
Anthony Jackson   Bass
Howard Levy   Harmonica,Keyboards
David Liebman   Soprano Saxophone
Lee Musiker   Piano
Victor Wooten   Bass
Jeff Chimenti   Piano
Kai Eckhardt   Bass

Technical Credits

Stuart Hamm   Composer,Producer
Larry Coryell   Composer,Producer
Tom Coster   Composer,Producer
Frank Gambale   Composer,Producer
Scott Henderson   Composer,Producer
Horace Silver   Composer
Steve Smith   Composer,Producer
Vital Information   Producer
Robert Biles   Producer
Baron Browne   Composer
Howard Levy   Composer
David Liebman   Composer,Producer
Lee Musiker   Arranger
Sammy Nestico   Composer
Mike Varney   Producer
Victor Wooten   Composer,Producer
Wooten   Composer
Liebman   Composer

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