Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Steve Smith Returns With More Vital Info

Steve Smith (pictured) and Vital Information will release a new album, Come On In, on Tone Center on August 17. Smith founded the jazz fusion-based Vital Information in 1983 and the band has released nine albums since its self-titled debut on Columbia. Come On In brings back the tried-and true Vital Information sound while venturing into some new territory as well.

Come On In joins Smith with keyboardist Tom Coster, guitarist Frank Gambale and bassist Baron Browne-a lineup that has been showcased on two previous Vital Information recordings. Coster and Gambale have been playing with Vital Information since the late ’80s. Browne joined in 2000 with the release of Live Around the World (Intuition).

The band-which used to employ a saxophonist-shifted to a more funky tone with 1998’s Where We Come From (Intuition), seeking inspiration from musicians like James Brown, Tony Williams and Booker T & the MGs. Come On In offers a variety of sounds that continues to hone in on its “American music” directions.

Smith joined the arena-rock band Journey in 1978 after touring with jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and went on to join jazz-rock group Steps Ahead in 1986. Smith left Steps Ahead in 1993 and rejoined Journey-who reunited in the late ’90s with the album Trial by Fire in 1996. Smith has also recorded and toured with numerous musicians over the years, including Randy Brecker, Mariah Carey, Ahmad Jamal, Stu Hammn, Allan Holdsworth and Tony MacAlpine.

Come On In track list:

Tunnel Vision

Come On In

Beneath the Surface

Cat Walk

Around the World


A Little Something

From Naples to Heaven

Baton Rouge

Fine Line

High Wire

Originally Published