The Best of Steve Smith: The Tone Center Collection

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/18/2009
  • Label: Tone Center
  • UPC: 026245406926
  • Catalog Number: 454069
  • Sales rank: 128,985

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 King Twang (4:08)
  2. 2 Geo 100 (7:30)
  3. 3 Wrong Is Right (7:14)
  4. 4 Caliente (6:58)
  5. 5 Nutville (7:06)
  6. 6 Drums Stop, No Good (3:11)
  7. 7 The Spirit of Dun Dun (2:31)
  8. 8 Scotland (6:30)
  9. 9 Ya Gotta Try (5:14)
  10. 10 Baton Rouge (6:16)
  11. 11 Khanda West (6:34)
  12. 12 Flashpoint
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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
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
Frank Gamble Guitar
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
Sean McCoy Mastering
Frank Gamble Producer
Coster Composer
Wooten Composer
Liebman Composer
Gamble Composer
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