Steve Smith & Vital Information Announce 40th Anniversary Tour With Janek Gwizdala on Bass

The anniversary celebration and tour is in support of the band's new album 'Time Flies'

Steve Smith & Vital Information Announce 40th Anniversary Tour With Janek Gwizdala on Bass

The anniversary celebration and tour is in support of the band's new album 'Time Flies'

Drummer Steve Smith has led his jazz group Vital Information since 1983, making his new release TIME FLIES the 40th Anniversary recording. Smith, the former drummer for the iconic rock band Journey, has won multiple Modern Drummer Magazine readers polls including Top 25 Drummers of All Time, #1 All-Around Drummer for five consecutive years, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. TIME FLIES debuts the new Vital Information with Manuel Valera on keyboards and Janek Gwizdala on bass.

“Emergence” kicks off TIME FLIES with a powerful and intricate composition by keyboard player Manuel Valera, a Grammy nominated artist and Guggenheim Fellow. Steve Smith’s drum performance invokes the spirit of Tony Williams during his “Believe It” period. Bud Powell’s “Tempus Fugue-It” requires a high degree of technical facility to play the up-tempo piece in a relaxed, swinging way and the new incarnation of Vital Information has the chops to play this classic with ease. “Time Flies” is an improvised groove piece featuring saxophone guru George Garzone. Manuel Valera’s sophisticated reworking of “Darn That Dream” is a showcase for the brush mastery of the Vital Information bandleader. Another inventive arrangement by Valera, “Un Poco Loco,” uses the rhythm of the cowbell beat Max Roach played on the original recording, applied to the melody, to breathe new life into this Bud Powell masterpiece. Steve Smith performed Mike Mainieri’s “Self Portrait” many times as a member of Steps Ahead; after a breathtakingly beautiful piano intro by Valera, the group has their own interpretation of this “stadium size” jazz/rock ballad.

George Garzone sits in on tenor sax for McCoy Tyner’s “Inception” and inspires the group to dizzying heights. “Choreography in Six,” a new jazz/rock anthem co-written by Valera and Smith explores rhythmic, harmonic and melodic variations in 6/4. “No Qualm,” a Valera original, is the perfect setting to feature Steps Ahead bandleader Mike Mainieri sitting in on vibraphone. On Monk’s “Ugly Beauty,” the trio takes an odd-time (5/4) and electric approach with Valera featured on Fender Rhodes. Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?” starts with a sax & drum duet and morphs into a 7/4 vamp, setting up a highly original take on the melody. The song ends in classic Vital Information style with a tour de force drum solo from Smith. The album concludes with a mysterious and moody composition by bassist Janek Gwizdala, with Smith using his 34″ Zildjian gong as a ride cymbal and probing solos by all three band members.


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Long Island Drum Center

86 Tec Street

Hicksville, NY 11801


Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Newton Theatre

234 Spring St.

Newton, NJ 07860


Monday, June 19, 2023

Sellersville Theater

24 W Temple Ave

Sellersville, PA 18960-2421


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Blues Alley

1073 REAR Wisconsin Ave.

Washington D.C. 20007


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Loft 129

129 Baltimore St.

Cumberland, MD 21502


Thursday, June 22, 2023
The Railyard
119 Jefferson Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503

Friday, June 23, 2023

Rochester Jazz Festival

Temple Theater

14 Franklin St.

Rochester, NY 14604

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Tri-C Jazz Festival

1407 Euclid Ave., Playhouse Square

Cleveland, OH 44115


Sunday, June 25, 2023

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild

1815 Metropolitan Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15233


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Mickey’s Black Box

101 Rock Lititz Blvd.

Lititz, PA 17543


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Falcon

1348 Route 9W

Marlborough, NY 12542


Friday – Sunday, June 30-July 2, 2023

Birdland Theater (Downstairs)

Birdland Jazz Club

315 West 44th St.

New York, NY 10036

Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine