Fusion – Play Along Tunes (PKA PlayAlongJazz)

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Bemsha Swing Minus Melody

Bemsha Swing minus melody

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC edition CD, Viewpoint, this is the Thelonious Monk composition “Bemsha Swing,” minus the melody.  The band features Steve Smith, Baron Browne on bass, Andy Fusco on alto saxophone, Mark Soskin on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

Bemsha Swing Minus Keys

Bemsha Swing minus keys

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC edition CD, Viewpoint, this is the Thelonious Monk composition “Bemsha Swing,” minus keys.  The band features Steve Smith, Baron Browne on bass, Andy Fusco on alto saxophone, Mark Soskin on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

Bemsha Swing Minus Bass

Bemsha Swing minus bass

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC edition CD, Viewpoint, this is the Thelonious Monk composition “Bemsha Swing,” minus bass.  The band features Steve Smith, Baron Browne on bass, Andy Fusco on alto saxophone, Mark Soskin on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

Bemsha Swing Minus Guitar

Bemsha Swing minus guitar

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC edition CD, Viewpoint, this is the Thelonious Monk composition “Bemsha Swing,” minus guitar.  The band features Steve Smith, Baron Browne on bass, Andy Fusco on alto saxophone, Mark Soskin on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

Bemsha Swing Minus Drums

Bemsha Swing minus drums

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC edition CD, Viewpoint, this is the Thelonious Monk composition “Bemsha Swing,” minus drums.  The band features Steve Smith, Baron Browne on bass, Andy Fusco on alto saxophone, Mark Soskin on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

Steve Smith and Vital Information Vitalization minus drums

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This is the entire Vitalization CD by Steve Smith and Vital Information, minus the drums. 11 tracks in all.

This package saves you $8.90or 16% compared to buying the tracks individually.

Jimmy Jive minus drums

Groove Time minus drums

The Closer minus drums

You Know What I Mean minus drums

J Ben Jazz minus drums

Interwoven Rhythms – Dialogue

Seven and a Half minus drums

The Bottom Line minus drums

The Trouble With minus drums

Get Serious minus drums

Interwoven Rhythms – Synchronous minus drums

Jimmy Jive minus drums

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information recording Vitalization, this is the track Jimmy Jive.  This track features Tom Coster on keyboards, bassist Baron Browne and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

Upon close listening, you’ll notice that the aptly titled “Groove
Time” and “Jimmy Jive” are the same tune, written by Tom Coster, with two contrasting treatments. For “Groove Time” the band incorporates some Washington, DC “Go-Go” rhythms into the arrangement and for “Jimmy Jive” the band embraces a greasy Jimmy Smith approach. Tom dedicates the latter version to the late B3 master.

The Closer minus drums

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information recording Vitalization, this is the track The Closer.  This track features Tom Coster on keyboards, bassist Baron Browne and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

“The Closer” is a fusion tour de force. The band usually writes a larger than life set closer for every recording and there is no doubt that this one provides the fireworks that Vital Information is known for.
This moniker is defined by Vinny and Tom’s searing exchanges, Baron’s virtuosic solo and Steve and Vinny’s blazing duet. “The Closer” is in fact a three-part suite that starts in a swinging jazz-rock mode, moves into a fusion middle section, recapitulates part one with even more energy and culminates – in classic Vital Info style – with a blistering drum solo over a vamp.

J Ben Jazz minus drums

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information recording Vitalization, this is the track J Ben Jazz.  This track features Tom Coster on keyboards, bassist Baron Browne and Vinny Valentino on guitar.

While Vinny Valentino’s “J Ben Jazz,” (dedicated to Vinny’s bass playing buddy John Benitez) opens and closes with some inspired conga soloing from Gilad, the tune belongs to bassist Baron Browne. He not only contributes an elegant fretless bass solo, but his harmonic and rhythmic underpinnings really make this tune come alive. After two choruses of bass bliss, the band drops out for Valentino’s serene, yet metrically intricate, chordal solo, which becomes a vamp for Smith’s most powerful solo on the record, which happens to be in 13.

Interwoven Rhythms – Dialogue minus drums

From the Steve Smith and Vital Information recording Vitalization, this is the track Interwoven Rhythms – Dialogue.  This track features Tom Coster on keyboards, bassist Baron Browne and Vinny Valentino on guitar.  Special guest Pete Lockett on percussion.

On the atmospheric “Interwoven Rhythms – Dialogue” we hear Smith’s doubled konnakol vocal on the left and right sides, while Lockett’s improvisations are heard in the middle. They exchange phrases for the entire composition only joining together in unison near the end of the piece. This all happens over a ethereal and pulsing groove that is propelled by Baron’s fretless bass and Smith’ s new Tala Wands on a sizzling Zildjian Flat Ride.

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