“You Know What I Mean” is quintessential Vital Information. This composition, written by the entire band, is based on some of Smith’s funkiest drumbeats to date. For this tune, Steve combines many different approaches and concepts of funk.
At the beginning we hear the snaky and slippery style of 70s San Francisco funk, he eventually morphs this with some second line feel and later swings hard with a backbeat — some NYC “swunk” — and Baron Browne is with him every step of the way, the two musicians working as one. In his guitar solo Valentino maneuvers the shifting ground by taking chances and landing on his feet.
After Bill Evans’ haunting soprano saxophone enters, Smith introduces a feel reminiscent of Al Foster’s drumming with Miles Davis. This unique approach implies half time and double time simultaneously, giving the soloist lots of room.
Gilad’s melodic congas and Vinny’s wickedly funky guitar serve to further enhance this extraordinarily grooving interlude. Finally, all of the melodic lines reappear, twisting around one another before Evans and Coster trade some angular phrases and take us home.