VITAL INFORMATION

Fusion • United States
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VITAL INFORMATION picture
Now approaching their 30th year of touring and recording since their initial 1983 release, Steve Smith and Vital Information has become a formidable jazz/fusion juggernaut whose longevity surpasses every major fusion group. Over the past 30 years some of the extraordinary musicians that have toured and recorded with Vital Information include Mike Stern, Dean Brown, Tim Landers, Kai Eckhardt, Larry Grenadier, Jeff Andrews and Frank Gambale.

The group’s founder and drummer, Steve Smith, has a history that stretches from Journey and Steps Ahead to The Buddy Rich Big Band, Ahmad Jamal, Zakir Hussain and Hiromi. Steve has recently been voted 2012’s #1 Fusion Drummer in Modern Drummer Magazine. Over the years Smith has won a number of Modern Drummer reader’s polls including #1 All-Around Drummer - five years in a row - in 2001 he was named one of the Top 25 Drummers of All Time, and in 2002 he was
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Thanks to js for the addition and snobb for the updates

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VITAL INFORMATION Discography

VITAL INFORMATION albums / top albums

VITAL INFORMATION Vital Information album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Vital Information
Fusion 1983
VITAL INFORMATION Orion album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Orion
Fusion 1984
VITAL INFORMATION Global Beat album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Global Beat
Fusion 1986
VITAL INFORMATION Fiafiaga (Celebration) album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Fiafiaga (Celebration)
Fusion 1988
VITAL INFORMATION Easier Done Than Said album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Easier Done Than Said
Fusion 1992
VITAL INFORMATION Ray Of Hope album cover 2.50 | 3 ratings
Ray Of Hope
Fusion 1996
VITAL INFORMATION Where We Come From album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Where We Come From
Fusion 1998
VITAL INFORMATION Show 'em Where You Live album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Show 'em Where You Live
Fusion 2001
VITAL INFORMATION Come On In album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Come On In
Fusion 2004
VITAL INFORMATION Vitalization album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Vitalization
Fusion 2007

VITAL INFORMATION EPs & splits

VITAL INFORMATION live albums

VITAL INFORMATION Steve Smith & Vital Information : Vitalive! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Steve Smith & Vital Information : Vitalive!
Fusion 1990
VITAL INFORMATION Live Around the World album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Live Around the World
Fusion 2000
VITAL INFORMATION Live! One Great Night album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Live! One Great Night
Fusion 2012
VITAL INFORMATION Viewpoint album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Viewpoint
Fusion 2015

VITAL INFORMATION demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VITAL INFORMATION re-issues & compilations

VITAL INFORMATION singles (0)

VITAL INFORMATION movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

VITAL INFORMATION Reviews

VITAL INFORMATION Ray Of Hope

Album · 1996 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Vital Information is an 80’s group with its roots in the 70’s, with Journey’s Steve Smith and Santana’s Tom Coster, it also features guitarist Frank Gambale, but by the time of the release of Ray Of Hope (in 96), Baron Brown had been replaced with Jeff Andrews. So this relatively stable unit produced a line of fusion albums, in the typical over-polished 80’s mode, one that induces sleep, as opposite to the previous decade’s fire-setting jazz-rock. Obviously their instrumental fusion had a slice LA sound ala Steely Dan, combining some funk influence (mainly Andrews’ bass), jazzy guitars from Gambale, but it also features the typically stinky 80’s studio technology traits and technologies, down to an irritating drum sound.

As usual with VI, a good deal of the compositions is collegial, but there are also a bunch of solo compositions, mainly in the second half of the album, but also Narada Walden participating to Sacred Treasure. Despite the four member’s proficiency and virtuosity at their respective instruments, they go at great lengths not to appear “showing off” or strutting it hard (outside Smith’s tribute to Max Roach), but the tame (and even lame) soundscapes appear quite calculated, which does no favour to RoF. It’s been ages since I heard early VI albums, but I think I prefer the “freshness” (everything being relative) and excitement (again relative) to the conventional fuzak of the present album. Actually an album’s title has rarely be been more ill-fitting than here. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still prefer to listen to Clouds or Maxed Out than to any of the crap on the commercial radios…. But to suffer an hour-long of fuzak is beyond me. Even the Horace Silver cover of Peace can not bring me out of my torpor.

Sometimes one has to wonder just why such albums were still made by the mid-90’s, outside financial considerations (and even then, who actually bought such heard-elsewhere albums) and studio-time pre-occupations, because this the type of easy-listening fusion that brings absolutely nothing new to the genre, and it’s quite difficult to sit through such a long series of flawlessly played but unexciting succession of tracks. Your call, but it can’t be worse than a Yellowjackets album, but should you want to investigate VI, go for for a Live album, where you’ll be more susceptible of staying awake, because of the “live” power and energy.

VITAL INFORMATION Movies Reviews

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snobb wrote:
more than 2 years ago
added
Sancho Panza wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Missing: "Come On In" (2004) http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=20339

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