Steve Smith and Vital Information – Come On In

Come On InSteve Smith and Vital Information
Come On In
(Tone Center – 2004)
by John Thompson

Come on in is an invitation from traps master Steve Smith. Good musicianship dominates the 11 tunes in this fusion-funk filled venture. Rounding out the band, Vital information are veteran Tom Coster (keys, accordion), Frank Gambale (G), and Barron Browne (B). Funky feelings are felt on Come on in (starring a bad assed Browne), Cat Walk (featuring some greasy B3 efforts by Coster), and the 1969-70’s-Meters-like Around the World.

The opening tune, Time Tunnel and A Little Something, offer (cringe) electric bop, while Beneath the Surface, From Naples to Heaven, and Fine Line display Coster on his accordion. Although the fusion style can be heard in most of the tracks, the main meat bastes with High Wire. Baton Rouge provides us with rhythmic challenges and changes. Though Smith is the leader of the group, he does not bulldoze his way to remain out in front, thus giving room to the other musicians, most notably Gambale. 4 stars.