Flashback: Blotto Meets Journey, 1979


Yeah, I know. After all of the hoopla last week regarding the Blotto reunion concert at the Exit Dome, you probably don’t want to hear about Blotto for another, well, say, 30 more years.

I don’t blame ya. Me, either.

But there is that funny Blotto story about jamming with some of the guys from Journey at 17 Maple Ave. in Saratoga Springs (now known as Mare). Tom Keyser alluded to it in his Preview cover story in The Times Union last week. And you can read the whole story as I wrote it about a decade ago.

But it just so happens that Steve Smith – who was the drummer in Journey back on that fateful night in 1979 – is headed into the Van Dyck in Schenectady for two shows (6 & 9:30pm) on Sunday evening with his current band, Steve Smith’s Jazz Legacy.

The lineup of Smith’s band also features alto saxophonist Andy Fusco (Buddy Rich/Mel Lewis); tenor and soprano saxophonist Walt Weiskopf (Buddy Rich/Steely Dan); pianist Mark Soskin (Sonny Rollins/Herbie Mann); bassist Baron Browne (Vital Information/Billy Cobham).

“Part of our mission will be to perform music honoring great drummers of jazz history,” explains Smith. “We have charts dedicated to Philly Joe Jones and Art Blakey, and we’re developing new material for each tour. We also intend to carry on the tradition of many of the drummer-led jazz bands, which is to communicate with music lovers of all generations, strive for excellence and play non-compromising, burning, straight-ahead jazz.”

Sounds good to me. Maybe I’ll have to drop by on Sunday, and say hi to our old pal Steve.

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