Originally Posted by Muckster
Steve Smith has always been a Jazz drummer, rock was not his starting point. He turned down a touring gig with Freddie Hubbard in order to join Montrose. He wanted to develop some experience playing rock which led to the Journey gig.
Yeah, Steve is basically a Jazz drummer. He was a Tony Williams fanatic when he was young, and according to my former teacher, who also studied w/ Alan Dawson & Gary Chaffee at Berklee and has been good friends w/ Steve (and Vinnie), all of Steve's friends at Berklee were surprised when they heard that he joined Journey because they knew Steve loved Tony Williams and jazz so much. Steve was even playing free-jazz w/ George Garzone at his early days as a professional drummer.