Some may remember keyboardist/vibe player Anthony Smith (the Mighty Untouchables) in Giant People, a band that actually started in San Diego in the late 1990s and that ultimately toured the country. “When I broke away from them, I started Global Funk Council. We did 200-plus shows a year around the country.” He says the advice to tour incessantly came from a member of the String Cheese Incident. “That was quite insane.”
In 2012, at the age of 43, Smith wrote and released a book about his life in the music biz, The Lizard Stays in the Cage. “I jump around. The thread is my life in the arts, the decision to go down the right brain path and to stick to my creative guns.”
“It’s kind of a unique experience,” he says, “being in a band and touring around the country.” Smith has also played in KD3, a Karl Denson (Greyboy Allstars, Tiny Universe, Lenny Kravitz) side project that took them to the Blue Note in New York and some of the bigger jazz festivals around the country.
This is essentially the work of a road dog: Smith has played in many bands, some local, some not, and as such has logged road mileage approaching Paladin status with their own million-mile club.
“I moved back to San Diego five years ago after touring and living in different places.” Smith plays keyboards and vibes. “I lived here before. I got a music degree from San Diego State University.”
Smith recorded a double CD with Mike Wofford, Holly Hofmann, Duncan Moore, and Rob Thorsen in 2013. Near the end of the year, his trio Tres Compadres -- with longtime musical friends Glen Fisher and Carlos Vasquez -- released an album called Taste and Fire.
Smith released another book in early 2018, Masters of the Vibes, featuring conversations Smith has had with several major vibraphonists. “The book covers so much ground historically and culturally, too,” he explains.
April 2019 saw the release of the two-disc Retrosonik: Songs From a Lighter Planet, a 1980s meets modern jazz, bi-coastal project featuring vocalists Rebecca Jade, Leonard Patton, Sacha Boutros, and Laura Angyal, plus Carlos Cuevas (co-producer) and several all-star instrumentalists in NYC and southern California. "If you like '80s pop songs, and also dig modern jazz/funk/soul/Latin mashups, this record is for you," says Smith. "We covered everything from U2 to the Police, INXS, Genesis, Duran Duran, Prince, Depeche Mode, and many more."