MP3 Smokin' Granny - Equilibrium
Equilibrium rounds out a trio of extremely original albums from these Southern prog-fusioneers. Includes intensly psychic electric improvisations as well as a cover of Soft Machine''s ''Pigling Bland.''
10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion
"Equilibrium expand(s) upon the complex constructions that make all of Smokin'' Granny''s music so exciting. A beautiful blend of jazz, grooves, ambience, progressive rock and avant-garde elements. These guys have brought together numerous recognizable sounds and styles and developed a voice all their own. Not a small feat."
Equilibrium is Smokin'' Granny''s 4th album and was released on August 29, 2003 on Metaphoric Music Productions, https://www.tradebit.com.
Please read the reviews below:
Musicians on Equilibrium:
Todd Barbee - saxophones, wx7 midi-wind
Steve Hatch - electric guitar
Jeffrey Damon Lindsey - V drums
David Oskardmay - acoustic guitar
Brian Preston - 6 string fretless and 5 string bass guitars
also Ted Johnson on keyboards/synthesizers on Mr. Piperson''s Revenge and Bone Dust.
Mr. Piperson''s Revenge is a reworked version of Pigling Bland by Soft Machine from Soft Machine 5.
REVIEWS OF EQUILIBRIUM - Released August 2003
"Smokin'' Granny''s last album, Tarth Shooke, was in this fans opinion their strongest release to date and a tough act to follow (see AI #19). So when I first played their newest CD, Equilibrium, I was wondering what to expect. The band has maintained a fairly stable lineup over the years and still consists of Todd Barbee on saxophones and WX7 midi wind controller, Jeffrey Damon Lindsey on drums, Brian Preston on bass, David Oskardnay on acoustic guitar and Steve Hatch on guitar (though this album includes Hatch''s last recordings with the band).
The album opens with "Sparky Goes To Wonderland", which includes crushing bass, funky wah guitar and freaky sound colorings that result in a cross between jazz fusion and the kind of avant rock and jazz that I recall hearing years ago from Material and Massacre. The piece meanders along for a bit, alternating between freeform exploration and a more goal oriented feel, with full band explosions popping in along the way. "Mr Piperson''s Revenge" is next and is Smokin'' Granny''s interpretation of Soft Machine''s "Pigling Bland" (from Fifth). It''s a rollicking jazz/prog rock tune with Todd Barbee''s magical Midi leading the way through multiple movements in a mere four minutes. Excellent! Continuing the Soft Machine motif, "Bone Dust" is partially based on the song "Bone", also from SM''s Fifth album, and is a raucous glom of space jazz and whimsical, bouncy sounds.
But things really take off with "Iron Tongue Of Midnight", a psychedelic prog-jazz tune with freakiness galore. The guitar (but ya never know when it might be the Midi) is mind boggling with its wailing Fripp-in-space licks. The sax and Midi do the same, but there''s also a pounding Stoner groove at times that injects a metallic edge into the music. Lots happening here... tough to describe... exquisite. This may well be my favorite Smokin'' Granny tune to date. "Opposable Thumbs" has a similar prog-jazz flavor with bits of heavy rock. "Pressure Point" raises the intensity level with more heart thumping and often stoned bass lines, shimmering ambient guitar effects, and seductive melodies from the sax, all coming together to create a gorgeous tripped out jazz groove. "Dextrous Creature" is similar, with the band rocking hard and going waaaaaaaay out into the stratosphere. Another standout track! The ultimate marriage of jazz, prog and space.
In summary, Equilibrium is a more than worthy successor to Tarth Shooke, being a heavier and more intense album, and expanding upon the complex constructions that make all of Smokin'' Granny''s music so exciting. A beautiful blend of jazz, grooves, ambience, progressive rock and avant-garde elements. These guys have brought together numerous recognizable sounds and styles and developed a voice all their own. Not a small feat."
Aural Innovations, March 2004,
Smokin'' Granny "Equilibrium"
(Metaphoric MMP1493503, 2003, CD)
The unofficial ProgDay welcoming band for four years running is back with their third one - another disc of smoky, funky instrumental fusion with plenty of fire at the bottom and the top. Unlike their second effort Tarth Shooke, which offered mostly improvisational work with an occasional composed piece thrown in, or their first Sirius Matter which was all tightly composed, this one seems to blend a foundation of solid compositions with enough open space to keep the listener guessing on nearly every track, resulting in a far more even listen throughout the discs duration. The lineup remains essentially unchanged, with two guitars (electric and acoustic), v-drums, basses, and sax + wind synth, although this time they''ve enlisted the help of keyboardist Ted Johnson from Groove Stream Attractor (a more techno-oriented band in which bassist Brian Preston and woodwindist Todd Barbee also play) on a couple tracks, including "https://www.tradebit.comerson''s Revenge", their arrangement of Soft Machine''s "Pigling Bland." There seems to be a lot more power in their sound now, a more dense interaction of textures and punctuation at the guitar level, and a more intense lifepulse coming from the bottom end, and Barbee is playing more beefy sax parts and less of that wind synth stuff. In all, Granny V.3.0 is a major upgrade all around and highly recommendable to fans of that aggressive, free-wheeling fusion sound. Peter Thelen, Expose''
While most modern American progressive bands try to sound like their idols, Smokin'' Granny just use their influences as a frame or a starting point to explore which puts the band, in my opinion, in a league of it''s own.
For example on their debut Sirius Matter one can hear a hybrid of such classic American progressive music of Happy the Man, along the jazz-fusion stylings of Mahavishnu Orchestra laced with classic guitar sounds of King Crimson (notably between 1973-84).
I''ve read some reviews and saw several mentions to Frank Zappa. Unfortunately I''m not familiar with Frank''s work so I can nether confirm or deny such influences. However I do hear many quirky passages throughout their music which can be attributed to the influence of Frank Zappa.
On Sirius Matter there''s a collection of those explorations. Songs ranging from a minute to just past the 9 minute mark. To my ears the songs never stray away from their direction. There''s no endless noodling for the sake of noodling. All members insert their part and maintain a band format rather than a group of soloists.
For a reference point, if you enjoy newer bands like Echolyn, Land of Chocolate, Spaced-Out even Addison Project then Smokin'' Granny''s cds will fit in nicely in your collection.
In conclusion, if you haven''t already purchased this wonderful disc, then please do yourself a big favor and get it. You won''t regret it! I know it''ll be a favorite in my player for years to come.
~Ron for https://www.tradebit.com [September 4th, 2003]
More information to come soon! Hope you all dig it!