Smokin' Granny: Tarth Shooke
2002, Metaphoric Music Productions

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or $15 USD (Other Continents) per CD to:
Brian Preston
c/o Metaphoric Music Productions
P.O. Box 3042
Durham, NC 27715 USA

Tarth Shooke by Smokin' Granny is an exposition of exploratory fusion that pushes the limits of outside harmonization and abstract jazz. For the most part, the tracks are more of a mosaic of experimental tonality and rhythm than a conventional arrangement of theme-oriented composition. The tonality is reminiscent of some of Scott Henderson's more risky exploratory albums, such as Rocket Science. In other words, some of this stuff is really out there.

Jazz technicians may take some interest in some of the technical aspects of this effort. The tonality, meters, and harmonization that are explored are progressive. But for much of the CD the abstract nature of the music makes it difficult to digest, though the exploration may be interesting on a technical level. This album is definitely not easy listening and requires some effort to follow and absorb. But again, Smokin' Granny is aiming at a technical audience that is geared towards leading edge exploration.

Bass Brian Preston
Sax Todd Barbee
Drums Jeffrey Damon Lindsey
Electric Guitar Steve Hatch
Acoustic Guitar Dave Oskardmay
1) Dark Matter
2) Tarth Shooke
3) Pologue
4) Far Places
5) Assembler
6) Whisper I
7) for Hysterical Porpoises
8) Tunnels
9) Fuma sin Fuego
10) Whisper II
11) The Legend of Jack Reethan
12) Spacevox
13) Tethered Sky... Skewed Wisdom
14) Please Don't Bite
15) Whisper III
16) Virgin Flight of Mumbliepies
17) Sekhmet Habit
18) Epilogue

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight

This review featured in:
John Collinge's Progression Magazine

Smokin’ Granny: Sirius Matter (CD, 66:21); Metaphoric Music Productions mmp149027-9909 Never say never in prog rock. Members of Smokin’ Granny were once in a promising but little-known, prog fusion group called Freehand that had to evolve. You can hear that history clearly in “Toad Pizza” and the 7:19 “Moveable Feast”. Todd Barbee, saxophonist and WX7 midi wind instrument, Jeffrey Damon Lindsey on drums and percussion, and Brian Preston on basses have come a long, strange way. With them now jams David Oskardmay on guitar & effects. Both Steve Hatch, (ex-Volare, current Matter Eater), and John Heitzenrater appear, torturing electric guitars into flagrant anarchies. Heitzenrater does bassoon too. “Neural Pulse . . .” wins my vote as most impressive overall cut. It runs a full 9:25. It had a certain Volare air about it. What you have here is four-layer-cake CD release, deeply sampling Smokin’ Granny’s 1997 cassette-only release. Six more tracks of studio-polished and various live-in-studio jams were added. A must-have, if ya dig electrified Lost Tribe, Steve Coleman sax syncopation, King Crimsonoid crunch, funkified craziness, and bizarre sonic snippets. This is jazz-prog-fusion, funk rock. I dare you to enter this twisted maze of sonic graffiti on a runaway train of mad musings. Groovy things are slammin’ and slidin’ in this weird world of a Sirius Matter. ~ John W. Patterson

Smokin' Granny: Live at The Bat Cave (Cassette, 34:14) Metaphoric Music Productions [mmp149026], 1997 P. O. Box 3042 Durham, NC 27715 Phone/ Fax: 919-382-2972 Email: Cyberhome: If ya dig Lost Tribe, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, free jazz (but not completely "out there"), funkified craziness and Raymond Scott ditties with some flashes of Fripp/Belew abandon thrown in -- you will seriously throw down to Smokin' Granny. They are the epitome of phat. They are jazz-prog-fusion funk rock Like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes, three members of this band were once in a highly talented progressive fusion rock band called Freehand. Todd Barbee, saxophonist and midi wind instrument, WX7 man, Jeff Lindsey on drums and djembé, and Brian Preston on electric bass have come a long way to now offer a whole new flavor to funk. With them now jams David Oskardmay on acoustic guitar treatments whilst John Heitzenrater tortures electric guitar into flagrant anarchies. Yes, anarchy is precisely what is going on here in this twisted maze of peppy, alleyway jigs and reels. Sonic graffiti on a runaway train of lunatic musings? Could be, might be but Smokin' Granny is too busy havin' fun to care what we think. Just stand there and begin swaying, snappin' your fingers, shakin' that thang, and dancin' away right on into . . . space, unh hunh, space is the place. You gotta get into their groove to hear their cool. -- John W. Patterson

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