Jeffrey Smoller And Friends Are Scattered Together – October 28, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

ARCATA – In his fifth non-Magnolia CD, Scattered Together, Jeffrey Smoller is undecided about his style. What started as an acoustic compilation is expanded to electric jazz, blues, folk, classical, funk and even surf music. Acoustic fare may be his most popular solo style but Smoller is determined to show his versatility.

Ensemble pieces feature some of the area’s finest musicians. Douglas Kamprath is on drums and nuance-specialist Shao Way Wu is on the upright bass.

The trio jams live on “Green Groove.” Kathy Lee sings “Swing It!” and the Smoller/Lee/Wu composition, “Another Time.”  They are recorded live so the feel is spontaneous as Kamprath goes Krupa on “Swing It!” and Wu plays it sensitive on “Another Time.”

“Surf Munsters” is surf with a strat and flamenco guitar. On “Swung Over” Magnolia bass man, Kevin Johnson is solid and on “Abstrakt Funk,” he delivers a finger-blistering attack.

AF provides space for Kamprath to expand his percussion while Brad Werren blows jazz trumpet against Smoller’s rock guitar.

“Long Gone” has Kathy Lee on vocals and Magnolia charter member, Bob Olofson is a monster on sax. John Berning shares background vocals while Smoller plays guitar, bass and keyboard. Basic tracks were recorded live.

Lee sang in the bathroom, Smoller played guitar in a bedroom and Berning was at the mixing board in the hall.

Solo pieces include the classical-styled Babetta. “Blues for Nat” honors Nat Adderly, Patchy Dogg is a bouncy ditty and Suite: “Loved Ones” is an emotion-tinged opus. “Barking Spider Blues” and “Blue Grass Green Sleeves” are just plain fun.

Scattered Together was produced and mastered by Jimmy Foot/Bongo Boy Studios in Mckinleyville and John Berning/Laughing Duck Records in Eureka. Purchase available via message on FaceBook.

Jeffrey Smoller may be undecided, but the final take is really up to you.