Everything [MPS, 1973]
Smoke recorded at least one album, Everything, for MPS/BASF. Recorded in San Francisco in 1971, but my copy (a German pressing) was released in 1973 according to the liner notes. There is also a mention of a earlier album, but not on MPS. The line-up includes such names as Bobby Bragg and Curtis Clark, who was featured on Julian Priester's Polarization album on ECM. He also wrote several compositions for Everything. Plenty of spacey electric piano and vibes and odd sound-effectish "noise" with percussion. The cover is one of the coolest I have ever seen; the band is pictured in a cloud of smoke coming from a "magic lamp" and there's also a djinn-like figure and a joint of some kind. [RN]
Everything is a successful mix of styles, from the cool vibraphone on "Shelda" to the acid-soaked "Lobotomy", the Latinesque "Griffo", the tense psychedelia of "Nite Song", the surreal swing of "Miss Shirley", and the space funk of "Curtis" and the title cut. [DW]
SMOKE, Has recorded another album before the album,"EVERY THING,IS EVERY THING", that album is entitled "SMOKE" produced by (Session Records). Woodi Webb, Leader of Smoke. Woodi Webb aka now, as Salah Webb, is now the Music Curator of "CAME", (California Art & Music Ensemble)now Music.
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I played percussion (congas) on the original Everything album. I was a 19 year old premed student at Stanford Univ. I went on to become a pediatrician, now living in NY. I would like to get a copy of the original album. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The experience was a great one for a young skinny college kid. I'll never forget it! Woodi was the man! Anyway, please contact me.
[Gary Griffieth, MD]
It exists a spanish pressing of Everything, released two years later, in 1975 on MPS/Basf
Everything - A funky monster from Smoke -- and a rare bit of tripped out groove from early 70s MPS! Smoke has masterful mix of fresh, funky jazz and spiritual instrumental soul, with tunes that build from rolling lines on leader Woodi Webb's vibes, finding the best kind of wonderful elastic bass groove and excellent funky drums and congas. Those elements hold it all together for the rest of the line-up, which factors in psychedelic tinged organ, harp, sax, clarinet and occasional lilting background vocals. Tight and funky, but loose around the edges -- another excellent bit of lost funky soul jazz from the early 70s!
To whom it may interest:
I played electric viola in later incarnations of Smoke, from 1974 to 1980, in San Francisco.
Woodi Webb, co-founder, co-leader and vibraphonist, is about to re-emerge (now known as Salah Webb) with California Art & Jazz Ensemble (CAJE), and a new series of recordings, on his worldsoundlab.com label. I'll be contributing viola and electric viola to this project as well, and subsequently Webb plans to issue unreleased material from Smoke, including the 1976 LP "Love Is Stronger Than I" which would have been the 3rd BASF issue.
P.S. I also appear on Solar Plexus' "Earth Songs" LP, on Inner City, from 1980, which is mentioned elsewhere in Kozmigroov.