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Samla Mammas Manna - Gregory Allan Fitzpatrick's Snorungarnas Symfoni CD (album) cover


Samla Mammas Manna


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5 stars I think this is a highly underrated, undiscovered and untalked-about album that is definately a masterpiece. I haven't understood why "Klossa Knapitatet" is recommended here when this album smokes it. I have listened to the former enough to realize that nothing grew on me, at least to the comparison as it being SMM's best album. Actually, SMM performed this album written and composed by Gregory Allan FitzPatrick, so perhaps I should be giving him credit and reviewing him. However, the band executes this well. It doesn't take very long to appreciate the aesthetic compositions here. The first song is like a mini-symphony with tempo changes as fast as cat-chase-mouse music (orchestral stuff I might hear in a Tom and Jerry cartoon episode) and as slow as a cautious piano tip-toeing its way to a musical climax. The other songs offer interesting sound effects to the songs included in the symphonic structures such as whistling, cartoony noises, vocals, and other interesting keyboard samples. In each song the tempo varies from very fast to slow, contrively changing throughtout. The piano playing is simply gorgeous and interact well with the other instruments. Simply put, this album is mandatory.
Report this review (#21601)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't really know much about "Snorungarnas Symfoni", but someone once said to me that the music was not composed by the band, but that it was a reworking of a work by someone else, and since i haven't heard the "original", i can't say whether this is a good version or if it is a poor effort, and i can't give the band any extra points for originality either. However, i know the music well enough to be able to give it the 4 stars that i think it deserves. Fully instrumental, not as goofy as "Klossa Knapitatet" or "Mĺltid", happy mood and great playing. Some parts are pure musical bliss, and even if 33 minutes is almost as short as they come, i feel that much more might have been a little too much. There is not much dead time on Snorungarnas Symfoni, the little space is used well, instrumentation is interesting and varied, and the fourth piece is among the best that symphonic rock has to offer, with a really long and sweet outro, ending the album on the same happy note that has been played throughout the whole thing.

Not the avant-garde masterpiece that Mĺltid was, but a very enjoyable piece of music nonetheless, and one which fits perfectly for some casual listening on a sunny day when you want to put the world's troubles aside for half an hour.

Report this review (#116892)
Posted Friday, March 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Written by American born Greg Allan Fitzpatrick for SMM to record, this is the last and maybe one of the most popular records of the bands classic line-up. It's a "symphony" split up in four movements and in total 33 minutes long, the first movement being the longest part of eleven minutes long. A bit short at a first glance but it's actually a perfect length. It's half an hour of happy music to make your day!

SMM plays a lot of styles on this one, like Funk, Jazz and Symphonic Prog. Most of the music is variations on a theme, sometimes played loud and sometimes sounding rather basic. On this album SMM makes use of field recordings, a lot of percussion and two guest musicians are employed on trumpet and saxophone.

Production-wise this is a quite good recording, especially when compared to other Swedish Prog records of the time which often has a somewhat unclean production. It's an even affair too. No part is particularly better or worse than the album as a whole. A solid four stars may fit.

It also sports a lovely sleeve cover (Done by Maria Persson.) of a fantasy town whish looks to be based on pre-60s small Swedish towns.

Report this review (#129301)
Posted Thursday, July 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wonderfully played, instrumental piano-focused Swedish prog! This is a good SMM album and is a substantially good introduction for newbies to the RIO/Avant genre.

1. Forsta Satsen- Very good song. Instruments are all extremely well-played and I like the typical SMM folk touch to it at parts, it really is a lot of fun! Plenty of song changes and masterful playing keep this song heavily enjoyable and exciting. 9/10

2. Andra Satsen- From the bizarre circus-like opening, this shorter piece continues the same feel as the previous one, light-hearted, enjoyable music with Swedish folk and other influences thrown in to create one long symphony split into four songs. Great part, but it barely misses the mark that the first one set for it. 8/10

3. Tredje Satsen- Continuing the same vein, this is another well-played track. This one is my least favorite on the album though simply because it doesn't strike me as much, but I can't find much other than personal preference to justify that since there is nothing wrong with the instruments or the composition. Out of any of the parts, this one has the potential to drag the most. Nonetheless, it's still a pretty decent song and keeps the same mood. 6/10

4. Fjarde Satsen- This song is not as frantic or upbeat in a bizarre dance-type of mood as the previous three, but it is still pretty good. Serves as a wonderful and more serious closer to this series and I really like the instrumental playing. The ending gets a bit repetitive, however. 7/10

This is a good album, but not the best from SMM. It is a good starting point for anyone who likes piano-driven instrumental compositions and for RIO in general, but it doesn't have the same masterpiece value of other SMM albums like Maltid or Knossa.

Still, an excellent addition to any prog collection.

Report this review (#191145)
Posted Sunday, November 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars It took me quite a while to locate this album on Spotify because it was listed under Gregory Allan FitzPatrick and not Samla Mammas Manna. This was of course not the first time that I've heard this charming record and I recall vividly listening to the LP many times during my teen years. But although I remember every track quite well the album doesn't convey a classical sense of nostalgia that I have for many of the other albums that I've listened to in those days. Don't get me wrong it's a very nice album with great playing all around, but I lack that little extra that only a Lars Hollmer & co record can supply me with.

Snorungarnas Symfoni has its distinct Samla Mammas Manna-sound but with a much more jazz-oriented flavor to it. In a way it might be considered the next logical step after Klossa Knapitatet that featured quite a few jazz-inspired compositions. It might not be the direction I would have preferred the band to undertake after the excellent Mĺltid but it was clear that the band had already reached their peak in the particular writing department and a change felt inevitable.

Still I would be lying if I said that this is anything less than an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection!

**** star songs: Första Satsen (11:46) Andra Satsen (5:39) Tredje Satsen (7:46) Fjärde Satsen (8:43)

Report this review (#257741)
Posted Friday, December 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The last album of Samla Mammas Manna's first phase (before they metamorphosed into Zamla Mammaz Manna) is a jazzy collaboration with Gregory Allan FitzPatrick, whose compositions the band interpret in their usual Canterbury-influenced style. A bit more accessible and engaging than their preceding album, and with less circus music about it than any previous Samla disc, the album sounds to me like Caravan and the Uncle Meat incarnation of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention getting together in order to record musical backing for classic Tom and Jerry cartoons; it's whimsical, clever, and playful, and tempered with just a little bit of nostalgia.
Report this review (#552243)
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Snorungarnas symfoni from 1976 is Samla mammas mannas fourth studio album, the last before guitar player Coste Apetrea quit and they changed name to Zamla mammaz manna. This is a composition by Gregory Allan FitzPatrick, an american living in Sweden since the sixties who was very innovatory in the Swedish music scene in the seventies and eighties. He sung and played on many swedish left wing and flower power records (with progressive tendencies) in the early seventies. He doesn't appear on this disc though. The disc is a symphony divided in four pieces and lasts for thirty-four minuts. The gruop is claimed to be an avant-garde group but this record is best describes as symphonic progresssive rock.

Yeah, this is symphonic rock as it should be. I was totally surprised by this record's perfection. This was the first time I listened to it and I could be nothing but amazed. Here we have so strong and driving meldies, mostly in form of guitar and piano and a terrific drum play. What is visible here is the gamesome but very professional attitude they hade to their music. That reminds us of Frank Zappa. In the seconds movement there is a mix of thriller, nursery music and children teasing chants. The third piece is the most jazzy but the piano also reminds me of Renaissance. In the fourth and ending part we return to a known melody that evolves slowly and ends in euphoria.

Nothing here is clumsy or poorly done. This is just as pretentious I want it to be. Symphonic avant-garde rock meets perfection. I didn't thought it to be a five star record, but here you have one. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#951436)
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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