Popular local bands generally don't duck out when they're on top. But that's exactly what the sprawling seven-piece jazz-funk-hip-hop hybrid Smokin' With Superman did after a final sold-out show in 2003. Had there been dramatic creative differences or heavy disappointment over the fact that some promising national nibbles didn't pan out?
Not really, says bass player Brett Farrey. Four years of packing any nightspot that would have them was enough, he explains: "People just wanted to go in different directions with their lives."
Of course, the amicable parting also meant that getting back together would be that much easier. And that's exactly what the band's core membership will be doing at the High Noon Saloon on Friday, Dec. 14. Local fans will be happy learn that the show isn't necessarily a one-off.
"We're not quite sure yet what we'll be doing," says Farrey. "We may even play a few times each year, and we've also been talking about doing another album."
Since the band's breakup, most members have kept a hand in local music. Farrey plays bass with new soul/R&B big band Marcus King & Thee Royalty, group MC Laduma (a.k.a. Mr. Parker) has found success with dumate and other projects, drummer Mark Marsh works with the Selfish Gene, and Bryan Elliot blows sax with Lorenzo's Music. Singer Joy Dragland continues to ply her craft as well, although she now resides in New York, which means her rehearsal time with the reinvigorated funk machine will be limited.
If the reunion does spark new recording, Farrey cautions that fans shouldn't expect the band to remain stuck in its acid jazz past. Time marches on, and so do musicians: "You know, we're always open to new ideas, and I'm guessing that if we do a new album, we'll have something of a new sound."