"The finest progressive band that America produced." – Fred Frith
The Muffins were a D.C. area band from 1974-81 and then again from 1996-2014. Manna/Mirage was their 1st and best known lp. A SUPERB and sublime instrumental mix of Canterbury progressive, jazz-rock, improvisational elements, and much more, all showcasing a distinctive sound and unique touch.
"...America's most impressive & innovative Cow/Hatfield style group...The Muffins are the quintessential example of a group whose excellence, clear musical intelligence, light touch & broad range marked them out clearly for success and a place in the history of 'progressive rock'. They won't thank me for saying this, but The Muffins deserve their place in the pantheon of 70's progressive GREATS." – Chris Cutler.
"Manna/Mirage was the Muffins' first album and remained their best work. It is a fantastic blend of Canterbury prog and Henry Cow-ish intricacy, with a soupçon of improvisation. Completely instrumental, the music can also be linked to Happy the Man for its melodic side. Manna/Mirage would have become a classic prog album, if only it had come out of Canterbury instead of late-'70s U.S.A." – AllMusic
"...a very charming and adventurous release that should easily appeal to fans of Henry Cow, Soft Machine or Hatfield and the North. Musically complex with a good flow to it with well-thought arrangements that are interesting to listen to all the way through with a nice, typical humoristic touch to them." – Prog Archives
released December 1, 1990
Billy Swann — bass, piano, guitar, percussion
Paul Sears — drums, gong, xylophone, vibes, percussion, pots, pans, pennywhistle
Tom Scott — piccolo flute, flutes, alto & soprano & baritone saxophones, clarinet, alto clarinet, oboe, soprano recorder, percussion
Dave Newhouse — pianos, organ, piccolo flute, alto & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, cereal box whistle, percussion
John Schmidt — baritone horn & tuba (1)
Doug Elliot — trombone (1)
Larry Elliot — trumpet (1)
Steve Feigenbaum — guitar (3, 4)
Greg Yaskovich — trumpet (4)
Engineered by Colleen and Tom Scott.
Mixed by The Muffins.
Recorded and mixed in 1978.