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Mr. S. St Thomas
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Recorded in the winter of 1972, and released in 1973, Mandrill's Composite Truth is such a mixture of styles and inner talent, that it's amazing that this band isn't regarded more highly.
One of the few multi-cultural bands in recorded history should be at least held up in some esteem for just being willing to 'mix and match'. This band was comprised of Neftali Santiago on Drums, Omar Mesa on Guitar, Fudgie Kae on Bass & Acoustic guitar, Claude Cave on Keyboards, and the Brothers Wilson, Lou on Trumpet, Ric on Sax, and multi-instrumentalist Carlos on Trombone, Sax, Flute, Guitar and Drums.There is a huge amount of talent just in the players. But does it make great material?
There are as many multi-cultural influences on the music that a multi-cultural band can come up with, and throughout this whole album, many different forms of music are explored. Often placed one on top of the other. And it has some serious Funk on it as well.
Claude Cave's 'Hang Loose' is pure Funk mixed with Afro-cuban rhythms. Opening the album with very strong material often says that the rest won't match up. Not on this album. It actually gets better as it progresses, and by the time 'Loose' is over, and the Wilson Brothers 'Fencewalk' begins, you're hearing one of the Funkiest bands from the 1970's. Omar Mesa's guitar solo in 'Fencewalk' is just one of its highlights, because the song just on its own would be easy pickings for any Hip~Hop, Rap sample.
There's a quick jump in styles into The Wilson Brothers 'Hágalo', which is pure Latino/Hispanic in its execution. Listening to it, you wouldn't know the band was comprised of such a mixture of races, all jumping from Funk to Latino, and other surprises along the way. What follows is The Wilson Brothers standout track, 'Don't Mess With People', which literally has one of the funkiest 'break' sections I've ever heard. It's almost ''too funky'', and when you wonder if something is just too much, when it overloads your senses because it is just so good, it almost gets frightening. '.....People' has a killer break section. Absolutely Funk.
What used to be Side Two opens with The Wilson Brothers 'Polk Street Carnival', in its mixture of Calypso, and Latino music, it truly groundbreaks just in mixing the two styles. Omar Mesa's 'Golden Stone' follows, and is one of the true highlights of the album. It's Beatles / Chicago / Blood Sweat & Tears leanings can't be ignored, but it boasts a great organ solo by Claude Cave, who also adds some interesting Moog Synthesiser treatments to the song. The whole song is comprised of quite a few sections in its 7 minutes, easily moving from one to the other. It's opening is Pop, it then goes to Jazz (Chicago/BS& T styled), I also hear the Association. It then has extended solos from Mesa & Cave, and then moves into very heavy rock. 'Golden Stone' I'm surprised I have never heard on Radio. The next song is Fudgie Kae's 'Out With The Boys', an acoustic ballad about drinking and lamenting. To be truthful, the song is nice, but I got confused midway lyrically about who he was talking about! First it's him, then it's his girl, then there's these other two guys. I got lost! I'll have to give the song (which I own on vinyl, from when it was originally issued) another try. But it's like a 5 minute soap opera.
The album closes with a truly stand-out, beautiful song, The Wilson Brothers 'Moroccan Nights'. Carlos Wilson's Flute playing makes this song a delight to listen to, with its very laid back funk atmosphere, and interesting syncopated percussion. A great way to close an album that is quite near perfect.
This is definitely an album worth a purchase and listen, because MANDRILL were historically important, and musically as well.