Monday, April 18, 2016

Mandrill - 1975 - Solid


01. Yucca Jump 3:33
02. Peck Ya Neck 3:41
03. Wind on Horseback 6:16
04. Tee Vee 4:58
05. Solid 7:49
06. Stop & Go 3:24
07. Silk 6:32

Carlos Wilson (trombone, vocals)
Lou Wilson (trumpet, vocals)
Ric Wilson (sax, vocals)
Claude Coffee Cave (keyboards)
Fudgie Kae Solomon (bass)
Neftali Santiago (drums)
Dougie Rodriguez (guitar)

As Mandrill moved from the early 70s to the middle of the decade, their lengthy 'jazz odysseys' were being shortened a bit, but on Solid, Mandrill still presents a few lengthy compositions as well as their usual vast smorgasbord of styles including funk, Latin jazz, African soundtracks, 70s brass-rock, psychedelia and jazzy orchestrated soul music. Just as classic progressive rock bands began to decline in the mid-70s, a new generation of progressive funk and RnB bands such as Funkadelic and Earth Wind & Fire were having a revitalizing effect on Mandrill and many others as well. Some other bands you might hear influencing this album include Santana, War, Isaac Hayes, Chicago's 1st album and mid-70s Frank Zappa.
This really isn't 'prog-rock' per se, but I know a lot of you who get into 'proggy' funk and RnB, plus a big dose of proto-world beat jazzy fusion African rock could dig this really fun and never boring album that features one of the very best and most versatile bands ever. In an ongoing testament to their love of music and creativity in general

There aren't a whole lot of bands like Mandrill! Even in the days of War and Santana where the psychedelic stew and different latin styles were all merging together......this particular band was a standout. Mainly due to the heavy rootedness of their music. Throughout this 1975 album the band serve up a set of tunes that blend rather forboding,dark funk with surreal strings,harmonies and wah-wahs such as on the compelling "Wind On Horseback","Yucca Jump" and the title song. They really rock hard in a funky place (best term I could use-thanks Prince) on "Tee Vee",a song whose message and almost proto hip-hop groove predates the Disposable Heroes Of Hisprocrisy's "Television" by about fifteen years. There are also some hardcore grooves such as "Peck Ya Neck" and "Stop & Go". The final song "Slick" is pretty much an instrumental that takes on some very dynamic influences:from the cinematic soul popular with Isaac Hayes to this sort of afro cuban jazz sound. This is all a very potent reminder of the cross cultural politnation,from jazz to soul to pop that the golden age of funk represented and it's truly a disservice to music that this is not yet available on CD.

1 comment: