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Tonton Macoute - Tonton Macoute CD (album) cover

TONTON MACOUTE

Tonton Macoute

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 51 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars TONTON MACOUTE released their sole album in 1971 on RCA's shortlived progressive Neon label (which also hosted Spring, Indian Summer and Dando Shaft). The band started out in 1968 when Nigel Reveler (drums) and Paul French (vocals, keyboards, vibes) answered an ad in a magazine and joined up with Chris Gavin (bass, guitars) and Dave Knowles (alto/tenor saxes, flute, clarinet). After several label changes they finally landed their debut album on Neon.

The name was taken from a Haitian paramilitary force created in 1959 which was known for its reign of terror, so what an unlikely name for a band that delivers some of the most breezy and pleasant music that I would refer to as the Camel of jazz-fusion because they only deliver highly soft, melodic and light breezy bluesy jazz-fusion that was in stark contrast to the heavyweights of the era. Traffic and even Chicago come to mind at times. Many of the tracks are long and complex but all are different from one another.

The beginning track "Just Like A Stone" sets the relaxed flute and organ dominated sound that sets the mood of the entire album. The rest of the album follows suit with interesting interplay between the wind intruments, the piano/organ, guitars and bass with occasional vibes. Great riffs, excellent melodies and sizzling solos. Unfortunately the band and the label both went under shortly after this interesting debut. Although this isn't the OMG long lost obscurity that everyone hopes to find, it is nevertheless a very satisfying listen that definitely deserves to have the dust blown off of it.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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