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Mandrill - Mandrilland CD (album) cover

MANDRILLAND

Mandrill

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 4 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Like most early Mandrill albums, Mandrilland contains an unbelievable variety of music, Latin pop, epic African soundtracks, funky jazz, pseudo-classical passages, commercial soul music, Carribean and psychedelic rock are just some of the styles that get heartfelt and authentic workouts from this eclectic band.

A lot of the progressive stuff goes down on side four where keyboardist Claude Cave's tribute to Duke Ellington sounds more like a tribute to Jon Lord and Keith Emmerson with his swirling distorted B-3 playing gothic classical preludes to the band's loungey big band groove. Other songs on side four find the band mixing psychedelic jazz-rock with African grooves for some excellent highly original jams that sound like a cross between Mahavishnu and Fela Kuti.

Side three isn't bad and features more African jams, as well as some jokey avant-funk that sounds like mid-70s Zappa or Funkadelic. Side two is mostly ballads, one Beatlesque, a couple more in a Latin rock style and a few that sound like classic uplifting early 70s orchestrated soul music. All of these songs are nice and well written, but a bit commercial for the most part.

Working our way backwards we finally get to side one which is an excellent five part African psychedelic funk jazz jam that goes through many changes and moods and is never boring during it's twenty minute odyssey. I love late 60s-early 70s psychedelic 'African hippie music', it seems like bands like this were always around in the early rock scene, but unfortunately most were swept aside as rock became more corporate and homogenized in the mid-70s.

js (Easy Money) | 4/5 |

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