Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

MANDRILL

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mandrill picture
Mandrill biography
Mandrill was formed in Brooklyn in 1968 by three multi-instrumentalist brothers, Louis, Richard and Carlos Wilson, all of whom originally hailed from Panama. After running an ad in the Village Voice they were soon joined by Omar Mesa, Claude Cave, Charlie Padro and Bundie Cenac. Between them this seven man group could play over 20 instruments. Although often labeled a funk or RnB band, Mandrill is much more than just that. Their music combines those two genres with jazz, rock, classic Latin music, and styles of their own creation, often mixing all this together in the same song. Their albums are often composed of multi-movement songs that blend together to make a long running urban tone poem. In concert, their songs are often taken to great lengths with creative improvisations.

Although different band members have come and gone over the years, the three original brothers still remain, and they are often joined onstage by their musically talented children. Mandrill continues to tour and record to this day, inspiring many with their complex rhythms, arrangements and lyrics about spirituality, peace, love and brotherhood.

- Easy Money -


Discography:

-Mandrill (1971)
-Mandrill Is (1972)
-Composite Truth (1973)
-Just Outside of Town (1973)
-Mandrillland (1974)
-Solid (1975)
-Beast From the East (1975)
-Best Of (1975)
-We Are One (1977)
-New Worlds (1978)
-Getting in the Mood (1980)
-Fencewalk: The Anthology (1997)
-Ultimate Collection (2000)
-Mandrill Live @ Montreaux (2002) CD
-Mandrill Live @ Montraux (2002) DVD



MANDRILL forum topics / tours, shows & news


MANDRILL forum topics
No topics found for : "mandrill"
Create a topic now
MANDRILL tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "mandrill"
Post an entries now

MANDRILL Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to MANDRILL

Buy MANDRILL Music



More places to buy MANDRILL music online

MANDRILL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MANDRILL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 28 ratings
Mandrill
1970
3.72 | 21 ratings
Mandrill Is
1972
4.00 | 12 ratings
Composite Truth
1973
3.21 | 10 ratings
Just Outside of Town
1973
3.74 | 11 ratings
Mandrilland
1974
3.17 | 5 ratings
Solid
1975
3.09 | 4 ratings
Beast From The East
1976
3.25 | 4 ratings
We Are One
1977
2.05 | 2 ratings
New Worlds
1978
1.05 | 3 ratings
Getting in the Mood
1980
3.00 | 3 ratings
Energize
1982
3.00 | 1 ratings
D.W.B.B.
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Back in Town
2020

MANDRILL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at Montreaux 2002
2004

MANDRILL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at Montreux 2002
2006

MANDRILL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 3 ratings
The Best of Mandrill
1974
3.67 | 3 ratings
Fencewalk: The Anthology
1997

MANDRILL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MANDRILL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mandrilland by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.74 | 11 ratings

BUY
Mandrilland
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars Solid Progressive Soul.

Mandrills fourth album is a double album. Double albums in my opinion tend to be an exercise in bloat and filler. This is one such case. While there are delightful moments, all to often they are sandwiched between mediocre songs which really prevents the album from escaping 3*. I find the weakest element of Mandrill and by extension Mandrilland is the bands low ability to create convincing vocal songs. Many of the short poppy songs are done at a very mediocre level, Positive Things, The Road To Love and El Funko for example. That's not to say every song with singing I find unpleasant, the pastoral Reason I Sing is nice, as is Khidja. On another positive note I find Mandrill tends to create instrumental of far higher quality then other proprietors of their style, including Demon Fuzz. Mini Suite For Duke is wonderful, far less repetitive then I've come to expect from Progressive Soul although, some like Skying Upward are pretty dull.

Overall this is good album, I like the sound, I like the way some of the songs segue into another, forming suites (side 1). Finally I recommend starting with side 4 first.

 Mandrill by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.87 | 28 ratings

BUY
Mandrill
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars An adequate album. The only standout track on the first side is Symphonic Revolution which I found somewhat memorable. The second side is mostly the sidelong plus one short ditty. The suite is fine in the first half but the last two movements have horrible vocals which make the track not particularly good. Finally the last track is actually quite nice, lovely flute and rhythm, however it lacks vocals which would could have made the song wonderful.

Overall track 1, 2, 4 are dull 3/5 songs

Symphonic Revolution is 3.5/5

Movement 3/5

Chutney 3.5/5

Some good moments, some boring tracks, some good parts and some vision = 3/5

 Composite Truth by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.00 | 12 ratings

BUY
Composite Truth
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In my opinion this is the best of their first three classic albums. The horn and vocal styles really don't do a lot for me but I feel on this one they've toned those two things down a lot. This is a more serious, more mature album. Now we still get a couple of tracks that have me rolling my eyes like "Hagalo" with that Island sound and then my least favourite "Polk Street Carnival". The first two tracks were apparently released as singles and they are good but it was that "Don't Mess With People" that had me nodding with respect. A nice heavy sound early on with the bass, organ, beats and vocals. The vocals have more of a serious tone. We get punchy and intricate sounds at 2 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Flute joins in then horns after 3 minutes. Great sound!

My other two favourites besides "Don't Mess With People" are "Golden Stone" the longest piece at close to 7 1/2 minutes and "Out With The Boys" which I normally wouldn't pick because it's getting close to being ballad-like but it works for me. Sparse sounds on that one with piano and laid back vocals mostly. Some orchestration I believe around 2 1/2 minutes and some flute as well. I like how different instruments lead on that "Golden Stone" song especially the guitar. Nice powerful sound 5 1/2 minutes in. The closer is surprisingly chilled out as well. I like the balance on this album but I'm still not completely sold on these guys. Giving this a low 4 stars.

 Mandrill Is by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.72 | 21 ratings

BUY
Mandrill Is
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. MANDRILL were a seven piece band out of Brooklyn, New York who combine many styles of music. The Wilson brothers add sax, trombone and trumpet along with vocals. For my tastes in music this is just too all over the place. Funny but I'll be enjoying a section and guaranteed it will change before too long. The music is very accessible and commercial sounding at times, and I think they made a living doing this considering how many times this second album of theirs has been re-issued. I'm really not into the blasting horns or the soulful vocals but then they'll offer up some tasty music that I really enjoy.

I find this to be a step up from the debut, just not as many cringe worthy moments. And while I can't come up with a top three I do really enjoy "KofiJahm" and the keyboardist's nickname is "Coffee". This is the only track that there's not something that bugs me. An instrumental with vibes, claps and beats early as flute joins in. Multi-vocals and lots of percussions at 1 1/2 minutes. Just a cool sounding tune without vocals or horns dominating. "Ape Is High" deserves a mention. I mean this is funny stuff. Lame would be the lyrics for "Git It All" I mean for 1971 you could get away with this. Then they get all false spiritual on us with "Universal Rhythm" with children speaking to open and close it. "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" is one of the better ones. Powerful with active drums and some great sounding organ. I like the flute and guitar as well.

Like the debut 3.5 stars is all I can give.

 Mandrill by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.87 | 28 ratings

BUY
Mandrill
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by PROGMAN1

5 stars According to the liner notes, this album was recorded in the winter of 1970. This is fairly astounding given the fact that it would make this one of the earliest (if not the first ever) incidence of a side-long, multi-movement, progressive rock suite. The piece in question being side two's Peace and Love (Amani Na Mapenzi) clocking in at over seventeen minutes. As for what it sounds like, it is quite advanced for 1970 to be sure, including many styles of music from symphonic to African to jazz to Latin, even a touch of the avant-garde and Mellotron! As mentioned in previous reviews, the sparse lyrics are a powerful Vietnam war-era statement of biblical proportions. To be sure, the band's general approach was not of side-long symphonic rock suites, though on later albums it was not unusual for them to use odd time signatures and compose long-ish multi-movement rock pieces. The prog fan will find at least one piece on each of their first 5 albums to satisfy that prog itch. Given the date of this, their debut album, and the phenomenal side long suite, this is a solid 4.5 stars leaning toward 5. Side one opens with the eponymous rocker Mandrill, a Latin rock scorcher as great as Santana ever composed. The side is rounded out with Warning Blues, Symphonic Revolution and Rollin' On. Warning Blues is mainly an up-tempo blues rock piece with interesting breaks but fairly typical of the era. Symphonic Revolution is a mellow piece with excellent, atmospheric flute and organ playing by Carlos Wilson and Claude Cave respectively. These two musicians are quite exceptional but then the strength of Mandrill lies in the skill of all the musicians.

The guitarist, Omar Mesa is truly unsung and embodies the lyricism and feel of the most elite guitarists of the prog era. Yes, he is that great. The three brothers who play the wind instruments rival the best horn sections of the era including Tower of Power, Chicago and B, S & T. The rhythm section of Neftali Santiago and Fudgie Kae which eventually became the classic rhythm section of Mandrill are phenomenally tight through the acrobatic, complex unison lines and rhythmic changes occurring in many of their songs. All things considered; even though Mandrill are not a typical prog band like Yes or Genesis, there is plenty of fantastic music, some of which is prog, for the exquisite enjoyment of the eclectic prog fan.

 The Best of Mandrill by MANDRILL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1974
2.95 | 3 ratings

BUY
The Best of Mandrill
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A great intro and maybe an outro for the group Mandrill. It might be all of the Mandrill you will ever need. Similar to the works of Santana, War, Malo, Tower Of Power, Cymande, early-Osibisa and Chase. Slightly more on the funk side of things, though. Not unlike Funkadelic musically (but without the buzzed out George Clinton circus/sideshow) This compilation kicks it off with their 2 best known tracks in "Ape Is High" and "Fencewalk". Recommended for fans of jazz/rock fusion and funk. For the actual albums, I recommend the first, second and third Mandrill recordings.
 Getting in the Mood by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1980
1.05 | 3 ratings

BUY
Getting in the Mood
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

1 stars Unlike their previous album, this scandalous piece of crap was not hiding behind a deceptive artwork and title, and we have a disgusting disco album in all its splendour aptly/badly named Getting' Into The Mood (for puking, maybe???). Not that Mandrill was doing worse than groups like EW&F, K&tG or Chic, but we arte a far cry from their early superb works. Grandeur et decadence: a textbook case.

Just read my review of their preceding album and multiply the negative traits and multiply by five and you've got an idea how bad this album is. Sure with the years and decades having gone by, this type of dance music sounds almost listenable, but it is only because the 80's & 90's dance scene stinks some 20 times worse than the disco fad did. Avoid at all costs: if I took the time to write this review, it's so you avoid such bad moves. All remunerative thanks for my precious time-sacrifice can be forwarded to me via the PA admins. Don't forget to be generous, even if I only rented the album, and returned it with a nice lump of dung spread of the each side's grooves.

 New Worlds by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.05 | 2 ratings

BUY
New Worlds
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Despite its "prog artwork" cover and hope-inducing album title, New Worlds was anything but proggy despite some tracks being technically impressive funk, but on the whole the album is a big deception for demanding music fans. Mandrill, like most other US "coloured groups" (can't really call them "black", since there are Latino/Puerto-Ricans in their ranks), they fell in the disco trap that engulfed many decent funk groups like Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang (listen to their early 70's stuff to see how proggy they were) and many others, they happily obliged to follow the example of Chic's mix of sometimes-excellent super-funk and downright disgusting binary-disco ala Donna Summer etc? The only groups resisting that trend was WAR and Clinton's Funkadelic.

Sure, there are remains of the former Mandrill with some (few) good tracks, (there is even one with a decent flute intervention) but the album is mostly filled of soul/Motown ballads (the opening Too Late & When You Smile) filled with those luscious Philadelphia-based string arrangements (instead of mellotrons), some ultra-funk but disco-ing tracks (Mean Streets, Love Attack & Stay Tonite) with typical horn section but often marred with an horrible binary disco beat (which is an oxymoron with good funk, if you ask me) and downright-awful straight disco tracks (Don't Stop & Easy Loving You). There is even a Latino/Bossa track (Third World Girl), but it only brings the listener to more regrets of what the group became.

When I speak of this binary rhythm, I am mostly thinking of the 1-2 tempos invented for the most hopeless and sorriest excuses of dancing white males to get them too boogie on a dance floor), but in Mandrill and Chic's case, this basic rhythm is often deceptively simple, because behind that beat is often a lot more complex rhythm than it appears at first glance:audition. In any case, certainly not Mandrill's best works, and better avoided unless you actually like the 70's disco scene. And I'm certainly not one of them, although I'll round this album's rating to the upper star.

 Mandrill Is by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.72 | 21 ratings

BUY
Mandrill Is
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Second album of possibly most progressive funk band from early 70-s. With new bassist, band recorded that album with more jazz-rock elements, including some heavy guitar riffing. Still heavily based on funk, the album includes r'n'b, jazz-rock and Latin jazz almost in equal proportions. Plus some blues and psychedelia.

Compositions varies from Santana-like Latin percussion filled nice sambas, to heavy Brooklyn funk, to early jazz-rock guitar -led pieces. But main ingredient is Wilson brothers brass trio, all other sounds are just turning around.

Differently from other more straightforward funk bands of their time, Mandrill music is build far not only around rhythm. Nice melodies, some experimental (to time) sounds and constructions. Not everything goes successfully there: some speaking vocals or lightweight danceable rhythms don't add too much for band's mix.

But in whole, I believe this album is really interesting and successful evidence of progressive funk searches in early 70-s.

 Mandrill by MANDRILL album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.87 | 28 ratings

BUY
Mandrill
Mandrill Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Money
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Progressive Rock with an African flavor. I can remember the first time I saw Mandrill on TV back in the early 70s; I was totally captured, not only by the music, but by the colorful appearance of this ensemble and the incredible number of instruments they could play. Early Mandrill was always an extended exotic fantasy of sprawling progressive arrangements featuring horns, percussion, screaming guitar solos, quiet mysterious flute passages, virtuoso keyboards and massive vocal choirs. This being Mandrill's first record, it is probably their most progressive and ambitious, but it is also the one that belongs the most with the time period from which it came.

Side two is probably the side of most interest to the prog-rock crowd with it's side long five movement 'Peace and Love'. This is late 60s/early 70s grandiose musical vision at it's most excessive as the Mandrill crew takes on almost any musical style imaginable from dark and gothic mystery to bright optimistic world jazz. The lyrics don't hold back either as Mandrill unfolds a tale of Biblical proportions that deals with love, peace, the future of mankind and other unfathomable mysteries. This side sounded incredible back in the day, but I'm not sure if it has aged well into the new century. If you take this music as a reflection of the time period in which it was created, then there is much to enjoy here.

If dated hippie pretensions undermine the lofty ambitions of the 'proggy' side two, side one is still one hundred percent right on with it's more streetwise mix of funk, jazz, soul, rock and world beat. Signature tune 'Mandrill' kicks things off with some energetic Afro-Latin rock that may remind some of Santana. Another highlight of this side, 'Symphonic Revolution', is the perfect Sunday afternoon jam with it's mellow mix of jazz, soul, strings and soaring vocal harmonies. It sounds like early Earth Wind & Fire might have gotten some inspiration from this one.

Once a landmark album, the ravages of time have made parts of this album seem a bit kitschy and excessive, yet if you like late 60s/early 70s culture and progressive African hippie music, it does not get any better than this.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.