THE APE, THE MAN

February 19, 2013 – 4:26 am

The Mandrill.

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MANDRILL
Roslyn 1974 [no label, 1CD]

Live at My Father’s Place, Roslyn, New York, 1974. Broadcast on WLIR-FM. Ex FM stereo.

The Wikipedia nutshell:

Mandrill is an American funk band formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1968. The band was formed by three brothers: Carlos Wilson (trombone, vocals), Lou Wilson (trumpet, vocals) and Ric Wilson (sax, vocals). The brothers were born in Panama and grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn.

Their songs have been sampled by many hip-hop acts such as Johnny D, Public Enemy, Shawty Lo, Big L, Kanye West, Jin, Eminem, and 9th Wonder. They combined funk with many other styles like Latin, salsa, rock, blues and soul.

The band continues to perform live; their signature song is arguably “Fencewalk.”

Both Santana and Mandrill came out about the same time but the former was from the West Coast while Mandrill was an East Coast band. No one can deny that it was Santana that brought the focus to Latin Rock with several recordings that could challenge for chart position. The late ’60s was a melting pot of styles and influences, a much better stew than what we currently have. Mandrill offered  Latin rock, progressive funk, stellar soloing on guitar and Hammond and a solid rhythm section with percussive power to shake your booty. All these styles can be found on this rare live recording for a radio show. The ‘74 show was probably to promote their then latest album, Just Outside Of Town.

Like Mandrill, other funksters and Latin rockers have faded into obscurity including Malo, Osibisa, War, Sly Stone, El Chicano and others. Their ethnicity isolated them as much as music’s turning into a huge business that had little time for variety. Especially if small. They remain outside of the mainstream. Only Santana, powered by the charisma of their namesake guitarist, managed to sustain its popularity.

Yet you can’t deny the attractiveness of the beats here. From the heavenly dance beat of Fat City Strut to Mandrill’s four-minute master blast with Fencewalk to the gritty and anthemic Git It All.

So a big thank you to Randy Bayers for freeing this rarity on the net at DIME.

- The Little Chicken

Randy Bayers’ Note: Although this recording was recently posted on soundcloud by Funk-U and reposted by Crates of JR , the source I have posted is a lossless upgrade, presumably from a different cassette. I received it years ago as an untracked CDR from a Japanese trader.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Mandrill 12:58 (21.8MB)
Track 02. Hang Loose 5:43+ (9.6MB)
Track 03. Mango Meat 4:53* (8.2MB)
Track 04. Fat City Strut 6:32* (11.0MB)
Track 05. Radio Interview 3:41 (6.2MB)
Track 06. Cohello 9:19^ (15.7MB)
Track 07. Fencewalk 4:20+ (7.3MB)
Track 08. Git It All 6:00^ (the end is cut) (10.1MB)

Lineup:
Carlos Wilson - trombone, flute, guitar, percussion, vocals
Lou Wilson - percussion, trumpet, vocals
Ric Wilson - saxophone, percussion, vocals
Claude Cave - keyboards, vibraphone, percussion, vocals
Fudgie Kae - bass, percussion, vocals
Omar Mesa - guitar, percussion, vocals
Neftali Santiago - drums, percussion, vocals

* studio versions appear on Just Outside Of Town.
+ studio versions appear on Composite Truth
^ studio versions appear on Mandrill Is

Eleven-track starter kit, The Best Of Mandrill, contains their best tunes at a super low price. Very melodic funk. Buy here.

For a slightly prog-rock Mandrill, then the debut album is the place to start. Released in 1970, it contained the 17-minute Peace And Love Suite. Buy here.

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  1. 6 Responses to “THE APE, THE MAN”

  2. WOW. Talk about a surprise GEM!! This band is HOT!

    By 4yrsnojob on Feb 19, 2013

  3. I have been looking for some quality live Mandrill for years-Inmense thanks to The Big O for this one!

    By Evil dr.Louie on Feb 19, 2013

  4. definition of irony 8. Git It All (the end is cut) :>)

    By 4yrsnojob on Feb 19, 2013

  5. Mike D. himself handed me that Greatest Hits album over 20 years ago and told me to buy it. I was skeptical but then floored. I’ve rocked many a party since then with Ape Is High, Fence Walk and others. Looking forward to hearing this one!

    By Jeremy Shatan on Feb 22, 2013

  6. i am going to get this one!

    I-)

    By I-) on Feb 26, 2013

  7. This is incredible even by Big O standards!! I’ve been after vintage Mandrill live for years. One of the best bands of the 70s. I’m downloading as we speak! Big thanks.

    By Alvis on Feb 26, 2013

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