Soul Patrol's Mandrill 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contact Cheryl Page

Soul-Patrol's New York Chapter

Coordinator

cpage@soul-patrol.com

 

 

 

Neither rain or thunder, Light rains or drizzle, heavy rains or downpours, could dare stop the die hard fans that attended the Celebrate Brooklyn fest in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, NY to see one of the greatest bands in soul/funk music history !


Die hard Funk fans
........... I  give you............
........... Mandrill !!!!!!

As the day went by, my friend Kevin Logan (who is featured on the A Tribute To Frankie Crocker Show on Soul Patrol. Net Radio along with Night Train and myself The Chancellor) arrived at the band shell at 7:45 pm. We phoned Bob Davis to tell him we arrived, on Kevin's cell phone, but he was having trouble finding parking space near the area, so he told us to go in and he'll see us in a little while.
We paid our $3 admission, and then entered the park. The rain was coming down a little hard and it was dark. The band from Texas named Free Radicals, were already kicking up some city dust with some funky tunes, mixed in with a dab of James Brown and a little pinch of jazz. The tune that I enjoyed that they performed was self penned tune called " Jay Z Meets J.B."  They were great !  
Free Radical played until 8:30 pm as the stage crew began setting up the instruments for Mandrill.

Bob Davis and our sister AAdams Rib finally found parking space and arrived a few minutes later. Kevin and I then went over to the V.I.P. section where we met up with them, and our own Soul- Patroller, Funkafize.  At around 9:05, the announcer,
excitedly announced, " Are you ready for Mandrill!"  The crowd affirmed " Yeah!" " Ladies and gentlemen,  Mandrill ! "  Those brothers came stepping out in only Mandrill style, while they began to play their classic hit " Mandrill". The pulsating rhythms played by Carlos Wilson , Rick Wilson ,Wilfredo " Wolf" Wilson  and Neftali Santiago all featured on drums and percussion and vocals, made you feel so proud of  our Motherland  we called Africa !! No matter how rhythm you don't have in your body, this song will create a new rhythm imprint in your musical body.

Their second song was a monster in 1973, " Hang Loose". People shouted as the group introduced the song's intro and danced and grooved, like they never grooved before !!  The song  "Hang Loose" reminds me of the old Soul Train episodes in 1973 when this song was featured in the Soul Train Line dance. Those kids would go crazy as host Don Cornelius would introduce the song as they got ready to form the line dance. So many great memories I tell ya!  Mandrill continued to blow  our musical minds with other stone master gassers such as, " Rollin", " Mango  Meat" " Solid",  and " Polk Street Carnival". Then around 10:15, three of the Wilson Bros gathered around the microphone, like in the great days of the doo-wop era, and sang their masterpiece hit, " House Of Wood"  with brother Carlos as lead.


Whoo!! Let me tell you something soul fans, they brought absolute chills down my musical spine !!!!   Our own soul-patroller, Unific29, joined myself, Kevin, Funkafize and two attractive ladies who work with Funkafize, down to the V.I.P section. The
look on Unific29's face was one of  mind that was totally blown !!! 
Then came my song, " Fence Walk". Everyone in the park lost their minds, as the band played the song's famous brass intro.  The minute they started to sing the lyrics of the song, the crowds beat them to the punch, by singing the lyrics of the song before the group could begin to sing them !!!!  In the middle of the song's bridge, a rapper who was a part of the group, began to rap along, while the band played their brass and guitar riffs. After the " Fence Walk",  it was around 10:30 pm and Mandrill played a fanfare and began to exit stage left.

The crowds there wasn't having it, and began to chant very loudly, " MANDRILL !! MANDRILL !!!  MANDRILL !!!  They came back out as the crowd screamed, and began to play their 1977 spring hit, " Can You Get It (Suzy)", that was featured on the Arista label. By 1976, they had left Polydor records.


At 10:33, it began to drizzle, but we didn't care !! We danced and chanted !!
Around 10:37, as the group's rapper came out again to do his rap, Mandrill chanted "Brooklyn's got the funk!!" Then at 10:45, Mandrill gave Brooklyn peace greetings, and it was over.

Afterwards, everyone left the park as the rain continued come upon us, except the Soul-Patrollers, who stayed around to meet and greet our musical heroes. We met Neftali Santiago ( Mandrill's drummer) and Carlos and Doc Wilson who all were extremely nice !! We all chatted about different things such as the concert that Mandrill appeared with Buddy Miles in Harlem's Randalls Island in 1972. I also met some very interesting people like Darrell McNeil from the Black Rock Coalition, who by the way was founded by Living Color member Vernon Reid, to recognized the accomplishments of Black artists who contributed the development of Rock' n Roll.


I also met Habbibah, who is a member of the Mandrill circle and member of Soul-Patrol when it first started as a web digest in 1998.

Mandrill today on this day of Sunday June 24, 2001 are performing at Norwalk, Conn and The Jackie Robinson Foundation concert as well. I can't believe the fun I had ! It was all over in a flash!! 


I recommend to everyone who don't have Mandrill in their collection to get all of their reissued LP'S on CD including their Anthology on CD, for mind blowing eargasm experience !!!! I'll never forget  Saturday, June 23, 2001.

That's the day that will go down in Mandrill history!!! Please if Mandrill
comes to a town near you, go and check these brothers out !!! You'll be in, for I guarantee, a great musical treat !!! Oh incidentally, on this date on Saturday, June 23, 1973, the Mandrill LP " Composite Truth",  hit No 8 on the R&B charts and stayed for an incredible 33 weeks towards the end of 1973 !!!!!

"Be what you want to be, do what you want to do, as long as your mind is free, You can be what you want to be" !!!!!

MANDRILL !! MANDRILL !!! MANDRILL !!!!


                                       Hang Loose baby !!
                                       Mike Boone
                                     ( Chancellor of Soul)

 

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