MACONDO – Macondo [1972]

MACONDO

”Discovered and produced by Sergio Mendes, Macondo was one of the more interesting, and frustrating groups to fuse Latin music, heavy rock, and funk in the wake of Santana’s huge early-’70s success. Though the band featured several able instrumentalists (particularly bassist Ron Chretin) and loads of raw energy, no one in the group was a particularly good vocalist and the unit’s songwriting was often amateurish. Consequently, none of the tracks here live up to the promise of their great introductions, grooves, and instrumental passages. Leader Max Uballez has a nice knack for melody and loads of interesting musical concepts, but the songs usually seem to be cramming in too many ideas at once. Perhaps sensing that they rocked but didn’t have anything close to a hit, on side two the group (or perhaps Mendes) decided to include Macondo’s very own “Oye Como Va” (a full two years after Abraxas) in the form of “Cayuco,” a similar Tito Puente composition. The tune sounds a bit out of place considering not a word of Spanish is sung on the entire first side of the record. Also, the arrangement is laughably Santana-esque, right down to Albert Hernandez’s lead guitar playing (which, unfortunately contains none of Carlos Santana’s virtuosity). In the end Macondo, though strictly B-list, is an enjoyable listen, as the band is so obviously having the time of their lives. Not as tight, dark, or pop-savvy as Santana or Mandrill, the group still had an appealing acid rock stoner vibe that conjures up images of a hard-partying Latin Foghat. Not exactly a lost classic, Macondo is certainly an obscurity worth looking out for and highly recommended to fans of the genre.” [Pemberton Roach, All Music Guide]

Cool rare latin-funk slab with touches of Santana and Funkadelic. Street fighting Hard-funk, Dig!!!

 

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