Mandre (Andre Lewis) – 1977 – Mandre
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Funky Groovy People this is for you!!
How can i describe this album?
Space Funk? Astral Jazz Funk? Sinister Funk? Spacey Synth Grooves?
What i say for sure is : the music that has withstood the test of time.
Mandre was a group that Andre Lewis started in 1977 as a continuation of the gospel/soul group “Maxayn” which was named after the lead singer Maxayn Lewis, Andre’s wife. While the Maxayn group had been playing gospel and soul with Maxayn Lewis on lead vocals, the Mandre group was Andre’s project to add electronic elements and also shift the sound toward more spacey funk and disco. Andre also played keyboards for Frank Zappa, Buddy Miles, LaBelle, Earth Wind and Fire, Huey Lewis, Edwin Starr, Charles Wilson and the Gap Band, Sly Stone, Bobby Womack, Johnny Guitar Watson and a handful of others. He was also a tester of Roland products and was one of the first musicians to record with the infamous Roland TR-808 drum machine.
A1 Keep Tryin’ 3:29
A2 Solar Flight (Opus I) 7:57
A3 Interlude 2:45
A4 Third World Calling (Opus II) 6:42
B1 Masked Music Man 3:03
B2 Money (That’s What I Want) 4:15
B3 Wonder What I’d Do 4:35
B4 Dirty Love 4:00
B5 Masked Marauder 3:28
“This album was a fore runner to what we now call Electronica and even Lounge to some extent with just a hint of Funk. He produced three albums but none of the latter equaled this debut album. An extrodinary keyboardist with a interesting voice that somehow complemented his music. Tunes like “Solar Flight” and “Interlude” are still timeless today. A great example of his voice can be found on “Wonder What I’d Do“, a hauntingly classic style RnB tune. It would be great to find this on disc today”.
“When I was an teenager in 1976-77 the radio station aired an artist I never heard of before, the song was called “Solar Flight“, his style of music was just synthesizers, and it was ominous and spiritual to me. I had to run out to get this album, it was a all black cover with just a silver mask on the front of it, and I draw a blank to how the back of it looked, but I never saw who this man was, since then I have manage to lose his album or it was stolen, I am not quite sure what happen to it, but I was unable to replace it and I never forgot him or his music, so if you’re into the use of synthesizers you really need to check out this guy, oh by the way the interlude that concluded that side of the album was just too short for me, because it was awesome. But I will kill…ok almost kill to hear his music again. I am close to getting his music downloaded, but it seems even though someone has heard of him, no one’s actually have it to purchase and that is so frustrating I could”.
…..The first (self-titled) LP came out in 1977 on Motown Records and featured a mixture of Funk, Disco and some more Jazzy elements. It was mostly vocal tracks, including a great cover of Frank Zappa’s “Dirty Love”, but the standout track for me was the instrumental “Solar Flight” with its sweet synth solo’s and a cracking bassline. The cover art (above) is also fantastic, very Daft Punk as somebody pointed out to me. Sought after for the sublime spacey synth grooves of ‘Solar Flight’ and ‘Third World Calling‘…….
I would like to thank Andre Lewis cause he left a comment on our post of the fantastic Maxayn album, (Marlo Henderson the guitar player did the same). For those who still haven’t discover it, please grab it now and read what they say. These comments make this blog very proud. We are huge fans and we respect them for the music we still enjoy!