The Peeling of Tangerine

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Led by the multi-instrumentalist Ferraro brothers Al and Crash (they mainly played guitar), Tangerine started playing together in the late '60s, but the group's sole album was released in 1971. In many ways, The Peeling of Tangerine is a stellar, accomplished album. More than anyone, the band recalls a slightly heavier Santana; the music is full of Latin chord progressions, salsafied and tribal drumming and percussion, and Al Ferraro's beautiful guitar work, as well as some of the dynamics of early-'70s psychedelia and soul. The band doesn't stake out their own musical ground and the songs are not altogether distinctive enough; more often than not, they sound like structureless (but not formless) jams passing for songs. On the other hand, those jams are often scintillating, with a slight mysterious lurch: had they been honed in and further fleshed out, they had the makings of blazing tunes. Underused lead vocalist Al Ferraro is a blue-eyed soul shouter along the lines of Steve Winwood, and the band is capable of cooking. Songs such as "Come and See Me" and "The Hutch" are giddy rushes, sounding for all they are worth like soundtracks to chase scenes from a '70s blaxploitation film -- and that's a compliment -- while "A.J.F." is an unjustly forgotten Latin soul gem. The epic 13-minute final cut, "My Main Woman," perhaps summarizes both Tangerine's abilities and excesses best. The song contains gorgeous passages of snaking guitar lines, hyper drumming, and rumbling bass, as well as joyous percussive parts, but those parts can go on far longer than taste would merit, thus losing the momentum and drive of the song for short spells before regaining its footing. Still, more often than not, The Peeling of Tangerine is a thrilling, propulsive album.

Track Listing

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