As members of Bangor Flying Circus, guitarist Alan De Carlo and singer/keyboardist David "Hawk" Wolinski recorded a decent 1969 album for ABC Dunhill. When that outfit folded in 1970, the pair elected to continue their partnership as the Chicago-based Madura with the addition of drummer Ross Salomone.
Finding a sponsor in the form of James William Guerico (who'd enjoyed considerable success with The Buckinghams and The Chicago Transit Authority), the trio subsequently won a contract with Columbia Records. With Guerico producing, at least to my ears much of 1971's "Madura" sounded like an early Chicago album though thankfully without the irritating horns.
With all three members sharing writing duties (there was one outside cover), the collection bounced around between pop ('I Think I'm Dreaming'), FM-oriented rock ('Drinking No Wine'), jazzy interludes (''My Love is Free'), and more experimental excursions ('Hawk Piano'). These guys were clearly quite talented. Wolinski had a nice voice that sounded a bit like a cross between Chicago's Terry Kath and Robert Lamm, (he also played a mean Hammond organ).
De Carlo also had a decent voice and a knack for spinning off catchy jazz-tinged solos. While there were several strong compositions, allowing the trio to stretch out over four sides was probably a mistake since it forced them to fill up lots of space with poorly deigned jams and experimentation ('Plain as Day').
Hard to imagine Columbia, or any major label allowing a new band to debut with a double album, nineteen track set in this day and age . A second album recorded in 1972 and released early 1973 before the band split and each one of the members took their own road.
1. Livin' in America (Madura, J.W. Guercio, T. Kath) - 5:04
2. Doctor Honornis Causa (Joseph Zauinul) - 8:25
3. I'm in the Mood for Love (Jimmy Mc Hugh, Dorothy Fields) - 1:39
4. If You Got the Dime (David Wolinski) - 4:10
5. First Time (David Wolinski) - 2:46
6. My Favorite Things (Richard Rogers, Oscar Hammerstein) - 2:26
7. Windy One (David Wolinski) - 3:45
8. Stagger Lee (H. Logan, L. Price) - 3:43
9. Save the Miracle (David Wolinski) - 4:24
*David "Hawk" Wolinski - Keyboards, Vocals
*Alan DeCarlo - Guitar, Vocals
*Ross Salomone - Drums, Vocals
*Terry Kath - Bass
*Robert Lamm - Piano
*Lee Loughane - Trumpet
*James Pankow - Trombone
*Walter Parazaider - Saxophone
*Wayne Shorter - Sax (Tenor)
*Joe Zawinul - Keyboards
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