Lenny White: Mating Drive
Lenny White (drums)
Venusian Summer (Wounded Bird WOU 435)
Lenny White (drums),
Ray Gomez, Doug Rodrigues (guitars), Larry Young (organ), Onaje Allan Gumbs (keyboards), Doug Rauch (bass).
Composed by Lenny White.
Recorded: New York, August 1975
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
This performance was recorded while Lenny White was still an active member of Return to Forever. "Mating Drive" is an unrepentant riff-fest. White's proclivity to funk things up is totally absent. The tune opens with some atmospherics probably provided by the combination of Allan and Young on keyboards, who could make their instruments do some crazy things back in the day. White backs them with a rapid pulse beat. A melody is presented for a second or two and then dispensed with. Guitarists Gomez and Rodrigues go at it tooth and nail. Many times their unison lines sound like a single electric violinist. This sound was very "in" at the time. A great treat is to hear the legendary organist Larry Young on this unadulterated fusion paean. He plays a more straight-ahead organ on "Mating Drive," which is quite a digression from his other recordings during this period. What a player! This tune is principally made of one outrageous mantra-like riff after another. Good stuff!
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky