Grammy winner Malcom Cecil guests on Celebration, Florida

Grammy winning producer and jazz pioneer Malcom Cecil featured on Celebration, Florida

The Felice Brothers recieved contributions on their highly anticipated release Celebration, Florida from Grammy Award winning Jazz, bass and synth pioneer, Malcolm Cecil on the track “Oliver Stone”.

Synthesizer pioneers comprise a fairly small, if exclusive, club, but in both arts, technology & music circles, few have achieved the status of Malcolm Cecil & TONTO. For those unaware, TONTO’s Expanding Head Band were an influential electronic music duo from the 1970s conceived by Cecil and Robert Margouleff, two Grammy-winning musicians and sound designers.

TONTO itself is an acronym for “The Original New Timbral Orchestra”, the world’s first (and still largest) multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer, designed and constructed by Cecil. Its warm, rich timbres were particularly noteworthy and still cannot be recreated by the current breed of MIDI digital synthesizers and samplers. TONTO has been in the private ownership of Cecil since 1975 when Margouleff left the Head Band; currently TONTO is alive and well and resides in its own studio in upstate New York close to Woodstock.

TONTO’s Expanding Head Band’s first recording, “Zero Time”, was released in 1971 and attracted the attention of many leading artists of that era because of the unique, warm, musical sounds that TONTO was capable of generating. Chief among those artists was Stevie Wonder, whose involvement with TONTO started with “Music of My Mind” and continued through “Talking Book”, “Innervisions”, “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” and the Spike Lee movie “Jungle Fever”, all projects which featured Margouleff and Cecil as associate producers, engineers and programmers. Indeed, the remainder of the 70s and 80s featured TONTO on albums from Quincy Jones, Bobby Womack, The Isley Brothers, Gil Scott-Heron and Weather Report, among others. Many of these acts The Felice Brothers have professed inspiration from in the past.

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Cecil contributed synth and synth horns for the track “Oliver Stone”. Tonto became most prominent in pop music circles, when Stevie wonder used Cecil and TONTO on his album Innervisions , ushering in electronica to mainstream pop, most notably with the hit song “Superstition”.

Celebration, Florida comes out May 10th, 2011. Pre-order it now!

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