Tonto's Expanding CD
Who is Tonto? Sure, he’s the Lone Ranger’s sidekick…but for electronic music fans, Tonto is T.O.N.T.O., or The Original New Timbral Orchestra, still the largest multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer in the world. “Multitimbral” means the instrument can play simultaneous notes with different tone quality, and in the hands of synthesizer designer Malcolm Cecil and producer Robert Margouleff, Tonto was featured by Stevie Wonder on such classic ‘70s albums as Music of My Mind, Talking Book and Innervisions as well as on albums by Weather Report, Stephen Stills, Quincy Jones, Steve Hillage and many other artists. But the Tonto legend got started right here, on this 1971 release from the Embryo label, and despite its huge influence on popular and electronic music, this reissue—featuring Malcolm Cecil’s own remastering from the original analog tapes—marks its first domestic release on CD (a foreign release came and went in a heart beep, er, beat). Richie Unterberger’s notes explore the Tonto phenomenon and legend.