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Mondo Mambo: Best of Perez Prado
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Latin Music
Damaso Pérez Prado was one of Latin music's most inventive bandleaders--literally, as he merged jazz elements with guaracha rhythms, creating the potent concoction known as mambo. The 20-track Mondo Mambo! gets Prado's two... more »
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Damaso Pérez Prado was one of Latin music's most inventive bandleaders--literally, as he merged jazz elements with guaracha rhythms, creating the potent concoction known as mambo. The 20-track Mondo Mambo! gets Prado's two biggest U.S. hits, the rather tame "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" (1955) and the ultratame "Patricia" (1958), out of the way quickly, the better to serve up track after classic track of blaring horns, deep-dish percussion, and shouted exhortations by the master himself. The great Beny More adds vocals to the beyond-torrid "Babarabatiri" and two other numbers, while Prado lays down some daring Monk-style pianistics on "Pianolo." (The disc also includes Prado's original "Mambo No. 5," which Lou Bega turned into a daffy smash in 1999.) --Rickey Wright
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Break out your puffed-sleeve shirt!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At times hilariously cheesy, with highly creative arrangements and rule-breaking Latin production for the 1950s that must have influenced Esquivel. Unlike Esquivel's (who used mambo riffs but was not playing mambo per se), Prado's band, like many other 1950s mambo outfits, can be maddeningly sloppy in rhythm, pitch, and tone. There must be high school swing bands in the suburbs of Buffalo that can now play some of these charts more accurately than Prado's professional band. So why buy it? It's great fun. It still sounds terrific despite the sloppy playing. It *was* influential on today's best and tightest salsa music, despite the downplay by critics who look down on it because it was watered-down jazz that had a strong niche popularity in its day with musically "uneducated" Americans who just fell in love with mambo. These guys need to loosen up and join in the conga line. And like other compilations by Rhino, it comes with a terrific booklet with a well-written essay (here by Peter Grendysa) and historical information about the recordings that put it a slot above other Prado compilations."
A great CD
steffan | 05/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Prado, of course, invented the Mambo. Really, he did. He took a straight angled big-band sound and twisted it into a crazy cauldron of repetetive rhythm, overlayed with intersecting horn solos and driven by a savage, primal heartbeat of bongo and conga drums. You hear Prado's work all the time, on waffle commercials, in the supermarket or in elevators in drab cheerless remixes. But in those places, it's robbed of the frenetic energy, the fantastic and infectious thunder that makes you want to DANCE!Without Perez, we'd have no Tito Puente, no Buena Vista Social Club, no Gloria Estefan. They all owe a tremendous debt to Prado's wild experiments.This album is a little heavy on the treble, so keep that in mind while playing, and set the equalizer accordingly. The songs are fantastic, there are no real stand alone favorites, I love them all."
Hot Cha Cha!
steffan | 07/13/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the revived interest in Latin music, not to mention the lounge revival, this album is a must. Coming from those wacky Rhino folks, this album features some catchy, kitschy tunes like "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" but also some fine sampling of traditional mambo. And with vocalists like Benny More and Rosemary Clooney, you can't go wrong. No hep cat should be without it."