Perez Prado

Perez Prado

Mambo music is a spectacular form of jazz popular in Latin America.  In the mambo world only one man had earned the nick name of “The Mambo King” and he is Perez Prado.  I was originally turned onto Perez Prado by a coworker from El Savador who had been turned onto him by his wife who is from Puerto Rico, so they aren’t lying when they say this stuff is from Latin America.  To be specific Perez Prado is from Cuba.  His was making music during the hay days of Cuba, back before Kennedy wrecked it, back when the Tropicana was in full swing and all the American gangsters used to go down there to spend their ill gotten gains, you know, the good old days.

For those not familiar with mambo music it is quite lively and happy, it makes you want to tap your feet and let out a guttural “huh!”.  Perez Prado’s music ranges from instrumentals fit for any high end leisure lounge of yore, like one you’d hear in a James Bond film, I can picture these instrumentals being played in the background as Bond walks into a Mexico City lounge to meet up with a top secret spy(whom happens to be a gorgeous Brazilian) but after only about 2 minutes of flirtatious banter some local hired hands try to muscle Bond out of the scene and a huge brawl takes place, these songs would be perfect for such a situation.  Then there’s the other side of Perez Prado where he sings and the instrumentation has a more traditional Latin big band sound.  A sound you could picture hearing driving through a older neighborhood of some type of Latin heritage.

Fortunately for us there is a ton of Perez Prado material available in the form of various collections and compilations.  This is real Latin music, so expect most if not all of the lyrics to be sung in Spanish although much of his music is purely instrumental so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue for those who don’t like listening to songs they “can’t understand”.  Either way you’re in for a feast for your ears if you indulge yourself in some Perez Prado recordings.

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