Edmundo Ros

Dancing with Edmundo/Heading South of the Border

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In 2007, Dutton Vocalion reissued two Edmundo Ros albums in a combination that epitomizes his approach to popular music during the 1960s. Dancing with Edmundo came out in 1960, and is packed with relatively authentic Latin American entertainments. In addition to standard issue cha-cha-chas and romantic rhumbas, the paso doble is represented as a dynamic or dramatic galop, with the "Spanish Gypsy Dance" tapping into what sound a bit like ska rhythms. What really steams up the first half of this compilation are the sambas. "Brasil," in fact, is the essential samba template that Xavier Cugat and Edmundo Ros popularized during the middle of the 20th century. Other fine examples of the Ros approach to samba in 1960 are "Lua do Brasil," "Rio Brasil," and "Copacabana." Originally released in 1970, Heading South of the Border is typical of many entries in the Phase 4 Stereo catalog, in that much of its playlist consists of Top 40 hits which have undergone emulsification through the use of formulaic arrangements. Robby Krieger's "Light My Fire" retains its groove as the song itself is quite conducive to this kind of treatment, while Paul Simon's "Mrs. Robinson" sounds reasonable as a samba, and Jimmy Webb's "Up, Up and Away" takes on positively analgesic properties under these conditions. The most substantial cover of this lightweight '60s pop tune was done up in live performance at the Whiskey A Go Go by Hugh Masekela in 1967. Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" works almost as well as the version on Roland Kirk's album "Volunteered Slavery." Ros crosses over into weirder territory with a carefully constructed cover of Whistling Jack Smith's "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman," a Latin pop treatment of Waldteufel's famous "Skater's Waltz," and a bizarre interpretation of "Hey Jude," which mutates into a march worthy of Gomer Pyle.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:09
2
2:17
3
2:21
4
2:09
5
2:03
6
1:57
7
2:23
8 2:13
9
2:09
10
2:13
11
2:02
12
2:10
13
2:01
14
1:59
15
1:59
16
2:21
17
2:28
18
2:32
19 2:18
20 3:07
21
2:06
22
2:39
23
2:23
24
2:32
25
2:16
26 2:48
27 3:27
28 2:35
blue highlight denotes track pick