Edmundo Ros

Latin Melodies/Standards à La Ros

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In 2004, Dutton Vocalion reissued two of the many albums recorded by Edmundo Ros during the mid-'50s: Latin Melodies and Standards à la Ros. Both appear to date from 1956, the same year as Ros' Calypsos, Baions, and Sambas. In and amongst the vocal tracks on Latin Melodies, Ros and his orchestra perform a series of friendly instrumentals, including the hot dance "Cumana," the slow dance "High in Sierra," "La Comparsa," which he first recorded for Decca in 1948, and "Cerisier Rouge et Pommier Blanc," which sounds an awful lot like "Frenesi." Ros also revived "Valencia," a tune popularized back in the '20s by Paul Whiteman. The second LP's worth of material on this pleasant little disc consists of jazz standards and show tunes. "Alice Blue Gown" and "Tenderly" are played using practically the same arrangement, "On the Sunny Side of the Street" comes out as a cha-cha and "Yes! We Have No Bananas" gets run through Ros' trusty samba machine. There is an unusually brisk and rhythmically charged reading of Harry Warren's "You'll Never Know," which is conventionally presented as a wistful romantic ballad. While Sigmund Romberg's "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" and Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love" are each delivered with languid elegance, Ros shatters the calm by trundling out Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake's lively "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and the old ham-handed vaudeville relic "Ma (He's Making Eyes at Me)," which is hammered home with a corny group vocal.

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