There are two excellent Edmundo Ros collections named for Perez Prado's "Mambo Jambo", which was originally called "Que rico el mambo" (Sonny Burke changed the title on his recording of the tune in 1950). Harlequin's "Mambo Jambo", which appeared in early 2001, is a 51 track 2 CD set composed entirely of records dating from 1949 and '50. It should not be confused with the single-disc Naxos "Mambo Jambo" which holds 20 tracks and casts a wider net by touching upon most of Ros' first decade of recording activity (1941-1950). Whoever oversaw the tune selection on the Naxos disc made some good choices, for this is an enjoyable sampling that conveys much of what is best about the musicality and topical variety of his early output. Ros was very adept at putting across songs which described social customs and curious patterns of behavior. "Money, Money, Money" was also recorded by U.S. jazzman and surrealist hipster Slim Gaillard, who made the most of its ironic lyrics. Harry Warren and Mack Gordon's "I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi" was popularized by Carmen Miranda and Ros on both sides of the Atlantic, and even showed up in modified form on radio broadcasts by Charlie and his Orchestra, a big band harnessed to Nazi Germany's Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment. The Naxos "Mambo Jambo" collection is recommended as a sensibly proportioned introduction to Edmundo Ros, Britain's highly successful master of the Samba, the Calypso, the Conga, the Marcha, the Rumba and the Son.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf