This mambo compilation covers just seven years, but its 1948-1955 spread is the period when the mambo was hottest, and all of its greatest names were recording seminal material. Pérez Prado is first up, as it should be, although when "Mambo No. 5" appears later in the program, it's not his version but Xavier Cugat's. The other three mambo greats -- Tito Puente, Machito, Noro Morales -- are also given chances to shine (sometimes two), but the balance of this Living Era compilation is given to pop or swing crossovers including Rosemary Clooney ("Mambo Italiano"), Perry Como ("Papa Loves Mambo"), Nat King Cole, Billy May, Dave Barbour, and others. As such, it may not be the mambo compilation to end all, but those looking for a snapshot of the period couldn't do better. And with 26 tracks, Mambo Jambo leaves plenty of room for hardcore mambo -- with bands led by Humberto Morales, René Hernández, Roberto Inglez, and Luis Arcaráz.