Edmundo Ros

Much Much Too Much 1941-1955

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The time line for Dutton Vocalion's Much Much Too Much dips back to 1941 near the beginning of Edmundo Ros' recording career, and samples his output through the year 1955. Ros participated in what was apparently his first recording session drumming with Fats Waller's Continental Rhythm at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London on August 21, 1938. As leader of his own dance band, Ros soon developed a knack for presenting Caribbean-styled music to the public -- and royalty -- of Great Britain. In addition to Ros, the vocalists heard on this collection have been identified as Inez de Carmen, Julie Dawn, Santiago Lopez, and Ronald Mazar. In and amongst more or less authentic Latin dance numbers there are cheeky pop tunes like "Take It Away" and "Her Bathing Suit Never Got Wet," and a version of "Stone Cold Dead in the Market," which was written by West Indian calypso king Wilmoth Houdini who, like Ros, hailed from Trinidad. For some reason, relatively few people have chosen to record this cheerfully sordid tale of domestic violence in which a battered woman beats her abusive husband to death with a frying pan. Perhaps the all-time definitive rendition was recorded for Decca by Ella Fitzgerald with Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five. Both Harlequin and Dutton Vocalion have released considerable quantities of material from Edmundo Ros' 35 years of record production. As it draws upon his earlier output, Much Much Too Much could be a good place to begin, although Harlequin's more intensive chronological approach enables the listener to follow the band's stylistic evolution more systematically.

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