Edmundo Ros

Ros Mambos/Ros Album of Sambas

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In 2004, Dutton Vocalion reissued two vintage albums of Latin American-styled dance music by Edmundo Ros on one collection, for a total of 28 titles. Both albums feature perky vocals interspersed with pleasantly invigorating instrumentals. Ros Mambos (tracks 1-14) dates from 1955, and is the more exciting of the two. Hot tracks include "Cuca," "Merry Mambo," "Mambo in F," "Mambo Negro," "Chivo Rico," and Pérez Prado's "Mambo No. 5." Ros Album of Sambas came out in 1956 and seems rather tame by comparison. Using a sort of Carmen Cavallaro approach, Ros sustains some of the friendly fire, particularly during "Samba Rhapsody," "Voila Voila," and "Paraquedista." Points of marginal interest are the kiddie-oriented "Nursery Samba," a solid-enough rendition of the calypso standard "Mary Ann," and a "Wedding Samba." What pulls the Ros Album of Sambas down a notch is the inclusion of topical inanities like "Yankee Doodle Samba" and the very stupid "Square Dance Samba."

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