Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Mr Mambo himself, Cachao, died recently. The mambo is one of those things that's been around for so long that it's hard to believe that someone actually invented it, and that this person was living amongst us until very recently. But he was. I had the good fortune of seeing Cachao perform live a couple of times: once, he performed a few tunes on piano - his usual instrument was bass - including an incredible version of "Guantanamera" (are there any bad versions?) that was pure old-school Cubano ala Ruben Gonzalez of Buena Vista Social Club fame. I also attended a big all-star Latin music tribute to the still-smokin' octogenarian at the Universal Ampitheater hosted by actor Andy Garcia, the dude responsible for the exhilarating '90s recording "Ahora Si" from whence comes this sizzling descarga:

Queja africana, protesta abakua

Both Soul-Sides and Beware of the Blog posted songs of his that I was gonna post, complete with erudite, educational text. But do they have as many goofy '50s/'60s mambo novelty records as I do? I thought not. So, as a M4M tribute to el maestro:

Mickey Katz: "My Yiddishe Mambo" - ripped from out-of-print vinyl.
Bill Haley & His Comets: "Mambo Rock" - from "Rock Around The Clock"
Dean Martin "Mambo Italiano" - from "
Dino: The Essential Dean Martin"
Perez Prado: "Cuban Rock" - from the King of the Mambo's groovy '60s-a-go-go album "Mambo Rock" comes this baffling psychedelic meltdown.

Buenos noches, maestro...


Anonymous said...

"She's baking a challas for Noro Morales." Love that.

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