The Best of Perez Prado: The Original Mambo #5
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Far and away the first place to look for any perspective on the mambo king, The Best of Pérez Prado: The Original Mambo No. 5 works equally well for hit seekers, Latin archivists, and lounge fans who enjoy a tight band with a dynamic spectrum that ably competed with Duke Ellington, Esquivel, and Tito Puente. This, the first Prado compilation of any merit since a 1995 Rhino collection, outdistances any single-disc set with a lengthy runtime and a peerless survey that only begins with the mambo hits and extends to the orchestral experiments he and his band indulged in during the era of the Living Stereo LP. "Mambo No. 8," "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," and "Mambo No. 5" all appear early in the program, leaving time for four interesting inclusions from Latin Satin, two vocals for longtime Prado vocalist Beny Moré (another giant in Latin music), and such fascinating pieces as Prado's tribute to Walt Disney (a mambo version of "Heigh-Ho [The Dwarfs' Marching Song]").
Born: 11 December 1916 in Mantanzas, Cuba
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s