VA – Ultra-Lounge Vol. 2: Mambo Fever (1996)

VA - Ultra-Lounge Volume 2: Mambo Fever (1996)
Artist: Various
Album: Ultra-Lounge Vol. 2: Mambo Fever
Label: Capitol Records
Year Of Release: 1996
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)

01. Don Swan & His Orchestra – Hooray For Hollywood (Cha-Cha) (2:35)
02. Jackie Davis – Mañana (Is Soon Enough For Me) (2:33)
03. Jack Constanzo & His Orchestra – Peter Gunn Mambo (2:27)
04. Louis Oliveria And His Bandodalua Boys – Chihuahua (2:18)
05. The John Buzon Trio – I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me (2:22)
06. Dave Barbour – Mambo Jambo (Que Rico El Mambo) (3:01)
07. The Twin Pianos Of Henri Rose & Bobby Stevenson – Cumaná (3:12)
08. Yma Sumac – Taki Rari (1:51)
09. Van Alexander & His Orchestra – Way Down Yonder In New Orleans Mambo (2:26)
10. Don Swan & His Orchestra – El Cumbanchero (Guaracha-Fast Rhumba) (2:02)
11. Chuy Reyes & His Orchestra – Oink, Oink Mambo (3:11)
12. The John Buzon Trio – Diga Diga Doo (2:07)
13. Billy May’s Rico Mambo Orchestra – Hernando’s Hideaway (2:20)
14. Don Swan & His Orchestra – Tico Tico (Samba) (2:31)
15. Jackie Davis – Glow Worm Cha-Cha-Cha (2:24)
16. Yma Sumac – Malambo #1 (2:56)
17. Jack Constanzo & His Orchestra – Can-Can Overture (2:14)
18. Terry Snyder – Oye Negra (2:38)


When Latin bandleaders popularized mambo in the early 1950s, this set many pop and big band acts scrambling to get in on the action. Mambo Fever, part two of Capitol’s Ultra-Lounge series, takes 18 such examples from the vaults, spanning the mid-’50s to the early ’60s. Yma Sumac (an exotica singer, not a bandleader) and Billy May are the only readily recognizable names on this compilation, which is akin to hearing competent, somewhat Whited-out derivations of Perez Prado. There are odd touches like Sumac’s high-frequency warbles, John Buzon’s roller-rink organ runs, and the sheer silliness of Chuy Reyes’ “Oink, Oink Mambo.” But the results are oddly similar, on one level, to hearing some White bands try to play the blues–in comparison to the most genuine article, it’s somewhat sanitized for broader consumption. That’s not to deny its considerable fun (if lightweight) qualities; this usually works up respectable heat, in addition to evoking the slightly kitschy ’50s mentality that is a necessary ingredient of the space age pop revival.

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