The Mambo:

From that distant day of 1950 when the great Cuban singer Benny Morè wondered in the song he composed "Locas por el Mambo" who was the father of Mambo this dilemma continues to affect dozens of musicologists and thousands of fans throughout the world.

Perez Prado
According to the lyrics of this merit was recognized by Perez Prado, at that time star of first magnitude of Latin music as well as conductor of the orchestra in which he sang Benny Morè. Despite that argument seems to have been accepted over the years as good many doubts with the passage of time came to undermine the attribution of this thwarted fatherhood.

By the time the alleged fathers of Mambo multiplied filling with confusion and uncertainty about the origins of this rhythm. Artist names that appear in this controversy are mainly those of Perez Prado, Arsenio Rodriguez and Lopez brothers. The same term Mambo was analyzed in an attempt to better define the musical concept. Worth it to start from here, through the words of certain scholars and those directly involved, to trace the history of Mambo.

Benny Morè
The word Mambo is of uncertain etymology, although it is undoubtedly his African origin with reference to congo.
According to the musicologist Odilio Urfè pole Mambo is a rhythm of African origin fell into disuse. Arsenio Rodriguez deepens further the musical sense of the word by stating: "the descendants of the congo play music called ' Tambor de yuca. In the alternation of the voices of the singers that follow the rhythm I inspired me to create the base of Mambo. A singer says to another ' mambo ' which means ' Open cuto güirí Abre listen up and listen to what I'm about to tell you. The idea came out of necessity; I thought combining these things could come out of an interesting music to dance to. The first song that I composed in this style was ' Yo soy Gangà ' in 1938 and the first Diablo or Mambo who recorded was ' So caballo ' of 1943. "

Arsenio Rodriguez and his Band

Israel Cachao Lopez argues that the word Mambo he meant story, tale and was used in a musical context in the event that you wanted to sing a story Sung to a child as a lullaby. His use of the word in its composition "Mambo" of 1937 is to emphasize the creation of a new story, a new sincopa in danzon. Arcanum was fond of saying his musicians "mil veces Mambo!" (I want a thousand Mambo!) asking his musicians to improvise.

Perez Prado did not recognise any musical meaning to the word and use only by Convention. The Mambo over the years assumed in its meaning also that taken in the United States especially Jazz instrumental development. For Tito Puente Latin Jazz was synonym of Mambo instrumental.

The history of Mambo honors is traced back to the composition "Mambo" brothers Lopez composed in 1937 when both were active in the orchestra Arcano y sus Maravillas. This orchestra danzonera gave the possibility to the brothers Lopez to experiment with the Danzon introducing in the latter part of the same variation in the form of rhythmic cell that was inspired by a montuno son. Almost simultaneously Arsenio Rodrigues also introduced him to a new Son montuno who called Diablo and which according to many scholars bore itself and further developments of the Mambo. In the following years with the advent of jazzband in Cuba other orchestras are experimenting with the Mambo. Among these stood out to Julio Cueva, for arrangements of Rene Hernandez. Another musical genius, the pianist Bebo Valdes had long made up Mambo. Then arrives on the scene with his triumphs since Mexico Perez Prado Mambo which in fact since then conquers the world.

The Mambo then will have yet another interesting story with the period at the Palladium in New York thanks to the orchestras of Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez. How many fathers for a creature!
Now we must ask ourselves if we wanted to clarify a few questions.
Who is the inventor a rhythm?
We must agree on the meaning of the definition. To go into detail we have to ask ourselves whether the Mambo invented it:
1) the first that introduced an original rhythmic then followed by others?
2) the first who composed a song about Mambo classifying it as such?
3) the first who disseminated in forms that have made him popular?
4) he that more approaches with its sound to the idea that we have of Mambo?
Let's go with order.

In the first case the creator of Mambo's Orestes Lopez who, along with his brother Cachao introduced Danzon a rhythmic original. In 1937 the Lopez Brothers make up "Mambo" danzon de ritmo nuevo. At that time, militated in the orchestra of Arcane where composed Danzon with Felix Reina and Enrique Jorrin, the future inventor of cha cha cha. A musical "Mambo" from elementary logic Orestes Lopez is a new pace in all respects as varied (I daresay revolutionizes) the order of things in a composition. Changing the entire last part of a Danzon and introducing an original rhythmic drew a variation that ordered the compositional logic Danzon in a completely different way. It is no coincidence that since then no more you dreamed to continue composing Danzon in a traditional manner and this opened the way to many other changes including the subsequent advent of Cha Cha Cha. Besides, if you look at the history of Cuban music, one realizes that this proceeds to changes or variations within open shapes (Son, Danzon with all their derivatives) and combinations of different genres and musical rhythms. Creating their "Danzon de ritmo nuevo" brothers Lopez could also introduce sincopa in Cuban popular music. Before them, with the exception of rhythmic cells tresillo and Cuban music had in the Contradanza cinquillo, tresillo, and syncopation but not sincopa.

In the second hypothesis you could opt for Perez Prado since many argue that passage of the brothers Lopez was still classified as Danzon. A couple of considerations disassemble this hypothesis. First we must say that the history of Cuban music provides us with examples of how a new rhythm has not been earlier referred to by his real name made subsequently (emblematic is the case of the first Cha Cha Cha "enganadora" was rated by its author e. Jorrin like Rumba-Mambo). With this in mind we can also find the first composition composed and recorded as Mambo but it would be better to follow our ear we will indicate what is Mambo from what isn't having as a reference the final part of the song "Mambo" brothers Lopez. Secondly, but no less importantly, we must consider that the first compositions by Perez Prado Mambo classified date back to 1949. Earlier in the period ranging from 1945 to 1947 are traceable compositions classified as Mambo and compositions that are to all intents such as "Mambo Mambo No. 2 "by Miguelito Valdes," Rareza del siglo "by Bebo Valdes. Without forgetting the work of Rene Hernandez and Noro Morales or Pupi Campo and Moncho Usera, in short than it already was Mambo music environment before the arrival on the scene of Perez Prado.

Mexican dancer Resortes
Mexican dancer Resortes
The third hypothesis we must recognize that without Perez Prado Mambo today probably would not even talk. It was he who impersonifico ' better than anyone 50 years of mambo fever. The why is obvious: in the years between 1949 and 1952 Prado arrived in Mexico participates in some thirty films that amazingly popolarizzarono his Mambo. It was the golden age of Mexican cinema and films which drew North American Musical tradition imposed on Mambo. The beauty of actress Amalia Aguilar, the acrobatic skills of great Mexican dancer Resortes and wonderful music by Perez Prado crossed the boundaries of Mexico due to the widespread dissemination of Mexican cinematography across the American continent. It's not by chance that the major record companies of the time saw in Perez Prado the horse to bet on, and they have chosen as Ambassador to that pace. Let's not forget also that RCA Victor made available by Perez Prado the most advanced techniques of engraving which carried noticeably featured winds causing a revolution to listen not indifferent. It is a phenomenon comparable to the techniques of engraving of the sauce that much changed even those sounds. It must be said also that Perez Prado Mambo popularized a much different than invented by Cachao. Could not be otherwise: it should be noted also that since mid-40 the Mambo had two methods: the Mambo Kaen (slow) and Mambo Batiri (fast) with arrangers and composers are older than the Prado.

All orchestras are 40 orchestras over the years peak formed Jazz bands with three or four trumpets playing in unison and a lot of sax. If I have an example I will mention the orchestra of Julio Cueva as a laboratory for Mambo as its Director had played with American Jazz orchestras and knew the language of Jazz and knew how to adapt it to Cuban rhythms as also did later Mario Bauza, giving rise to the birth of Latin Jazz. From this heritage and with these influences arose the Mambo by Perez Prado. However, we can not award him the paternity of the Mambo as ultimately Perez Prado not transformed no rhythmic and what innovated (orchestral format and the frantic pace) has nothing to do with creating a rhythm. If you take a composition in a given musical rhythm and his racket for orchestra or if it makes a musical adaptation that involves other instruments ceases to be that pace there? Moreover, the creator of Mambo license I would never recognize it's in Cuba or in New York where he intended to Mambo. Besides, if as has been pointed out the term Mambo existed because Perez Prado would not give a different name to a hypothetical new rhythm? The only plausible explanation is that he himself realized to fit into a story to him earlier. It is not likely that has adopted the term for riding a commercial success that Mambo still had not. The success of Mambo coincided with his time in Mexico. One more reason to choose another name if he had created something different.

The fourth hypothesis we enter the field of questionable since each of us may have different ideas about it. Some will see in Perez Prado the Mambo Kings and others will see Tito Puente. Matter of sensitivity training and education to listening. Do you think that in the United States where they were having fun and still have fun at squeezed in crowns and Thrones to this and that artist in popular referendums Tito Puente detronizzo ' Perez Prado as "Mambo Kings" in 1956. Moreover what was the Latin Jazz of Machito or Tito Puente if not a Mambo instrumental?
What are the sounds of Mambo that best identify him?
The response can be subjective but cannot be separated from the historical development and the evolution of a rhythm or musical genre. Even if we analyse the Son as to any genre or musical rhythm it is difficult to indicate the sounds that identify him. Will be those of the trio Matamoros, Arsenio Rodriguez or Sonora Matancera? Or all together? If I say this is actually the better to emphasize one thing both the rhythm and else both the orchestration and arrangements.

To finish I would like to return to the initial topic of the article, and more specifically those concerning the attribution of authorship to Perez Prado Mambo by Benny Morè in a famous song composed by him. It is a fact that Perez Prado never had in his orchestra a star of that magnitude capable even to darken his reputation. One thing is certain: the artistic partnership lasted just over a year ago launched into orbit both. Why Benny Morè came out or was dumped by Perez Prado orchestra we can not know. After him, Perez Prado chose a good vocalist (Aurelio Yeyo Estrada) as singer of his orchestra to finally choose a via instrumental to his mambo. Some stories say that the businessmen of the orchestra continued to sell advertising as a singer Benny Morè even when already was out of the lineup. Soon after Benny Morè joined the orchestra of Bebo Valdes one of the first to experiment with Mambo (compounding that ed theme) in an earlier era attempts by Perez Prado. Even after Benny Morè founded his Giant orchestra and reaches its highest point of artistic expression and popular success; Perez Prado instead will undertake in the years following a road of decline that will be remedied with the sterile not multiply its ephemeral inventions around the Mambo. This story of the inventor of the Mambo caused considerable bitterness in Perez Prado was not ever recognize this merit neither in Cuba nor in New York for precise musicological and historical reasons. Unfortunately for him, this story of the "Mambo Kings" cost him many sorrows to Perez Prado. The biggest came from the brother who turned this story into a farce by operetta. He moved in Italy Pantaleon Perez Prado himself "Mambo Kings" and sold his concerts by pretending to be his brother. Damaso Perez Prado was angry to the point that the sued winning it. By a twist of fate when Pantaleon died Damaso was survived by all the newspapers he read that he was dead the "Mambo Kings".

I wouldn't get into conjecture stating that Benny Morè the crowed to Perez Prado to get on his good side. Benny Morè was aware of his greatness. Ultimately I find it quite natural that Benny Morè sang him his conductor in form of tribute. But I do not believe that is enough to prove the paternity of the Mambo.

Claudio Marucci

Recent Posts

Stefano Zalin

Biography of Stefano Zalin Stefano Zalin Dj of Latin American music since 2003, I have taken the first steps in…

2 years ago

Biografia di Alessandro Zennaro ( Gomez dj )

Ahmed Zahran Dj to Latin American music from ... By November 2016 I collaborate with Independent consultant

2 years ago


Fancy name that conceals a historical figure of the dj scene of Latin music in the veneto region of the…

2 years ago

Gino Brigida

Gino Brigida (Gino Producer) started in 2006 as a dj in a small Latin nightclub in the Centre of Genoa…

2 years ago

Bachata Top 20

Top 20 November 2016-The Bachatas more heard and ballads in the USA and SANTO DOMINGO By LASESTEREO STAFF 1-PRINCE ROYCE-LA…

2 years ago

“MARI NOBRE” new song “VIDA” singolo candidato ai Grammy Latino 2017

VIDA The new single of Mari Nobre Vida is the new song by Latin pop with which the artist Mari…

2 years ago