Saturday, July 16, 2016


I can trace my cognition of Pérez Prado to a precise moment. I was in an independent movie house, the type that shows art flicks, foreign movies and cult favorites. You know the type. Late nights, subtitles and a whole lot of head scratching. Don't get too stoned at intermission or you may fall asleep during a long scene, that type. The movie that was showing was Fellini's La Dolce Vita. All things pointed to interesting: Italian, black and white, 1960, with Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. I'd seen stills and it had a particular coolness. In one party scene, the revelers encourage a woman to strip, and someone suggests "Patricia" as the background music. The juxtaposition was memorable.

After viewing it, among all the things that I came away with, and there were many, was a name added to the list. You know, the list. I didn't know his name yet, but that was when I first heard his music. When I finally heard "Patricia" (on the radio of all places), I had a name, Pérez Prado. He's been hanging around here ever since.

One thing I like about Pérez Prado is his well timed grunt-like "huuh!". He seems to love it. It's not in every song, but it is something he often does, and after you've heard it in a few songs it becomes almost comical. Another thing about Prado is that, although he was known for his mambos (hence the "huuh!"), he was not above doing things a little tweaked. There's often an element or two that are just a little bit exaggerated. Dig "Tabu". The trumpeter must have just got his first mute. It's as if he's trying to wear it out in one song. The other song to check is "Circle". It's credited to him, but it's hard to believe. His son led his band after he retired and given the songs vintage, around 1970, it may be his son's doing. Regardless, it's like a theme song to a cop show, done by a band of Italian session musicians, like only 1970-era Italian session musicians can. Like some sort of funky Spaghetti Wrecking Crew.

Pérez Prado - Patricia (streaming) at YouTube
Pérez Prado - Tabu mp3 at Super Sonido
Pérez Prado - Circle mp3 at 45 Giri a Porta Portese
Pérez Prado - Sexomania mp3 at Office Naps
Pérez Prado - Tico Tico mp3 at Beware of the Blog

No comments: