Herb Alpert ~ Bullish (1984)

Yes, Herb Alpert did indeed record an album in 1984 under the name Tijuana Brass for the first time in nine years -- and in fact, he took a Tijuana Brass contingent on tour that year with four of the original band members on hand. But this album has nothing to do with the old TJB, for the music is the same high-tech pop of the 1980s that Alpert had been mostly purveying since "Rise," and with synths galore, a frantic electronic dance beat on many numbers, and none of the original Brass on the sessions.

01. Bullish! (4:49)
02. Always have a dream (6:15)
03. Make a wish (4:35)
04. Maniac (3:51)
05. Struttin' on five (4:22)
06. Love without words (5:39)
07. Passion play (3:42)
08. Life is my song (6:27)


The New American Orchestra ~ Blade Runner

Orchestral adaptation of music composed for the motion picture by Vangelis

While Vangelis was relying almost exclusively on synthesizers and other electronic instruments, the new American Orchestra does it the old fashion way - the score was written for a jazz orchestra. Any attempts to compare the original soundtrack and orchestral rendition will do disservice to both, although I will always favor the orchestral arrangement. Some of the jazz licks that Vangelis incorporated into his music were often overshadowed by electronic effects. Here, through superb arrangements, they were nicely exploited using standard orchestral instruments. The real show stopper is "Blade Runner Blues" with a haunting trumpet solo. The synth technology has immensely advanced since 1982. Perhaps Vangelis could make some extra cash by re-arranging his music using cutting edge electronic instruments.
~Ars Nova~

01. Love Theme (4:16)
02. Main Title (5:05)
03. One More Kiss, Dear (4:02)
04. Memories Of Green (4:54)
05. End Title (4:18)
06. Blade Runner Blues (4:42)
07. Farewell (3:12)
08. End Title Reprise (3:05)


Esquivel ~ Other World Other Sounds (1958)

For his second American LP, released October 1958, Esquivelplays piano and provides arrangements not just for the 26-piece orchestra, but for the six-member Randy Van Horne Singers as well. The majority of the "singing" consists of various "zu," "ooh" and "ah" sounds, but that's all part of the charm. This three-day session was Esquivel's first opportunity to experiment with stereo recording. His dynamic use of the two-channel recording process is exciting and inventive. It's here that Esquivel's trademark sound starts to emerge. 'Course, most people probably bought the album because of the cosmic hottie on the cover and, I imagine, were amazed by Esquivel's quirky sound on first listen.

01 Granada
02 Begin The Beguine
03 Night And Day
04 Poinciana
05 Playfully
06 Adios
07 That Old Black Magic
08 Nature Boy
09 Magic Is The Moonlight
10 Speak Low
11 Ballerina
12 It Had To Be You
13 I Only Have Eyes For You
14 Anna (El Negro Zumbon)
15 Frenesi


Perez Prado ~ King of Mambo

Universally known as the King of the Mambo, Pérez Prado was the single most important musician involved in the hugely popular Latin dance craze.
Whether he actually created the rhythm is somewhat disputed, but it's abundantly clear that Prado developed it into a bright, swinging style with massive appeal for dancers of all backgrounds and classes.
Prado's mambo was filled with piercing high-register trumpets, undulating saxophone counterpoint, atmospheric organ (later on), and harmonic ideas borrowed from jazz. While his tight percussion arrangements allowed for little improvisation, they were dense and sharply focused, keeping the underlying syncopations easy for dancers to follow.
Prado played the piano, but was often more in his element as the focal point of the audience's excitement; he leaped, kicked, danced, shouted, grunted, and exhorted his musicians with a dynamic stage presence that put many more sedate conductors and bandleaders to shame.
With this blueprint, Prado brought mambo all the way into the pop mainstream, inspiring countless imitators and scoring two number one singles on the pop charts (albeit in a smoother vein than the fare that first made his name) as the fad snowballed.
He was a star throughout most of the Western Hemisphere during the '50s, and even after his popularity waned in the United States, he remained a widely respected figure in many Latin countries, especially his adopted home of Mexico. Prado is often best remembered for his softer, more commercial work, which has an undeniable kitschiness that plays well with modern-day lounge-revival hipsters.
Unfortunately, that has served to obscure his very real credentials in the realm of authentic, unadulterated Latin dance music, and to this day he remains somewhat under-appreciated.

01. Ciliegi Rosa (Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White) (2:26)
02. Mambo Jambo (Que Rico El Mambo) (2:21)
03. Patricia (2:21)
04. Mambo N. 5 (2:09)
05. Maria Bonita (2:47)
06. Mambo N. 8 (2:05)
07. Cu-cu-rru-cu-cu-paloma (2:52)
08. Isle Of Capri (1:48)
09. In A Little Spanish Town (2:33)
10. Adios Pampa Mia (2:06)
11. Moliendo Cafe (1:51)
12. Always In My Heart (2:44)
13. La Raspa (2:34)
14. Taboo (2:19)
15. Perfidia (2:33)
16. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps) (2:18)
17. Frenesi (2:01)
18. You Belong To My Heart (2:43)
19. Alma Llanera (2:24)
20. Aquello Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes) (3:02)
21. Rockambo Baby (1:41)
22. Ay Ay Ay (2:15)
23. Tico Tico (1:49)
24. Mama Yo Quiero (2:05)
25. Adios (3:13)