Ray Hamilton Ballroom Orchestra – It Takes Two To…Mambo (1996)

FrontCover1Mambo is a musical genre and dance style that developed originally in Cuba. The word mambo, similarly to other Afroamerican musical denominations such as conga, milonga, bomba, tumba, timba, samba, semba, bamba, bamboula, tambo, tango, cumbé, cumbia and candombe, denotes an African origin, particularly Congolese, because it displays certain characteristic combinations of sounds (such as mb, ng and nd) which belong to the Niger-Congo linguistic complex[citation needed]. In modern Swahili, the word mambo corresponds to the English phrase “Hey, what’s up?” The Oxford Online Dictionary lists mambo as Haitian-Creole from Yoruba meaning “voodoo priestess”.

Mambo is a Latin dance of Cuba. Mambo was invented during the 1930s by the native Cuban musician and composer Arsenio Rodríguez, developed in Havana by Cachao and made popular by Dámaso Pérez Prado and Benny Moré.

In the late 1940s, Perez Prado came up with the dance for the mambo music and became the first person to market his music as “mambo”, meaning “conversation with the gods” in the Kongo language, spoken by Congolese. After Havana, Prado moved his music to Mexico, where his music and the dance was adopted. The original mambo dance was characterized by freedom and complicated foot-steps. Some Mexican entertainers became well known dancers like Tongolele, Adalberto Martínez, Rosa Carmina, Tin Tan and Lilia Prado. Most of these accompanied Prado in live presentations or were seen in Mexican films.

The Seduction Dance

The mambo dance that was invented by Perez Prado and was popular in the 1940s and 50s in Cuba, Mexico City, and New York is completely different from the modern dance that New Yorkers now call ‘mambo’ and which is also known as salsa “on 2”. The original mambo dance contains no breaking steps or basic steps at all. The Cuban dance was not accepted by many professional dance teachers. Cuban dancers would describe mambo as “feeling the music”, in which sound and movement were merged through the body.[2] Professional dance teachers in the US saw this approach to dancing as “extreme”, “undisciplined”, and thus deemed it necessary to standardize the dance to present it as a salable commodity for the social and ballroom market.

The modern mambo dance from New York was popularized in the late 1960s into the 1970s by George Vascones, President of a dance group known as the Latin Symbolics (Bronx, New York). George Vascones continued the mambo dance tradition which started two decades earlier (Palladium era). It was followed in the 1980s by Eddie Torres, Angel Rodriguez of RazzM’Tazz Mambo Dance Company, and others, many of whom were 2nd generation New York Puerto Ricans. This style is sometimes danced to mambo music, but more often to salsa dura (old-school salsa). It is termed “mambo on 2” because the break, or direction change, in the basic step occurs on count 2. The Eddie Torres and Razz M’Tazz schools each have different basic steps, even though they share this same basic feature. Eddie Torres describes his version as a “street” style he developed out of what he saw on the Bronx streets. The RazzM’Tazz version is closer to the Palladium mambo (from the Palladium ballroom in the 1950s), whose basic step was in turn derived from Cuban son, with which it shares its timing (234 – 678, with pauses on 1 and 5) both styles derived from the American Mambo with the freestyle steps based on jazz and tap steps. (by wikipedia)


And here´s Mambo music recordes by the Ray Hamilton Ballroom Orchestra from UK … Unfortunately I found no information about the bandleader, Ray Hamilton … but here´s Mambo in the Easy Listening style, including the Paul McCartney song “Hope Of Deliverance” “Everytime We Touch” originally recorded by Maggie Reilly and the Michael Jackson hit “Heal The World”.

Ray Hamilton1

The Ray Hamilton Ballroom Orchestra


01. Hope Of Deliverance (McCartney) 3.08
02. Heal The World (Jackson) 4.06
03. Pappa Loves Mambo (Hofman) 2.56
04. Easy Mambo (Ruseler) 3.28
05. Mad About The Boy (Coward) 4.06
06. Mambo Italiano (Merill) 3.37
07. Yeh Yeh (Patricks/Giant) 2.59
08, Lost In Love (Roussos) 3.14
09. Wishing On A Star (Calvin) 3.42
10. Monday Mambo (Vosges) 3.02
11. Weather With You (Finn) 3.18
12. Everytime We Touch (Volker/Zauner) 3.59
13. Would I Lie To You (Deutsch) 3.56
14. Go Away (Estefan/Casa/Oswald) 3.58
15. Save The Best For Last (Thomas) 3.07