Keeping the Ideal of the Human Animal Alive: Perez Prado, Voodoo Suite

While I catch up on some productive writing for "the projects," here’s something to hopefully brighten your Friday.

This is from the 1956 film Cha Cha Boom with Perez Prado playing himself. The music, Voodoo Suite, is the entire first side of the album by the same name and while the sample below is only 6:35 the original runs 23 minutes. It’s awesome. I have it in my collection.

Of course, half of that would be considered "degrading" to women, nowadays. And that by-the-hair deal on Sylvia Lewis soon after shredding her skirt? The horror.

We’re "civilized," now. Yay!

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  1. jose marti on March 25, 2011 at 12:12

    Yes indeed. Perez Prado composed this suite, like almost everything else while living in Mexico, where the mambo craze was as hot as in New York. It has always been a contentious issue who invented the mambo. The New Yorkers claim it was either Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and even Machito and his afrocubans. For us hispanics it will always be Perez Prado who also composed many other nice songs like “Patricia”, etc. This has brought great memories since I used to dance in my childhood Prado’s music with my mother. Now you have to practice your mambo skills!

    • William on March 25, 2011 at 12:43

      And of course Cachao sometimes gets credited as well.

      Really glad to see a Perez Prado reference in this blog. Made my day.

    • RedCat on March 27, 2011 at 00:28

      Una pregunta: What do you mean by “hispanics”? What group/nationality of people are you refering to as being “hispanic”?

      As far as I have known it to be: Puente, Rodriguez, and Machito, when they are in the United States, are considered to be Hispanic, too. Basically, the Hispanics are those who are rooted in a Spanish-speaking culture from the “new world.”

  2. Kari Barber on March 25, 2011 at 12:17

    Degrading to women? Ha! She was in control at all times and loving every minute of it. I hate how our modern culture is so quick to tell us women that we’re victims. As a 36 year old who wasn’t around for the politically incorrect old days, it strikes me funny that movies from those eras, with their stricter rules about nudity and sex onscreen, were often way sexier than anything we put out on HBO. Anyway, thanks for posting Richard!

    • Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2011 at 12:22

      You totally get it, donchta Kari?

      The women’s movement has only accomplished in giving women political power (and only for those who seek it) — and I think it has been at the enormous, tragic expense of far greater power in many ways.

  3. William on March 25, 2011 at 12:47

    Talk about primal…talk about degradation…check this out: Fela from 1971 (Nigeria).

    Can’t get enough of this one!

    • RedCat on March 27, 2011 at 00:20

      Their bodies are beautiful! I betcha Fela and his dancers/band didn’t go to a gym to look that way: probably had a lot to do with how they ate, and daily “movement.” Look at Fela’s body — it’s lean and well-toned…heck, all their bodies are lean and well-toned. When the women are dancing their solos, you can see the muscles in their flat stomachs.

  4. Becky on March 26, 2011 at 19:25

    I feel degraded as a woman, definitely (but not by that video). “Civilized” culture has taken away the inequality that makes the mating game work. Soft, alluring, yet wickedly powerful female testing a potential mate for his own strength. What purpose is there in reproducing with a male I can best? Will he be able to protect my children if I can kick his ass? But if he can overpower me, boy oh boy, he’s got the good genes. Gotta get me some o’ those.

    That video was [amazing/sexy/intriguing/enlightening] on so many levels. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kari Barber on March 27, 2011 at 07:36

      Preach on, Sista!

    • Janey on March 30, 2011 at 15:03

      My man can prove he’s strong enough to protect me and my children without beating ME up in the process.

      Any man who feels the need to “overpower” a woman, pull her by her hair, and throw her to the ground is just an insecure jackass/loser.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2011 at 15:21

        Did Becky turn into a man when I wasn’t looking?

  5. jose marti on March 27, 2011 at 18:45

    Well yes. Hispanics are all those born in Latinoamerica but not the Brazilians. For that the term would be Iberoamericans to include spanish and portuguese speaking. Machito was born in Cuba, Rodriguez in puerto rico but Puente was actually born in 110st, New York City so should be considered american. You know the whole term thing is messy but the most guilty are our very same “americans” from the USA who appropiated the term for themselves. Us the hispanics are every bit as americans as the ones here.

  6. jose marti on March 31, 2011 at 08:55

    I don’t know about women’s liberation but if a man hits a woman in the Caribbean he better be dammed sure what he is doing. While the man sleeps the cubans will put you on fire;the dominicans will cut your balls and venezuelans and colombians will put a contract on the man. Any macho around?.

    • gallier2 on March 31, 2011 at 09:30

      In central Africa, he will be beat up by a pack of wild relatives, mothers*, grand mothers and sisters of the woman.

      * Intentionally left in plural form, as central Africans do not really distinguish between mother and aunt, father and uncle or sibling and cousins.

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