Cozy Cole: Cozy’s Mambo/Play Cozy Play (King 45-5303, 1960)

DJ Gunga's copy of
Cozy’s Mambo – 1960 King Release

Why did I buy this record?  First of all, it bops.  Like a Cozy Cole record should.  There is a hint of a Latin rhythm, but do not be fooled into thinking this song is a mambo by any means. Mambo was big in popular culture at the dawn of the 1960s.  Lots of records had the word “mambo” added to the title to drive sales.  King records tried this gimmick again two years later.  When bossa nova was king (no pun intended), this song was re-released on the Bethlehem imprint as “Cozy And Bossa”.  Mambo and/or bossa it is not.  This is an uptempo R&B stomper, closer to jump blues than Latin jazz, with a tenor sax in place of a trumpet or horn.  Complete with a nifty Cozy Cole drum solo in the middle to give your feet a slight rest.

This song is frenetic.  Almost too frenetic.  A good thing the song is only two and a half minutes long.  Those with heart conditions should consult their doctors before dancing.

In case the A-side is too much for you, the B-side rocks a bit harder.  “Play Cozy Play” is more of a straight-ahead R&B number with another drum solo thrown in at the end for good measure.

This record features the debut of the DJ Gunga’s Forgotten-ness Scale.  This one ranks a 4.  “Cozy’s Mambo” failed to chart.  Cole had a smash hit two years earlier, “Topsy”.  It would seem that the late 1950s record-buying public had a very short attention span, and one drum solo record in the collection was enough.  Cole continued to have a prolific recording career for the next ten years.  “Cozy’s Mambo”, like most of his follow-up records, came and went like a mayfly.


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