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The man who foreshadowed the Space Age Bachelor Pad fad, Esquivel was resurrected from thrift store obscurity by retro-trolling bands of the '90s who declared his over-the-top style hip. A pianist and composer, Esquivel started his professional career in the 1940s in Mexico City, where he performed on radio and learned to improvise. He led a typical large orchestra in the '50s (heavy on the brass) that included as many as five singers and Latin percussion. He employed unusual techniques such as changing tempos, experimenting with stereo, and integrating strange instruments including the theremin, bass accordion, donkey jaw, Jew's harp, and a 24-bongo set called boom-bams. His compositions were like no other. Esquivel scored for countless television and film programs during his long career, but remains revered for his cocktail-friendly work of the '50s, which was heavy on the cha cha and Mambo. Ultimately, his allure is based on musical wackiness and the subconscious notion that it might all just be a joke.
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