Classics: Deodato – Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) (CTI Records)
An established recording artist in his native Brazil since the mid-60’s, Eumir Deodato had nevertheless to wait until early 1973 to make his official debut Stateside. He would at last make it with an album titled ‘Prelude’. With the latter featuring a memorable cover version of Richard Strauss‘s ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’…
Quite a challenge as a matter of fact. An ever more when knowing that the original (a tone poem) had been a part of the classical repertoire since its first performance back in 1896 (Wikipedia). But what a blast which Deodato turned it into a 9 minute cosmic Jazz/Funk definitive masterpiece at the end. With extra props to Stanley Clarke on electric bass.
A work which resulted in having Deodato earning a Grammy Award for “Best Pop Instrumental Performance” the year after. And I’m not far from thinkin’ he did even better than the original…
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Eumir Deodato de Almeida is a pianist, composer, arranger and producer. Primarly geared towards Jazz, he progressively covered a wider spectrum along with time.
A self-taught musician, Deodato arranged ‘Chapter Two’ for Roberta Flack back in 1970. This before emerging as a recording artist himself.
He came straight to fame with the release of ‘Prelude’ on Creed Taylor‘s CTI Records label 3 years later. An album which marked his debut Stateside, enlightened by his memorable version of Richard Strauss‘s ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’.
The end of the 70’s would see him exploring groovier territories, on the heels of ‘Whistle Bump’. As a producer, turning Kool & The Gang into a Disco hit machine. With this resulting in a plethora of classics. From ‘Ladies’ Night’ to ‘Steppin’ Out’. But also ‘Big Fun’, ‘Get Down On It’ and ‘Take My Heart’. This in addition to ‘Big Fun’, ‘Too Hot’ and ‘Celebration’ to name a few. Or collaborating with Con Funk Shun, One Way and The Dazz Band. Not to mention Kleeer. But also under his own banner, with cuts such as ‘Keep On Movin” or ‘S.O.S. Fire In The Sky’.
Another sign of his open-mindeness being his orchestrations on Björk‘s 1997 released ‘Homogenic’ album…