February 1998

Eumir Deodato - Deodato/Prelude
CTI/Epic/Legacy ZK 55129
Originally Released: 1972
Remastered Release: 1997
SBM Encoding

by Jay Piriz

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ***1/2
Overall Enjoyment ****1/2

[Reviewed on CD]Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Ray Barretto and others came together from September 12-14, 1972 to help Eumir Deodato record what was to become a Grammy-winning, top-ten hit: Also Sprach Zarathustra, a classical composition better known as the dramatic theme to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Deodato's funked-up version of the Strauss classic still lives on. It has recently found its way into the repertoire of the rock band Phish. I think we will be hearing more of this great tune as we approach the millennium. It may even become the musical moniker for the year 2001, heard all over the world on New Year's Eve!

Deodato is a Brazilian-born pianist/arranger who successfully coalesced Latin, fusion, jazz, Broadway and classical themes into a very listenable performance on Prelude. This effort was originally released in 1973, and among other things, it includes a tribute to Carly Simon and Carole King. The CD reviewed here is a Super Bit Mapping reissue version of the original CTI release. CTI Records was one of the most important independent jazz labels of the 1970s, recording such famous names as Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Patti Austin, Stanley Turrentine, Paul Desmond and George Benson. This CD is part of the CTI catalog re-launch series.

The music on this recording is full of creativity and nostalgia. As I listened to the various arrangements and compositions, I had recollections of that time in the 60s and 70s when care-free experimentation and transition were the order of the day. The music here is expressive and dimensional. The recording itself benefits greatly from the Super Bit Mapping process, resulting in a smooth, well-balanced product. The first track will give your system a workout. It is dynamic and exciting. In addition to the superstar guests featured on the performance, the music is augmented by an ensemble of strings and horns. Throughout this entire recording, Deodato does a great job of delivering music in transition while retaining the acoustic beauty of orchestral instruments.

I had no problem dropping in this CD and hitting repeat. This is terrific music that cuts across many genres and will appeal to a wide and diverse audience. You may have missed the original release of this music when it was available on vinyl back in '73. Don't let this one pass you by. Get a head start on 2001.