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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Legend: Eumir Deodato

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This is non Blaxploitation related post, but I and a few others felt that Deodato was worthy of a Legends post.
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b. Eumir Deodato Almeida, 21st June 1942, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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As a child, Deodato taught himself to play keyboards and graduated to playing in local pop bands in his teens.

He also worked as a session musician (keyboards, bass, guitar) before recording under his own name.

His first success came in Brazil, accompanying Astrud Gilberto. He won a prize at the Rio Song Festival for his composition, 'Spirit Of Summer', before emigrating to California in 1967.

There he quickly established himself as a musical arranger, working with Roberta Flack's 'Chapter Two' in 1970.

He also appeared on recordings by Frank Sinatra, Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and others.

He then signed as a solo artist to the New York-based CTI Records and found success with his first release, an adaptation of Richard Strauss's 'Also Sprach Zarathustra', which had recently been used as the title music to Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Deodato's jazz version (originally intended for labelmate Bob James as his CTI debut) was an international smash, hitting number 2 on the US Top 100 and number 7 in the UK, and also collecting the 1973 Grammy award for 'Best Pop Instrumental Performance'.

After two albums for CTI ('Prelude' and 'Deodato 2') and with the label in difficulties (ironically caused by the success of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra'), Deodato moved to MCA, recording 'First Cuckoo', 'Whirlwinds' and 'Very Together', the latter causing dancefloor activity thanks to 'Peter Gunn'.

A subsequent move to Warner Brothers Records revived his career, with 'Whistle Bump' and 'Night Cruiser' afforded almost anthem status in the UK.

In 1979 he embarked on a highly successful production career, revitalizing the fortunes of Kool And The Gang with 'Ladies Night' and 'Celebration' in particular.

After one further album for Warners in 1984 he switched to Atlantic, recording 'Somewhere Out There' in 1989.

The previous year he had produced the debut solo album from Dexys Midnight Runners star Kevin Rowland.








Discography:

Prelude (CTI 1973)
Deodato 2 (CTI 1974)
with Airto: In Concert (CTI 1974)
Whirlwinds (MCA 1974)
Artistry (MCA 1974)
First Cuckoo (MCA 1975)
Very Together (MCA 1976)
Love Island (Warners 1978)
Night Cruiser (Warners 1980)
Happy Hour (Warners 1982)
Motion (Warners 1984)
Somewhere Out There (Atlantic 1989)

1 comments:

Darrius said...

Deodato is a legend for sure. I still bump his vinyl on the regular.

Visit Blaxploitation Jive for biographies on Legendary Artist and discography information.