Deodato – Also Sprach Zarathurstra (2001) plus Bonus Track


Deodato 2001 45

Deodato – Also Sprach Zarathurstra (2001) from the CTI 45

Early week greetings to Flea Market Funk Family. With the Asbury Park 45 Sessions five days away, I’m eager to throw out a few gems this week as I get my set ready and jump into yet another funk and soul fest with some of the greatest tri-state diggers I am proud to call my friends. I’m hoping you all enjoyed the impromptu Funky Asbury Park mix. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for a double podcast coming your way in the future. That’s right, the great one over at Funky 16 Corners and I will be collaborating on a double podcast for your collective ears in the future. When we get together, it’s always a good time. This will be our first mix (of many I’m hoping), so you know it’s going to be a heavy one.

I’m taking you folks to Brazil this time. I have a bit of Brazillian stuff, and today I’d like to visit a cat who has definitely been sampled by the likes of Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Camp Lo, Black Sheep, the Cocoa Brovaz, Dialated Peoples, Lord Finesse and many more. This genius I speak of is the one and only Eumir Deodato. He was arranging music for orchestras at 17 in Brazil, was self taught on the keyboards, and played beside Astrud Gilberto. He decided to make the move to the United States sometime in 1967.

While in the States, he made a mark (and a good name for himself) arranging for people like Roberta Flack, playing on records by Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, Frank Sinatra, and later on in his career Kool and the Gang. I discovered him on CTI, the Creed Taylor run label, which IMO was way before it’s time. With slick, glossy gate folds, superb photography (you could buy an 11 x 14 glossy print of the album cover for $19.50!), and an equally impressive stable of session players, CTI definitely is a fave of mine as far as record companies go. I rarely pass up artists on CTI, even if they’re turds. It’s something about the album itself that always draws me in. I can’t pass up players like Ron Carter, Idris Muhammad, Hubert Laws, Billy Cobham, Wes Montgomery, Jobim, Stanely Turrentine, George Benson, and I’m not even scratching the surface. Praised by hip hop producers, this label has been sampled a bunch, and like I said, I’m definitely a fan. If anyone has a CTI shirt I will gladly take it off your hands.

By 1971 Deodato was well on his way as a bandleader. This funk jazz interpretation of Strauss classical piece put him on the map even further. It actually won a Grammy as Best Pop Instrumental, and was the biggest record for Deodato and CTI ever. The record itself was recorded at Englewood Cliffs Studio, and for you jazz heads out there, you know it could only have been engineered by the one and only Rudy Van Gelder of Blue Note Records fame. Deodato enlisted players like the aformentioned Laws, Cobham, and Carter, but added percussion from Ray Baretto, the guitar of John Tropea, and even more bass from Stanley Clarke. Not so much of an uptempo groover, this mid-tempo track moves fluidly, and Deodato shines nicely on the keys, as the rhythm section keeps up with the Brazilian master the whole 5 minutes plus. With a lineup like Creed Taylor had on his label, I can’t understand why there wouldn’t be some hits churned out, like Ralph Wiggum said: “It’s umpossible”.

Hoctor 2001 Theme 45

Now we’re gonna turn to another version of this song, simply entitled “Theme from 2001”, which is on Hoctor Records. Hoctor was a dance company that has put out a bunch of cover versions of songs. Songs like “Cissy Strut”, “The Theme From Blackbelt Jones” and others were keeping dance classes moving and grooving throughout the 70’s. It must’ve been funny to see people tap dancing or whatever they were learning in those classes to these funk groovers, of course all covered by some house band. At any rate, I thought I’d throw in a funky cover of a cover in this post. I dig both versions, and hope you will too. I’ll be back midweek with some more goodness. Thanks for stopping by. Keep Diggin’!

Hoctor Records House Band – Theme from 2001

4 responses to “Deodato – Also Sprach Zarathurstra (2001) plus Bonus Track

  1. Just last week I picked up that Deodato 45. The only reason I picked it up was because it was off CTI. Man was in for a treat. Also, last weekend the record gods blessed me with the LP Prelude. SInce then I have been talking about Deodato nonstop!

    Thanks for the grooves!

  2. Could this be it?! Years ago in Boston I tuned into a late night radio session of great funk and soul grooves–DJ Bobby Drake on WHRB 95.3 FM. After 20 minutes of my head nodding and ears bugging out I was smart enough to pop in a cassette tape to capture the next 45 minutes. Bobby gave a nod to all of the crate diggers and hip-hop DJs, “These are the original breaks from all those samples.” I called him and got him to back announce a handful of the tracks scoring a few gems (before blogs like this were handy in our never ending quest 😉 Bobby left one secret hanging–he had a super funky ‘2001’ in the background during his back announce on air. I knew of Deodato’s cut, but that wasn’t it. It’s stumped me for years. Though this Hoctor ASB cut may be the same! I need to find that tape and put this quest to rest. Thanks DJ Prestige! Props to WeFunkRadio for the heads up on your site.

  3. Just did a search for myself (arrogant, I know) and came up on this blog. Hope you find that tape, TMO. I myself, don’t remember, unless you give me some hint. I miss playing breaks…

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