DEODATO — Prelude (review)

DEODATO — Prelude album cover Album · 1972 · Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
Previously known as a bossa and samba artiste, Deodato jumped the Brazilian shark and threw himself into a rather successful reconversion in flamboyant JR/F with this immensely successful “new debut” album with the widely aired version of 2001’s theme, here called Also Sprach Zarathustra. Indeed, Deodato’s formula of mixing the classic, the jazz and the rock mediums together proved quasi-infallible, despite a few moments of cheesiness here and there, especially so with the sometimes over-sweetish strings. Helped out by bassists Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke and drummer Billy Cobham, the album is filled with another two dozens of no-less deserving fine musos. Incredibly enough, it’s again the Columbia label (this time through its Epic sub-label) that released such a brass and string filled gem.

Opening on the wild adaptation of Kubrick’s 2001 film theme from Strauss, this awesome instrumental fully deserves its mega exposition that it’s gotten for the next two decades, with Deodato’s fiery Rhodes playing, Clarke’s mega-bass presence and Tropea’s brilliant guitar parts. Opening the flipside is Baubles, a Latin work-out of an Antonin Borodin theme, quickly followed by a dissonant (almost free) intro of Debussy’s Faun piece, before going almost Mwandishi-like and finally returning to the dissonant outro. The closing September 13 is a wild- jazz-rock/fusion piece titled after the second and second last day of the recording session and is cowritten by Cobham, who’s quite impressive throughout the whole album.

Despite the resolutely international scheme of this album, you can still hear Deodato’s Brazilian origins, through the samba and bossa nova roots of the man, even if they are not over-powering (quite the opposite) the rest of the music. A rather short album (especially compared to the following one), Prelude is an essential fusion album of the early 70’s that most everyone should own or at least have access to easily.

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