Deodato. Prior to Prelude, Eumir Deodato was primarily known, if at all, as a tasteful, lyrical, bossa nova-based sometime arranger for the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, Wes Montgomery, and others. Enter Creed Taylor, who gave Deodato a chance to step out on his own as a pianist/leader, doing a few tunes of his own plus a healthy quota of CTI-patented jazz interpretations of classical pieces by Richard Strauss (“Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)”), Debussy (“Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”), and bowdlerized Borodin (“Baubles, Bangles and Beads”). Well, “2001” — a clever, up-tempo Latin-groove takeoff on the opening measures of Strauss’ tone poem suddenly exploded and became an improbable hit single. In its wake, Prelude soared to number three on the pop LP charts, and Deodato was propelled out of the arranger-for-hire business. Though overshadowed by “2001,” the other tracks also hold up well today, being mostly medium-tempo, sometimes lushly orchestrated, conga-accented affairs that provide velvety showcases for Deodato’s lyrical electric piano solos. The record also made a temporary star out of John Tropea, whose electric guitar has a lot of rock & rolling zip and fire, and Hubert Laws, Stanley Clarke, and Marvin Stamm each get a little solo room too. This would be the biggest hit Deodato and CTI ever had, and though short on playing time (32 minutes), it still makes enjoyable listening.
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science-fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, partially inspired by Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel”. Clarke concurrently wrote the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, published soon after the film was released. The film follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer Hal after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith affecting human evolution. It deals with the themes of existentialism, human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial life. It is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. It uses sound and minimal dialogue in place of traditional narrative techniques; the soundtrack consists of classical music such as Also sprach Zarathustra, The Blue Danube, and pieces from then-living composers Aram Khachaturian and György Ligeti.