Brazilian musician Eumir Deodato is likely to turn eighty this Wednesday;

but it is not quite certain.

There are sources that state that he was only born in 1943, there are others that state that his birthday is already June 21st - and this certain fuzziness, this iridescence suits this man very well, from whom, on the one hand, with great certainty that he is a brilliant musician.

And who, on the other hand, leaves even his most loyal admirers in the dark about what kind of person he really is.

Claudius Seidl

Editor in the Feuilleton.

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Eumir Deodato can be described quite well as a so-called one-hit wonder: In 1973 he released the album "Prelude", which everyone who wanted to know what the fusion genre really meant had to know it at the time.

"Thus spoke Zarathustra" was the title of the recognition piece, which was not just borrowed from Richard Strauss.

Rather, it sounded as if Deodato, with Stanley Clarke on bass, Billy Cobham on drums and the idiosyncratic guitarist John Tropea, had first opened up its rhythmic dimensions, of which Strauss unfortunately could not have foreseen shortly before the turn of the last century.

A funky bass, a cool electro piano and heavy shreds of an electric guitar took away the heaviness of the theme and at the same time made the mystery of this music sound even bigger and grander.

"I tell you, you still have chaos within you." Deodato opened the second side of this record with "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," a clean and happy pop song, but based on a string quartet by Alexander Borodin - which inspired Deodato to keeping the pop song upbeat while topping Borodin's sharpness with an outrageous guitar solo from John Tropea.

The success of the whole album was huge;

in the United States, "Prelude," the jazz and instrumental album, was number two on the pop charts.

Sinatra also learned from him

So that was the miracle of Eumir Deodato – the effect of which, unfortunately, is that one forgets from sheer amazement that the pianist, composer and arranger Deodato would have deserved to be world famous even without this hit.

It must be almost five hundred records he wrote the arrangements for;

as he once said in an interview, he didn't really know how to do it.

During the production of the album "Sinatra & Company", he taught the big star that with his usual tricks and mannerisms he would fail on the Brazilian beats.

Together with Luiz Bonfá, he composed one of the most beautiful film soundtracks of the 1960s, "The Gentle Rain", which is only almost forgotten because hardly anyone wants to remember the film.

He composed "Super Strut";

That may sound like eclecticism and stylistic indifference - but it's the exact opposite.

Deodato was musically socialized with the bossa nova, which established Brazil as a country of immigration for American jazz.

And which then spread to the western world: not as a cultural property of the Brazilians.

But as a universal model of music whose rhythm brings all stylistic, ethnic and cultural contrasts to dance: deep in the background one thinks one hears the spirit of the samba school, the people, who find themselves, their beauty and their strength in singing and dancing together insured.

So whether Deodato's birthday is this Wednesday or not: there are enough reasons to congratulate him.

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