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4 tracks on CBS have been recommended.
Order by - songtitle - year - performer - date recommended
Pavane for a Dead Princess  performed by Eumir Deodato  1973
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This stunning instrumental is a reasonably straight version of a classical piece by Maurice Ravel, originally written in 1899. Eumir plays piano over a dense string background, adding a tiny bit of jazz phrasing. The texture of the layered strings and piano is remarkably intense and beautiful, and the piece is quite exquisite. I expect this recording would offend classical purists, but I must admit that having heard this version first, I still like it the best. Perhaps this is down to the sheer richness of the string recording, which may be endowed by studio wizardry rarely used in classical recordings. Either way, it's really quite incredible, and I urge you to check it out.

from Deodato 2 (CTI), available on CD (CBS)




  03 Jan 02 ·Mike: While I find Deodato to be a stimulating and interesting artist (and am far from being a "classical purist" of any sort), I can't really muster any great enthusiasm for this recording. Too close to being a kind of synthesis of Ravel's original for solo piano (1899) and version for full orchestra (1910), I find Deodato's funky adaptations of Stauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and, particularly Debussy's "Prelude to the afternoon of a faun" somewhat more worthwhile. Maybe I should listen again to the Ravel adaptation, but in the past I have found its blandness a little irritating...
  28 Feb 02 ·G400 Custom: What I like about this track is the fact that it's a very black, funky take on a piece with questionable Aryan overtones. It can be heard to great affect in Hal Ashby's 'Being There', which I think was Peter Sellers' last film.
  28 Feb 02 ·G400 Custom: Re the above comment: I was talking about 'Also Sprach Zarathrustra', not the Ravel piece. Sorry for any confusion.
  03 Sep 02 ·G400 Custom: As far as the Ravel adaptation goes, I find it pleasant if a little bit chocolate-boxey, reminiscent of the 60s soundtracks of Francis Lai. I can't argue with Delicado's comments about the string sound though, which is astonishing.
  17 Sep 03 ·sodapop650: Bore - Ring! If you are going to listen to Deodato. Listen to the early Equipe LPs. When his sound was so hip, hipper than hip, the bastard brazilian son of Henry Mancini hip. Get a copy of "Tremendao" grab a beer and try to find a nice warm spot of sunshine.
  18 Sep 03 ·delicado: Well, you have to remember that I'm someone who is obsessed with string sounds. I listen fanatically to late 50s and 60s mood music records, and am a fan of both Percy Faith and Jackie Gleason's records. Yes, I love Brazilian music, and enjoy all of Deodato's 60s Equipe LPs, but I also have a very real and intense love of what my pal G400 defines as 'chocolate-boxy' easy listening music. Deodato's 1972 LP 'Percepcao' (recently reissued on CD in Brazil) also falls into this category, and I adore it!
  18 Apr 04 ·[email protected]: One of the purist fusion jazz artists of his time. Listen to the music, don't try to interpret it or rationalize it. Your missing the point. Eumir is unmistakeably one of the pioneers in this gendre.
Paper Thin Hotel  performed by Leonard Cohen  1977
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This sounds very different from most of what I've recommended. In fact, there are days when I wouldn't want to listen to this song at all. It is pretty incredible, however. I like it both for its remarkable mood and instrumentation (this is a Phil Spector production), and for its lyrical content (a melancholic but resigned tale, remembering a love affair). Leonard sings 'A heavy burden lifted from my soul/I learned that love was out of my control', with a reverb effect on his voice, accompanied by a sweet string arrangement and a faint, echoey backing choir. His delivery is casual, yet committed - a style that definitely influenced Nick Cave.

from Death of a Ladies' Man, available on CD (CBS)


Zimbabwe  performed by Miles Davis  1975
Recommended by G400 Custom [profile]

Recorded live in Osaka on 1 February 1975, immediately before the man took a break for several years, this track makes up one entire disc of the overlooked album 'Pangaea'. Gone are the multitude of keyboard players that dominated Miles's work over the previous few years, to be replaced by brutal guitars and African percussion. The real change however is Sonny Fortune's alto sax, a welcome relief after Wayne Shorter's squeaky soprano. It lasts more than 40 minutes, but if you like mind-blowingly heavy acid-funk-rock-jazz (or early-70s Zappa) than 'Zimbabwe' is for you.

from Pangaea (Columbia), available on CD (CBS)


Itís Impossible  performed by Aldemaro Romero And His Onda Nueva  1972
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This is an uptempo, light bossa nova vocal interpretation of this song, very much in the vein of the classic Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 sound. Very nicely arranged male/female vocal harmonies, superb electric harpsicord and swirling, lush strings really make this version quite outstanding and contrasting to the Perry Como version, who popularized this song a year earlier.

from Aldemaro Romero And His Onda Nueva (Columbia)
available on CD - Brisa Brasilera (CBS)



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