This one really has everything, to me. I'm not a connoisseur of the Beatles's 'White album', but I'm completely crazy about Ramsey Lewis's superb LP in tribute to it. The entire album has a delicious balance of crisp beats, electric piano, strings, and subtle touches of moog, played by the album's producer, Charles Stepney. I've chosen 'Julia' to recommend because I enjoy the way it changes mood - opening mournful and slow, and then getting very funky. But the entire album is really packed with winners; other highlights are a wacky and extremely funky 'back in the USSR', a superb 'Dear Prudence', and a great 'cry baby cry'.
31 Aug 05 ·vince: Is there any way to get the whole album Mother Nature's Son on CD? 01 Sep 05 ·delicado: yes, there's a Japanese CD, which you could probably get via www.dustygroove.com. It really is a wonderful album (for those that like this kind of thing!)
An incredibly perfect easy listening piece, this opens with an other-worldly, John-Barry-ish synth sound, and then leads into a groovy, lightly funky piano riff, with shimmering strings. Francis Lai's signature organ sound carries the tune as the song builds into a dramatic orchestral pop masterpiece. A standout track, with superb wistful, lazy, summer day feel, rather like some of the best tracks on the 'Sound Gallery' compilation of a few years ago.
14 Jun 01 ·scrubbles: Yow! That sound snippet alone is so cool. 26 May 02 ·AndreasNystrom: I finally got the version by Francis Lai, and i think its better then Johnny Harris one. Splendid song!. I love the ending part of it.. cant get that part out of my head :) 13 Apr 04 ·standish: I'd have to go for the Johnny Harris original over the Francis Lai version. It's colder and spookier with less obtrusive strings. "Movements" is available on CD (great sleeve - his expression suggests a combined photo shoot/visit to his proctologist) - but the mono single version (w/"Lulu's Theme") is all you need. 02 Nov 05 ·leonthedog: Well, thanks to all of you I had to track down BOTH versions! Amazing what a difference an arrangement makes. I agree with scrubbles: the clip of Lai's version is the most infectious thing around!
An exotic, atmospheric and unique masterpiece, this is taken from the portion of surfer flick 'Follow Me' in which the surfers visit India. The tune drifts along with some sitar and spooky vocals before exploding into life with a furiously catchy and groovy segment with piano and plucked strings.
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.
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.
This is not a typical Scott track in any sense, but is still very enjoyable. Scott's take on the often-covered 'Stormy' is charming, breezy, and (unusually for Scott) funky. The arrangement is very full, but there is a strong rhythm section which prevent the prominent strings from becoming overbearing.