Jazzitalia - Interview with Eumir Deodato
versione italiana english version
Bookmark and Share Jazzitalia Facebook Page Jazzitalia Twitter Page Feed RSS by Jazzitalia - Press News Feed RSS by Jazzitalia - Last Updates

Interview with Eumir Deodato
January 2008
by Alessio Berto

I know that you have always had a great passion for orchestral music and that you recorded your first session with a 28 piece orchestra when you where 17. Who were your favourite composers and who inspired your taste?

Some of the classical orchestrators that inspired me a lot were Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Alban Berg, Paul Hindemith, Rimsky-Korsakoff and a few others. On the jazz and pop side, Gil Evans, Oliver Nelson, Bob Brookmeyer, Henry Mancini, and many others.

1964 was a very prolific year for you. From your first album "Inútil Paisagem" where you mainly performed and rearranged classic pieces by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes up to "Idéias" where apart from the songs of Marcos Valle and other composers, we started to hear some of your own compositions. How did you go about choosing the tracks for your LP´s?

Usually together with the record company and some of the writers of the songs involved.

In 1965 with "Impulso" and "Tremendão", you begin a chapter which is very dear to me: Os Catedráticos, the use of the organ and a turning point for Bossa Nova, for me..Tell me about this project and of the contribution that the organ gave to create that sound that today is known as Lounge.

This started with my collaboration with a small Brazilian label called Equipe. I did an album for them called "Los Danseros In Bolero" since boleros were still very popular in Brazil. It had an instant success which was then followed by Os Catedráticos which was originally intended as a dance group playing mostly samba and slow dancing pieces.

Roberto Menescal, Paulo Moura, Wilson Das Neves, Maurílio Santos, Rubens Bassini, Dom Um Romão, Airto, Bebeto are a few of musicians you have played with. What kind of relationship did you have with these great musicians considering that you were all very young and full of ideas?

These were mostly studio musicians at that time and also the best ones you could find then.

Milton Nascimento, Marcos Valle, Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim in Rio and then you moved to New York in 1968 and you started to work with the Brazilians that were already there: Luiz Bonfa, Astrud Gilberto, Walter Wanderley and again with Marcos Valle. What was the difference between composing in Brazil and composing in the States? Were there other influences at work in the States and what were they?

The major differences of working in the States versus Brazil is primarily the fact that in the States the musicians have a more serious development (studying in colleges and Universities) and a very good sense of "team" as opposed to "individual" which happens a lot in Brazil and other less developed countries. Besides, it´s much easier to find equipment and instruments in the US. Better and more advanced studios etc.

You arranged "Beach Samba" for Astrud Gilberto and you were noticed by Creed Taylor, from then on you started to produce for many artists. In which way did your musical taste change working for CTI?

I learned a lot by working with the Creed Taylor "team" (Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, Ron Carter, George Benson, Eric Gale, Ray Barretto and many others). My most important lesson was to be simpler and let the individual musicians create on their own, which was not the case in Brazil where I had to write note by note for the guitar, for example. As far as my "taste" in music, it did not change at all. Just my "perception" of people´s vision of "pop jazz" and other styles.

Your arrangements on CTI for Wes Montgomery, Paul Desmond, Stanley Turrentine George Benson and Tom Jobim made your style much sought after even by artists that were not essentially jazz, like Frank Sinatra (Sinatra & Co.) Roberta Flack (Killing Me Softly, Chapter Two, Quiet Fire) and Aretha Franklin (Let Me Be Your Life). How important were those collaborations for you?

It was always very important to me, to be able to get involved in diverse situations. The biggest challenge for an arranger is to be able to deal with different styles and personalities. But it is even more important to make sure that the artist achieves its goals either musically or even commercially. It´s also essential to work with the record company to make sure that they are happy enough to spend good money in promotion for that particular project. It would be a very serious mistake to go against the record company or trying to impose your musical "views" into a project that needs your help and specific work done.

And then "Prelude" in 1973 and Also Sprach Zarathustra, 2001: A Space Odyssey, right up to worldwide success and 16 platinUM Records, and all the other albums (at least 450 in the whole career) on which you worked on as a musician, producer and arranger. How did Deodato career change after that in the 70´s...

I went "on the road" (traveling and doing concerts around the world) and met many wonderful people what in turn helped the continuation of my work even as an arranger. Also got involved with a couple of other movie soundtracks etc.

A curiosity: Marcos Valle told me that after exchanging his Rhodes for a DX7 he regretted it and he once came to New York to the hotel Suite where you lived and he asked you to sell him one of your Rhodes. What´s your version of this story?

I don´t think he had a Fender Rhodes in the States. Maybe in Brazil. Since I had many keyboards (6 Fender Rhodes...) I agreed to sell him one of my best ones. We were always good friends

How do you see Eumir Deodato today?

I see Eumir Deodato every day... In the mirror !!! Specially when I'm shaving...

with Herbie Hancock and with Louis Bnbfa

Related articles:

Pictures from London Jazz Festival by Thomas Van Der Aa and Nadia Guida.


A great concert at Carnegie Hall in honor of Toots Thielemans with Herbie Hancock, Oscar Castro-Neves, Eliane Elias, Ivan Lins, Joe Lovano, Paquito D'Rivera...(Roberta E. Zlokower)

Herbie Hancock solo piano
Herbie Hancock solo piano...
inserito il 02/05/2010  da solosolos2010 - visualizzazioni: 3436
Fabrizio Bosso Live a B Side: "The Funk Phenomena" (Van Helden)
Archangel - Burial: http://www.deejay.it/dj/multimedia/dettaglio/type-V/idMedia-2684/-Archangel--...Rock It - Herbie Hancock: http://www.deejay.it/dj/...
inserito il 03/07/2009  da radiodeejay - visualizzazioni: 4089
Fabrizio Bosso Live a B Side: "Brown Paper Bag" (Roni Size)
Fabrizio Bosso improvvisa su "Brown Paper Bag" di Roni Size durante la diretta di B Side con Alessio Bertallot. Guarda tutti i live di Frabr...
inserito il 01/07/2009  da radiodeejay - visualizzazioni: 4175
inserito il 27/10/2008  da oneloveatatime - visualizzazioni: 4724
Herbie Hancock and Corinne Bailey Rae - River Live on Abbey Road
Download the mp3 of this performance: http://www.eezy.weebly.com, , Herbie Hancock and Corinne Bailey Rae - River live on Abbey Road featuring Wayne S...
inserito il 10/08/2008  da eezlewax2 - visualizzazioni: 3622
Herbie Hancock a Umbria Jazz 2008
Herbie Hancock a Umbria Jazz 2008...
inserito il 16/07/2008  da umbriajazz2008 - visualizzazioni: 3841
Oleo - Hancock,Brecker,McFerrin-part B
1988 Oleo comp:Sonny Rollins...
inserito il 30/04/2008  da darominu - visualizzazioni: 4364
Oleo - Hancock,Brecker,McFerrin-part A
1988 Munchen Oleo comp:Sonny Rollins...
inserito il 28/04/2008  da darominu - visualizzazioni: 4423
Herbie Hancock Quartet - Oleo (live)
Herbie Hancock Quartet Is:, Herbie Hancock - Piano, Branford Marsalis - Tenor Sax, Ron Carter - Bass, Tony Williams - Drums...
inserito il 25/01/2008  da LightningTrident - visualizzazioni: 4107
Fee Fi Fo Fum - Wayne Shorter
inserito il 13/01/2008  da Lot2learn - visualizzazioni: 3453
Fast Focus - Herbie Hancock 'River:The Joni Letters'
Herbie Hancock is one of the most influential American jazz pianists and composers of our time, a true icon of modern music. A musical visionary who c...
inserito il 29/10/2007  da fastfocustv - visualizzazioni: 3369
Herbie Hancock and VSOP Reunion - Eye of The Hurricane 1986
This video was up here a while back but seems to be gone now so here it is again. This seems like some kind of V.S.O.P. reunion with Joe Hen on sax in...
inserito il 26/08/2007  da eatsleeptrumpet - visualizzazioni: 4173
Joe Henderson & Herbie Hancock - Lush Life
June 18, 1993. From the 40th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, held in a tent on the lawn of the White House....
inserito il 22/07/2007  da leoshephard - visualizzazioni: 3871
Herbie Hancock - Chameleon
Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans (II), Darryl Jones - [1988] - Chameleon [Live in Montreux]...
inserito il 14/04/2007  da palanzana - visualizzazioni: 4098
Miles Davis - Herbie Hancock - Wayne Shorter - Ron Carter -
Miles Davis - Herbie Hancock - Wayne Shorter - Ron Carter - tony williams Stockholm 1963...
inserito il 19/02/2007  da moresco63 - visualizzazioni: 4065
Miles Davis - Wayne Shorter - Herbie Hancock - Ron Carter -
inserito il 25/01/2007  da moresco63 - visualizzazioni: 3875
Miles Davis: Walkin'
The Miles Davis Quintet digs into this classic on November 7, 1967 at the Stadthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany....
inserito il 20/12/2006  da pixaninny - visualizzazioni: 4092
Herbie Hancock jams with his Fairlight CMI
Herbie shows off while Quincy Jones looks on. Taken from VHS recording of 1984 documentary "I love Quincy" http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/titl...
inserito il 07/12/2006  da froady - visualizzazioni: 3404
Freddie Hubbard & Joe Henderson - Maiden Voyage
This is from the Mt. Fuji jazz fest - August, 1986... Also with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Sorry it cuts off at 10 minutes, but th...
inserito il 15/10/2006  da eatsleeptrumpet - visualizzazioni: 3351
herbie hancock cameleon live 1975
headhunters original 1975 soundstage san fransisco...
inserito il 08/10/2006  da milesdewey - visualizzazioni: 2846
Herbie Hancock - Jazz Fusion Cantelope Island
An amazing rendition of canteloupe island....
inserito il 01/08/2006  da jesuschristopher - visualizzazioni: 3075
Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, and Ron Carter
Jazz performance. Billy Cobham - drums; Herbie Hancock - piano; Ron Carter - double bass...
inserito il 22/02/2006  da McYaballow - visualizzazioni: 3699
Cantelope Island
One Night With Blue Note - DVD...
inserito il 08/01/2006  da drummer123 - visualizzazioni: 4121

Send an opinion

© 2000 - 2020 All the material published on Jazzitalia is exclusively owned by the author. Moreover it is protected by International Copyright, so it is forbidden any use of it which isn't authorised by the rights' owner.

This page has 4.009 hits
Publishing Date: 04/05/2008

Bookmark and Share

Home |  Articles |  Press News |  Reviews |  Events |  Lessons |  Gallery
Artists |  Newsletter |  Forum |  Search |  Links |  Cont@cts