Deodato ‎– First Cuckoo

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Three albums into his MCA contract and only a bit over two years after 2001, Deodato’s music reached a state of funk stasis. Through much of this record, he seems bored, wilting under the pressure to repeat the hit formula, comping listlessly on clavinet and electric piano while sidekick John Tropea is equally out of gas on rock guitar. Deodato roams far afield for material, from Led Zeppelin (“Black Dog”) all the way to English classical composer Frederick Delius, whose gorgeous orchestration for “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” he lifts shamelessly. Deodato’s own tunes are supremely uninteresting; “Funk Yourself” (same to you, fella!) and “Watusi Strut” (onto whose opening he grafts “Caravan”) are boring electric funk workouts, and “Crabwalk” goes nowhere to the beat of a cowbell. Marcos Valle’s “Adam’s Hotel” is the sole throwback to Deodato’s roots, a pretty Brazilian tune traced out on an electric piano, with whistling and subtle strings for that Jobim effect. Again, MCA’s drab, tight sound is a far cry from the luxurious treatment he received from CTI (Richard S. Ginell/AllMusic).

Track listing:

00:00 – 04:14 01 – Deodato – Funk Yourself
04:14 – 08:30 02 – Deodato – Black Dog
08:30 – 16:11 03 – Deodato – Crabwalk
16:11 – 19:50 04 – Deodato – Adam’s Hotel
19:50 – 31:28 05 – Deodato – Caravan Watusi Strut
31:28 – 36:01 06 – Deodato – Speak Low
36:01 – 40:02 07 – Deodato – First Cuckoo (On Hearing The First Cuckoo In Spring)


Arranged By, Conductor, Producer – Eumir Deodato
Bass – Russell Savakus
Cello – Alan Shulman, Charles McCracken, Kermit Moore
Drums – Nick Remo, Steve Gadd
Flute – George Marge, Hubert Laws, Lou Marini, Romeo Penque
French Horn – Brooks Tilletson*, Jimmy Buffington*
Trombone – Sam Burtis, Urban Green*
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Alan Rubin, John Gatchell
Tuba – Tony Price (2)
Viola – Alfred Brown, Julien Barber
Violin – David Nadien, Elliot Rosoff, Gene Orloff, Harry Cykman, Harry Lookofsky, Irving Spice, Max Ellen, Max Pollikoff, Selwart Clarke


Label: MCA Records – MCA-491
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gloversville pressing
Country: US
Released: 1975