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Eumir Deodato: Os Catedráticos 73 (Far Out)

A review of the Brazilian pianist/organist's album

Os Catedráticos 73 by Eumir Deodato
The cover of Os Catedráticos 73 by Eumir Deodato

If the title of Os Catedráticos 73 didn’t include its vintage, it would have been obvious anyway. Everything, from the faux-monochrome cover art to the CTI house horns to Orlandivo’s funky cowbells and Durval Ferreira’s wah-wah guitars that back Eumir Deodato’s piano and Hammond B-3, screams 1973. But if this Brazilian groove music is dated, it’s also delightful—and, with its remastered clarity, as danceable as ever.

The level of improvisation on the album is quite low. It’s always Deodato on organ, always very short (if meaty), and usually comes with the track’s fadeout. (A solo part in the idle of “Atire A 1a Pedra” sounds improvised, until it’s followed by a close paraphrase from the horns.) That and its funk-pop beats belie the “jazz” categorization—as does its tendency to borrow the gauzy horn-and-flute voicings of Muzak, as on “Puma Branco (The White Puma)” and “Passarinho Diferente (The Bird).”

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.