Deodato carved different niche with Love Island
By 1978, Deodato carved a very funky mood. And I do mean funky:
With “Area Code 608”, there is a bit of Saturday Night Fever riffing going on.
“Whistle Bump” features lots of great guitar play from Larry Carlton.
A song you might have heard in the doctor’s office back in the day was “Tahiti Hut” on Track 3.
But the key song that gets lots of airplay is on Track 4, “San Juan Sunset.” Just the right mix of bass by Pops Popwell (I am not kidding about the name) and Ray Armando providing the triple threat combination of excellent flutes, strings, and percussion. This song definitely hit all of the right notes.
The title track follows, then some medium to faster paced songs close out with “Chariot of the Gods”, “Pina Colada”, and Billy Strayhorn’s take on Duke Ellington’s signature tune, “Take the ‘A’ Train”.
In the liner notes provided in this Warner Bros. Masters CD re-release, Garth Cartwright briefly said about this album:
“Love Island is smooth jazz before that term suggested toothless, emotionally banal noodling. When it meant long hot nights danced to sultry, funk-drenched tunes and chilling out to tinkling synth (synthesizer) grooves in the back of your white Cortina. When Eumir Deodato was the Dancefloor King.”
It would be nearly three decades before Deodato would regain that special spark that once eluded him after the release of his second album.
Providing the key vocals in next week’s final tribute will be one of the great smooth jazz artists of the latter part of the 20th century and his other big claim to fame singing a very popular theme song during a middle 1980’s drama series which aired on ABC and featured the mainly flings of Bruce Willis clashing with Cybill Shepherd.
If you haven’t guessed, that show was called Moonlighting. But Al Jarreau would provide quite a catchy title for Deodato’s latest musical wonder. Look for that next week.
And once again, it bears repeating–please continue to stay warm as very chilly air will return to most of the country before spring makes her grand re-entrance.