Sunday, February 8, 2009

Don Sebesky, "The Rape of El Morro" (1975)

Sebesky was the house arranger for Creed Taylor's CTI, the jazz-funk label equal parts legendary shit (Bob James' "Nautilus") and seriously impeachable taste (everything Bob James did from '77 forward), and as such 1975's The Rape of El Morro features the usual Creed Taylor lineup (Steve Gadd, Will Lee, a Brecker or two, Jon Faddis, Don Grolnick) and a mixture of excellent material and complete cornball shit (the cover of Scott Joplin's "Entertainer" need not have entered the world at this time or any other). The title track, however, has some nasty sambified Steve Gadd drumming, precise Rhodes pirouettes, and avant-garde classical vocalist Joan LaBarbara turning in a performance that erects a heretofore unforeseen bridge between Flora Purim and Cathy Berberian.

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