Jay Berliner Retrospective, Take 1
Last Monday I posted about the 1974 Milt Jackson album Sunflower. I singled out the guitar playing of Jay Berliner, and was surprised I hadn't come across his name before. I pledged to research his work and report my findings here. Well, Berliner claims to have played on over 10,000 recordings, and his list of album credits on allmusic spreads over three pages. I'll feature some highlights here as I unearth them.
Jay Berliner was a ubiquitous player throughout the seventies on recordings for Creed Taylor's CTI jazz label. Our first Berliner history lesson track is "Spirit of Summer" from the 1972 Eumir Deodato CTI release Prelude. This album was made a huge hit for its funkified version of Strauss' classic Also Sprach Zarathustra. Spirit of Summer is a little toothless in comparison, but I'm pretty sure Berliner plays the guitar solo on this one. Of note, Prelude also includes Ray Barretto on percussion, Billy Cobham on drums, and Ron Carter AND Stanley Clarke on bass. Deodato himself sounds like another odd character who could provide fascinating playlist research fodder.
Deodato - Spirit of Summer
Just because it rocks, and I'm shocked I hadn't heard it before, I'm going to include a link to Also Sprach Zarathustra, too. From my meager research I'm pretty sure the guitar solo at the half-way point in this track was played by a gentleman named John Tropea.
As someone who saw Phish play Also Sprach Zarathustra more times than I can remember, I feel like a complete dolt for not being aware of this version. From the "out-from-chaos" opening to the electric piano foundation to the funky beat, their version is basically a cover of this cover.
Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra