50 years ago this month, a visual masterpiece premiered in theaters.
In 1977, famous science writer Isaac Asimov did an essay about the movie for an issue of American Film that read in part:
What is, by all the odds, most remarkable about 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY are its visual effects. These do not achieve their interest through the display of extraterrestrials, but through the depiction of those sights of outer space which are there and can be seen in reality.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY shows a world that does not yet exist and shows it not as it might be, but almost certainly as it will be, and that is unique. In fact, when the time comes that we are sufficiently at home in near space to take the kind of motion pictures in reality that 2001 took by means of ingenious special effects, I am quite certain the real will turn out to be just like the fictional, but inferior. People will turn to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY to see space at its most beautiful.
Undoubtedly the 1968 film features one of the most iconic pieces of music ever written, “Thus Spake Zarathrustra” by German composer Richard Strauss in 1896.
In the 1960’s Brazilian pianist, composer, arranger, and record producer Eumir Deodato was a force for Bossa Nova, playing with and producing, for example, the legend Antonio Carlos Jobim before Deodato turned his focus to jazz.
Deodato’s biggest break came in 1973 with his release of an instrumental version of “Also sprach Zarathustra” that soared up the Billboard chart to #2 and won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
The single ran about five minutes long while the album version went nine minutes.
In 1974 Deodato on the electric piano and percussionist Airto Moreira released a very successful live album recorded at the Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden Center in New York in April 1973.
Click here to hear a spirited performance of “Also sprach Zarathustra” from that concert.