Monday, April 4, 2016

Gato Barbieri & Dollar Brand - 1968 - Hamba Khale

Gato Barbieri & Dollar Brand
Hamba Khale

01. Hamba Khale! 214:15
02. To Elsa 7:13
03. Eighty First Street 8:37
04. Wildrose 14:28

Recorded in Milano 16 March 1968

Gato Barbieri — Sax (Tenor)
Dollar Brand — Piano

You are completely excused if you are totally ignorant of Gato Barbieri as a free-jazz sax player. Gato made his name on a rock informed Latin Jazz best exemplified on albums like Fenix.

But in the 1960s, when Gato was rising through jazz circles, free was the order of the day, and one of his first main solo showcases was on Jazz Composers Orchestra in 1968, which also had people like Cecil Taylor and Pharroah Sanders.

When Barbieri really became a name in the early 1970s, doing albums like Fenix soundtracks for films like Last Tango In Paris, it was not in free jazz.

But this album with Dollar Brand, which is only Brand's piano and Barbieri's sax, shows the master had not forgotten the free blow entirely. Hamba Khele, though, is not your 1960s Impulse blast. Free jazz had become more refined by this 1970s release, adopting a more European, esoteric style.

And here, the two could not make it work better. This type of free form is not about solos and volume as much as delicate interaction. Barbieri, in fact, maintains his soulful style, while Brand Circles carefully around him. You can actually hear the two listening and reacting to the other

With no other players, this may be free jazz at its abstract essence if not its volume one. Hamba Khele is all feel, instant formulation, and the interaction is amazing.
"Great stuff — a rare meeting between Argentine tenor player Gato Barbieri and South African pianist Dollar Brand — a true global meeting of the jazz minds, and a recording that's stronger than most of the work either player was recording at the time! The format is incredibly spare — just tenor and piano, plus some occasional cello work by Brand — dark and angular, but also filled with small flowers of hope, flowering in the spontaneous presence of these two great minds. Tracks are long, with a free flowing quality that's infused with soul and spirit."

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