Monday, April 4, 2016

John Coltrane & Don Cherry - 1967 - The Avant-Garde

John Coltrane & Don Cherry 
The Avant-Garde 

01. Cherryco 6:45
02. Focus On Sanity 12:07
03. The Blessing 7:50
04. The Invisible 4:08
05. Bemsha Swing 5:02

Double Bass – Charlie Haden (tracks: A1, B1), Percy Heath (tracks: A2, B2, B3)
Drums – Ed Blackwell
Saxophone – John Coltrane
Trumpet – Don Cherry

This album is rightfully co-credited to Don Cherry (trumpet), who ably trades blows with John Coltrane (tenor/soprano sax) throughout. The Avant-Garde also boasts the debut studio recording of Coltrane playing soprano sax -- on "The Blessing" -- in addition to his continuing advancements on tenor. Although these tracks were recorded during the summer of 1960, they remained shelved for nearly six years. Joining Coltrane and Cherry are essentially the rest of the members of the Ornette Coleman Quartet, Ed Blackwell (drums) and Charlie Haden (bass) on "Cherryco" and "The Blessing," as well as Percy Heath (bass) on the remaining three selections. This is fitting, as over half of the album consists of early Coleman compositions. Coltrane's integration into this band works with some extraordinarily fresh results. Neither Cherry nor Coltrane makes any radical departures on this album; however, it's the ability of each to complement the other both in terms of modal style and -- perhaps more importantly -- texture that lends heavily to the success of these sides. Cherry's brisk and somewhat nasal intonations on "The Blessing" mimic those of Miles Davis, albeit with shorter flourishes and heavily improvised lines. When combined with Coltrane's well-placed -- if not somewhat reserved -- solos, the mutual value of both is dramatically increased. Blackwell -- the only other musician besides Cherry and Coltrane to be featured on every track -- provides some non-conventional percussive accompaniment. His contributions to "The Blessing" and workout on the aptly titled "Focus on Sanity" are primal.

Don Cherry & Gato Barbieri - 1966 - Togetherness

Don Cherry & Gato Barbieri

01. Togetherness One - First Movement 5:08
02. Togetherness One - Second Movement 5:26
03. Togetherness One - Third Movement 9:41
04. Togetherness Two - Fourth Movement 12:07
05. Togetherness Two - Fifth Movement 9:41

Bass – J.F. Jenny Clark
Cornet – Don Cherry
Drums – Aldo Romano
Tenor Saxophone – Lee Gato Barbieri
Vibraphone – Carlhans Berger

From Don Cherry's audiotape recorded on Spring 1965 (Togetherness One) and Summer 1965 (Togetherness Two)
Originally released on Durium as part of the Durium Serie Circus Serie Contemporanea.

This LP features tenor-saxophonist Gato Barbieri (at the beginning of his career) and trumpeter Don Cherry teaming up with a French rhythm section for the trumpeter's five-part "Togetherness." While Cherry plays pretty free, he sounds conservative next to the often-violent wails of Barbieri. This interesting set (long out-of-print) is for the open-minded only.

Don Cherry - 1966 - Symphony for Improvisers

Don Cherry
Symphony for Improvisers

01. Symphony For Improvisers
02. Nu Creative Love
03. What's Not Serious
04. Infant Happiness
05. Manhattan Cry
06. Lunatic
07. Sparkle Plenty
08. Om Nu

Bass – Henry Grimes, Jenny Clark
Cornet – Don Cherry
Drums – Ed Blackwell
Tenor Saxophone – Leandro 'Gato' Barbieri
Tenor Saxophone, Piccolo Flute – Pharoah Sanders
Vibraphone, Piano – Karl Berger

For his second album, Symphony for Improvisers, Don Cherry expanded his Complete Communion quartet -- tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri, bassist Henry Grimes, and drummer Ed Blackwell -- to a septet, adding vibraphonist Karl Berger, bassist Jean François Jenny-Clark, and tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders (who frequently plays piccolo here). The lineup has a real international flavor, since Barbieri was from Argentina, Berger from Germany, and Jenny-Clark from France; Cherry had gigged regularly with all three during his 1964-1965 sojourn in Europe, and brought them to New York to record. With all the added firepower, it's remarkable that Symphony for Improvisers has the same sense of shared space and controlled intelligence as its predecessor, even when things are at their most heated. Once again, Cherry sets up the album as two continuous medleys that fuse four compositions apiece, which allows the group's improvisational energy and momentum to carry straight through the entire program. The "Symphony for Improvisers" suite is the most raucous part of Cherry's Blue Note repertoire, and the "Manhattan Cry" suite pulls off the widest mood shifts Cherry had yet attempted in that format. Even though the album is full of passionate fireworks, there's also a great deal of subtlety -- the flavors added to the ensemble by Berger's vibes and Sanders' piccolo, for example, or the way other instrumental voices often support and complement a solo statement. Feverish but well-channeled, this larger-group session is probably Cherry's most gratifying for Blue Note.

By September of 1966, the so-called "free jazz" movement was in full swing. It had been nearly six years since Ornette Coleman's highly controversial landmark residency at the Five Spot. Cecil Taylor had recently been pushing the limits of jazz with records such as Unit Structures and Conquistador. Albert Ayler's watershed, Spiritual Unity, had already shown just how completely the bounderies of jazz could be obliterated. By this time, even John Coltrane had abandoned his classic quartet, along with commercial acceptance, and forged into the fringes of free jazz in his pursuance of sound. All the rules of the jazz orthodoxy had already been broken. However, Symphony For Improvisors, Don Cherry's fifth date as a leader, reveals that his work was more akin to an earlier form of jazz: bebop.

Listening to Don Cherry's output with Ornette Coleman reveals a trumpeter steeped in the bebop tradition. Fully acquainted with the idiom, even at his freest, Don Cherry's playing retained a sense of order more akin to Charlie Parker than Cecil Taylor. It comes as no surprise that the recently reissued Symphony For Improvisors has many features common to bebop-oriented music: a walking bass line, a steady pulse, and moreover, individual solos with rhythm section backing, as opposed to collective improvisation. The opening movement of Symphony For Improvisors (titled "Symphony For Improvisors") is a veritable tour de force of group improvisation, but "Nu Creative Love" (along with the rest of the record) is more contiguous with bebop than the music of Albert Ayler. The primary reason behind the traditional nature of this record is the steady, swinging drumming of Ed Blackwell.

A versatile drummer from New Orleans, Ed Blackwell is one part second-line syncopation and one part Max Roach. Many free jazz drummers, such as Rashied Ali and Sunny Murray, abandoned playing time in favor of totally free abstraction, but Ed Blackwell never abandoned his bebop roots. Even during a maelstrom of chaotic exploration, he always maintained consistent time. Like Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell kept one foot in the tradition while forging ahead with the other. Throughout Symphony For Improvisors his dualistic drumming brings unity to the opposing forces of free jazz and bebop.

While Symphony For Improvisors shares many attributes with bebop, it also features several trademarks prevalent in the work of Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and Cecil Taylor: The use of vibes, as opposed to piano (Karl Berger plays vibes on the first suite, "Symphony For Improvisors," piano on the first movement of "Manhattan Cry," and vibes on the remaining movements); the wailing, human voice-like sax playing of Gato Barbieri; screaming, gurgling, alien saxaphone work akin to Albert Ayler's inventions (Pharoah Sanders plays flute on the first suite, but returns with a vengeance on tenor during the third movement of "Manhattan Cry"); and collective improvisation (on "Symphony For Improvisors" and "Sparkle Plenty"). In spite of the more traditional bebop nature of Don Cherry's overall approach at the time, his choice to surround himself with some of the more adventurous players of the day insured that his work would test the limits of his background.

Symphony For Improvisors belongs to a unique category of music called free bop that shares aspects of bebop and free jazz. Firmly rooted in bebop through the syncopated beats of Ed Blackwell, it simultaneously embraces free jazz through the fiery playing of Pharoah Sanders and Gato Barbieri. Like Ornette Coleman's landmark recording Free Jazz, Symphony For Improvisors sounds free-wheeling, happy, and very beboppish. Hindsight is 20/20, but it seems ludicrous that Don Cherry's music was ever considered un-melodic, un-musical, or even un-listenable. Symphony For Improvisors is a testament to his musicality, melodicism, and infinite listenability.

Don Cherry - 1966 - Complete Communion

Don Cherry
Complete Communion

01. Complete Communion 20:38
  a. Complete Communion
  b. And Now
  c. Golden Heart
  d. Remembrance
02. Elephantasy 19:36
  a. Elephantasy
  b. Our Feelings
  c. Bishmallah
  d. Wind, Sand And Stars

Recorded At – Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Bass – Henry Grimes
Cornet – Don Cherry
Drums – Ed Blackwell
Liner Notes – Nat Hentoff
Tenor Saxophone – Leandro 'Gato' Barbieri

Recorded on December 24, 1965.

Imagination and a passion for exploration made Don Cherry one of the most influential jazz musicians of the late 20th century. A founding member of Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking quartet of the late '50s, Cherry continued to expand his musical vocabulary until his death in 1995. In addition to performing and recording with his own bands, Cherry worked with such top-ranked jazz musicians as Steve Lacy, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, John Coltrane, and Gato Barbieri. Cherry's most prolific period came in the late '70s and early '80s when he joined Nana Vasconcelos and Collin Walcott in the worldbeat group Codona, and with former bandmates Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell, and saxophonist Dewey Redman in the Coleman-inspired group Old and New Dreams. Cherry later worked with Vasconcelos and saxophonist Carlos Ward in the short-lived group Nu.

Born in Oklahoma City in 1936, he first attained prominence with Coleman, with whom he began playing around 1957. At that time Cherry's instrument of choice was a pocket trumpet (or cornet) -- a miniature version of the full-sized model. The smaller instrument -- in Cherry's hands, at least -- got a smaller, slightly more nasal sound than is typical of the larger horn. Though he would play a regular cornet off and on throughout his career, Cherry remained most closely identified with the pocket instrument. Cherry stayed with Coleman through the early '60s, playing on the first seven (and most influential) of the saxophonist's albums. In 1960, he recorded The Avant-Garde with John Coltrane. After leaving Coleman's band, Cherry played with Steve Lacy, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp, and Albert Ayler. In 1963-1964, Cherry co-led the New York Contemporary Five with Shepp and John Tchicai. With Gato Barbieri, Cherry led a band in Europe from 1964-1966, recording two of his most highly regarded albums, Complete Communion and Symphony for Improvisers.
Cherry began the '70s by teaching at Dartmouth College in 1970, and recorded with the Jazz Composer's Orchestra in 1973. He lived in Sweden for four years, and used the country as a base for his travels around Europe and the Middle East. Cherry became increasingly interested in other, mostly non-Western styles of music. In the late '70s and early '80s, he performed and recorded with Codona, a cooperative group with percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and multi-instrumentalist Collin Walcott. Codona's sound was a pastiche of African, Asian, and other indigenous musics.

Concurrently, Cherry joined with ex-Coleman associates Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, and Dewey Redman to form Old and New Dreams, a band dedicated to playing the compositions of their former employer. After the dissolution of Codona, Cherry formed Nu with Vasconcelos and saxophonist Carlos Ward. In 1988, he made Art Deco, a more traditional album of acoustic jazz, with Haden, Billy Higgins, and saxophonist James Clay.

Until his death in 1995, Cherry continued to combine disparate musical genres; his interest in world music never abated. Cherry learned to play and compose for wood flutes, tambura, gamelan, and various other non-Western instruments. Elements of these musics inevitably found their way into his later compositions and performances, as on 1990's Multi Kulti, a characteristic celebration of musical diversity. As a live performer, Cherry was notoriously uneven. It was not unheard of for him to arrive very late for gigs, and his technique -- never great to begin with -- showed on occasion a considerable, perhaps inexcusable, decline. In his last years, especially, Cherry seemed less self-possessed as a musician. Yet his musical legacy is one of such influence that his personal failings fade in relative significance.

Not counting a couple of sessions he co-led with John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, Complete Communion was the first album Don Cherry recorded as a leader following his departure from the Ornette Coleman Quartet. It was also one of the earliest showcases for the Argentinian tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri, who Cherry discovered during a stay in Rome. While the music on Complete Communion was still indebted to Coleman's concepts, Cherry injected enough of his own personality to begin differentiating himself as a leader. He arranged the original LP as two continuous side-long suites, each of which incorporated four different compositions and was recorded in a single take. In practice, this meant that several melodic themes popped up over the course of each side; all the musicians free-associated off of each theme, engaging in intense, abstract dialogues before moving on to the next. As the album's title suggests, every member of the group not only solos, but shares the total space selflessly. Bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ed Blackwell both play extremely active roles, especially Grimes, who solos powerfully and sometimes carries the main riffs. Often the music sounds more like a conversation, as opposed to a solo with support, because the musicians make such intelligent use of space and dynamics, and wind up with a great deal of crackling, volatile interplay as a result. The leader remains recognizably himself, and his burnished tone is a nice contrast with Barbieri's fiery approach; for his part, Barbieri's playing has a lot of speechlike inflections, and he spends a lot of time in the upper register of his horn, which makes him sound quite similar to Ornette at times. As a whole, the project comes off remarkably well, establishing Cherry as an avant-garde force to be reckoned with in his own right.

Gato Barbieri - 1978 - Obsession

Gato Barbieri 

01. Obsession Part 1
02. Obsession Part 2
03. Michelle

Bass – J.-F. Jenny-Clark
Drums – Aldo Romano
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri

Recorded in Milan, May and June, 1967.

Backed by bassist Jean-Francois Jenny Clark and drummer Aldo Romano on this LP, tenor-saxophonist Gato Barbieri plays with great intensity and fire during these lengthy performances (two versions of "Obsession" and "Michelle"; the latter has no relation to The Beatles tune). Barbieri's playing would become, if not more mellow, much more melodic a few years later, but at this early stage he was in his avant-garde stage, playing with ferocious energy.

Gato Barbieri - 1977 - Ruby, Ruby

Gato Barbieri 
Ruby, Ruby

01. Ruby 6:29
02. Nostalgia 5:25
03. Latin Reaction 4:58
04. Ngiculela - Es Una Historia - I Am Singing 5:45
05. Sunride 5:55
06. Adios 4:42
07. Blue Angel 5:46
08. Midnight Tango 4:27

Bass – Chuck Domanico (tracks: B3), Eddie Guagua (tracks: B2), Gary King
Congas – Joe Clayton (tracks: A3)
Drums – Bernard Purdie (tracks: A1), Lenny White, Steve Gadd (tracks: B1), Steve Jordan (tracks: B2)
French Horn – John Gale, Peter Gordon (8), Tom Malone
Guitar – David Spinozza, Joe Caro, Lee Ritenour (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Keyboards – Eddy Martinez
Organ – Don Grolnick (tracks: A3)
Percussion – Cachete Maldonado, Paulinho Da Costa (tracks: A1, A2, A4 to B3), Portinho (tracks: B2)
Piano – Don Grolnick (tracks: A1)
Synthesizer – Ian Underwood (tracks: A2 to A4)
Tenor Saxophone, Arranged By – Gato Barbieri
Trombone – David Taylor, Paul Faulise, Wayne Andre
Trumpet – Herb Alpert (tracks: A2)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Alen Rubin, Jon Faddis, Lou Soloff, Marvin Stamm

Ruby, Ruby is the continuation of Caliente from the previous year. Just imagine the two records as a double album, they belong together in every aspect.

Again, Jay Chattaway's in charge of the arrangements, and he keeps doing the right things, which in this case means making sure the tropics appear right before our ears, the clouds part, the bed sheets part etc. when we play this LP. Again, Gato Barbieri plays passionately and proves to be one of the most exiting tenor players of his time. Perhaps the choice of songs is not quite as successful here as on Caliente, however, the highlights are truly highlights: Latin Reaction, Ruby, Nostalgia, Blue Angel.

Gato Barbieri - 1976 - Caliente!

Gato Barbieri 

01. Fireflies 5:28
02. Fiesta 5:07
03. Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile) 4:27
04. Don't Cry Rochelle 4:55
05. Adios - Part I 0:33
06. I Want You 5:53
07. Behind The Rain 5:37
08. Los Desperados 6:15
09. Adios - Part II 0:59

Bass – Gary King
Drums – Lenny White
Guitar – David Spinozza, Eric Gale, Joe Beck
Keyboards – Eddy Martinez
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Don Grolnick
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri
Percussion – Cachete Maldonado, Mtume, Ralph MacDonald
Strings – Alan Shulman, Alfred Brown, Charles McCracken, David Nadien, Harold Kohon, Harry Cykman, Harry Glickman, Harry Lookofsky, Matthew Raimondi, Max Ellen, Max Polikoff*, Paul Gershman, Theodore Israel
Trombone – David Taylor, Paul Faulise, Wayne Andre
Trumpet – Bernie Glow, Irvin Markowitz, Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker

Believe it or not, this Argentinian-born saxophonist spent his early years playing in the jazz avant-garde with the likes of Don Cherry. But for all his free-form experiments, "the Cat" hit his stride with this pristine piece of seminal pop-jazz. His emotional, warm-blooded playing, gritty-sweet tone, and Latin-laced grooves slide down smooth and easy. Covers of Santana's "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)" and Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" remain faithful to the originals' vibe, yet take on a seductive Spanish accent thanks to Barbieri's expressive tenor and a battery of Latin percussion. Elsewhere, hip-swiveling rhythms and tuneful arrangements of cuts like "Fiesta," "Behind the Rain," and "Los Desperados" simply simmer. Drummer Lenny White kicks down a rock-solid beat, percussionists Ralph MacDonald and Mtume add the spice that's funky and nice, and producer Herb Alpert (of Tijuana Brass, and the "A" in A&M Records) polishes the proceedings to a glossy sheen with colorful orchestrations and silky strings.

...And some can enjoy both. People, people. Music never has to be an either/or proposition. It's not the Angels vs. the Yankees for crying out loud. Believe me, I have plenty of Monk, Mingus, Coltrane--even Ornette--in my collection, but that doesn't stop me from digging this masterpiece by Gato Barbieri.
I first heard "Caliente" in 1978, when I was 11 years old and more into rock than jazz. This was the album that taught me that string-sections are not necessarily anathema to 'cool' music--that is, when they are there for a specific colorative purpose, and not merely to add a calculated 'easy-listening' gloss. Not once, from the first time I listened to the LP to today when I own it on CD, have I ever questioned the essential artistic 'rightness' of the strings or anything else that appears on this beautifully arranged album.
And what a wall of sound. There's Barbieri's trademark passionate wail, of course. But it rides on a thick brew of funky, percolating keyboards: clavinet, electric piano, acoustic piano, and synthesizer; rock, jazz and Brazilian-tinged acoustic and electric guitars (along with seventies-era effects pedals); popping, driving, brooding electric bass; Latin percussion; propulsive drumming; and, yes, brass, strings, the whole enchilada--all being played by the top studio musicians of the day with a chemistry and inspiration that makes me wonder what kind of Amazonian extract was being passed around. I can't think of any other record to compare it to, and I doubt there are any. I'm not sure if even Gato, his wife, and Herb Alpert knew what they'd pulled off, because, sadly, they weren't able to do it again. (I was greatly disappointed by the follow-up album.) In the end it's just one of those 'moment-in-time' things, both for the listener and the artist. I happened to be in the perfect receptive mood when I first heard "Caliente," and Gato & Co. were in a perfect creative space when they made it.
I recommend this to open-minded individuals who enjoy music they can dive into and drift away on. It is alternately hot, cool, romantic, exuberant, dark, earthy, spicey, and playful. Put it on some late evening when you are by your lonesome and feeling moody.

Gato Barbieri - 1975 - El Gato

Gato Barbieri 
El Gato

01. El Gato 12:45
02. El Parana 8:57
03. Merceditas 9:44
04. Vidala Triste 5:30
05. Ninos 7:14

Bass – Stanley Clarke
Congas – Mtume
Drums – Pretty Purdie
Piano – Lonnie Liston Smith
Saxophone [Tenor] – Gato Barbieri

In the early '70s, Gato Barbieri was in transition. The Argentinean saxophonist had become more melodic and accessible. He wasn't as avant-garde as he had been in the late '60s, although he had yet to start playing the type of commercial pop-jazz/NAC music he would become known for in the late '70s. The Barbieri of the early '70s was a modal post-bopper along the lines of Pharoah Sanders and the pre-1965 John Coltrane, but with a strong Latin flavor. Released in 1975, this vinyl LP paints an impressive picture of work that Barbieri had done four years earlier. The only previously unreleased selection is the title song, which was written by arranger/saxman Oliver Nelson and employs a two-saxophone front line with Barbieri on tenor and Nelson on alto. The four other songs ("El Parana," "Vidala Triste," "Niños," and "Merceditas") are Barbieri originals that had been previously released. All of the material is superb, and Barbieri's playing is quite passionate. Even though the Barbieri of 1971 wasn't as outside as the Barbieri of 1967, he was still a very forceful and explosive soloist. The saxman's sidemen on these Bob Thiele-produced recordings include, among others, Lonnie Liston Smith on acoustic piano, Stanley Clarke on upright bass, John Abercrombie on electric guitar, Airto Moreira on drums, and James Mtume (who had yet to become a famous R&B producer/songwriter) on percussion. El Gato has no problem illustrating the excellence of Barbieri's modal period.

Gato Barbieri - 1975 - Chapter Four: Alive In New York

Gato Barbieri 
Chapter Four: Alive In New York

01. Milonga Triste 6:00
02. La China Leoncia (Part I) 3:25
03. La China Leoncia (Part II) 4:11
04. La China Leoncia (Part III) 3:58
05. La China Leoncia (Part IV) 4:03
06. Baihia 10:18
07. Lluvia Azul 9:10

Bass – Ron Carter
Congas, Percussion – Ray Armando
Drums – Portinho
Flugelhorn, Tuba, Bass Clarinet, Tambourine – Howard Johnson
Guitar – Paul Metzke
Keyboards [Fender Rhodes] – Eddie Martinez
Tenor Saxophone, Guiro – Gato Barbieri

Recorded at The Bottom Line, New York City.
February 20-23, 1975.

The final installment of Gato Barbieri's excellent Latin America series features the fire-breathing Argentinean tenor saxophonist leading a smoking international septet—with Howard Johnson (bass clarinet, flugelhorn and tuba), Eddie Martinez (keyboards), Paul Metzke (electric guitar), Ron Carter (bass), Portinho (drums) and Ray Armando (percussion)—at the Bottom Line back in 1975, a time when jazz was moving in many directions. A post-Coltrane avant gardist with a firm grounding in the tenor saxophone tradition, Barbieri merged the world music of his native continent and the blossoming fusion movement into a uniquely personal mélange that remains exciting today.

The satisfying set begins with Barbieri's "Milonga Triste, a melancholy tango that showcases the leader's sensual sound swathed in an opulent textural tapestry of interwoven rhythms and tones (enriched by Johnson's superb bass clarinet backgrounds). The album's centerpiece, "La China Leoncia, an extended four-part suite by Barbieri, is constructed similarly, but unfolds even more dramatically. It begins with the composer's poetic recitation over an airy backdrop of fluttering tuba, keyboards and percussion, seamlessly segueing into the second section, which opens with Martinez's processional piano and gives way to Carter's insistent bass line and Barbieri's flamenco-inspired handclapping. Then the tenor enters, gradually building in dynamics until it shrieks and squeals fervently in the third section. Metzke's cavaquinho-styled strumming opens the final movement, where Portinho's drumming and Johnson's flugelhorn push the leader's high-energy horn.

The penultimate "Bahia spotlights Barbieri hearkening to Coltrane's '50s persona in the opening strains of a beautiful ballad (over the lush cushion of Johnson's tuba) and moving on to the master's uninhibited '60s tone (mingled with a Rollins-esque coarseness) later in the song. The final selection, the leader's "Lluvia Azul, a pretty melody first heard in a Chico O'Farrill arrangement on the previous Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata, features the whole band in an Afro-Cuban styled descarga jam that was quite novel at the time.

Gato Barbieri - 1974 - Yesterdays

Gato Barbieri 

01. Yesterdays 10:45
02. A John Coltrane Blues 8:17
03. Marnie 7:07
04. Carinoso 10:51

Bass – Ron Carter
Congas – Babafemi
Drums – Bernard Purdie
Electric Piano – George Dalto
Guitar – Paul Metzke
Piano – George Dalto
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri
Timbales – Raymond Mantilla

I love this CD. Apparently, it was the last of Gato's Flying Dutchman albums (excluding the compilations), but somehow it feels like Gato is trying to take the listener back just a little, to experience, in a retrospective way, his transition from really screechy free jazz to the richly melodic music of Under Fire, Bolivia, and his subsequent releases. Actually, Yesterdays is not all that screechy or chaotic, when compared, for example, to In Search of the Mystery, which preceded the Flying Dutchman albums. Nevertheless, it may be an acquired taste for some. Not having heard much free jazz before I listened to Yesterdays, I initially disliked the screechy parts. But after listening just a few times, I was totally hooked. What I love about this CD is that Gato makes these great transitions in tempo and playing style throughout, as if to take you on a musical and emotional rollercoaster ride. So vibrant is his playing, that you'll feel like he has jumped off the CD and into your living room! I'd give this one six stars if I could.

Gato Barbieri - 1974 - Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata

Gato Barbieri 
Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata

01. Milonga Triste 4:57
02. Lluvia Azul 7:39
03. El Sublime 5:51
04. La Podrida 4:43
05. Cuano Vuelva A Tu Lado (What A Difference A Day Makes) 5:27
06. Viva Emiliano Zapata 6:03

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – George Davis
Bass, Bass [Fender] – Ron Carter
Clarinet [Bass], Flugelhorn, Saxophone [Baritone], Tuba – Howard Johnson
Drums – Grady Tate
Electric Guitar – Paul Metzke
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Piano – Eddie Martinez
Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Alan Rubin (tracks: A2 to B1, B3), Bob McCoy (tracks: A1, B2), Randy Brecker (tracks: A1, B2), Victor Paz (tracks: A1, B2)
Flute [Alto, Piccolo], Saxophone [Alto, Baritone] – Seldon Powell
French Horn – Jimmy Buffington, Ray Alonge
Percussion [Latin] – Luis Mangual, Portinho, Ray Armando, Ray Mantilla
Saxophone [Tenor] – Gato Barbieri
Trombone – Buddy Morrow
Trombone [Bass] – Alan Raph

All Tracks recorded June 25, 1974 except "Lluvia Azul", "El Sublime" & "Viva Emiliano Zapata" recorded June 26, 1974.
All tracks recorded at Generation Sound Studios, New York City.

Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata is the third of the four excellent "chapters" in saxophonist and composer Gato Barbieri's four-part "Latin America" series for Impulse, and released in 1974 with the core of a band he would use for his live outing on Chapter Four: Alive in New York. Produced by Ed Michel, this is a large group that included bassist Ron Carter, drummer Grady Tate, percussionists Ray Mantilla, the ubiquitous -- and brilliant -- Portinho, Ray Armando, and Luis Mangual, guitarists George Davis and Paul Metzke, and a large horn section. The session was arranged and conducted by the legendary Chico O'Farrill. There are six tunes on the set, divided between four Barbieri originals, and two covers including the legendary "Milonga Triste," and "What a Difference a Day Makes." While the former became a staple of Barbieri's live sets, it's his own compositions that are of most interest here, such as the complex horn charts in "El Sublime," with its funky Latin backbeat and his gorgeous, impassioned, hard-edged blowing over the top. The groove is irresistible. The title track begins as a rhumba with a killer piano introducing the claves and other percussion before the popping brass underscore that unmistakable Afro-Cuban rhythm. O'Farrill colors his arrangement with lithe flutes finding spaces to be heard in the dense, building intensity of the horns and the drums and percussions playing counter rhythmic statements. What initially sounds like one statement being played continuously is gradually revealed to be a subtly shifting set of tones, rhythms, and even modalities. Barbieri blows against the entire mess initially, driving right into the enormous harmonious storm and eventually rising above it with enormous squeals and squawks, while never losing the lyric bent in the tune. It's a breathtaking finish to a stellar recording, and of the four chapters in the series, the one most accessible to most jazz fans.

Gato Barbieri - 1974 - Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre

Gato Barbieri 
Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre

01. Encontros, Part One 2:16
02. Encontros, Part Three 4:16
03. Latino America 5:30
04. Marissea 7:39
05. Para Nosotros 8:02
06. Juana Azurduy 11:21

Gato Barbieri - tenor saxophone
Helio Delmiro, Quelo Palacios - acoustic guitar
Ricardo Lew - electric guitar
Daudeth De Azevado - cavaco
Adalberto Cevasco, Jim Hughart, Novelli - electric bass
Paulo Antonio Braga, Pocho Lapuble - drums
Jorge Padin, El Zurdo Roizner - percussion
Mayuto Correa - conga, triangle
Domingo Cura - bombo legüero
Isoca Fumero - charango
Raul Mercado - quena
Amadeo Monges - arpa India
Antonio Pantoja - anapa, erke, siku, quena, erkencho

A1, A2, A4: Recorded April 28, 1973 at Odeon Studios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Additions to the basic track at The Village Recorder, Los Angeles.
A3: Recorded at the Village Recorder, Los Angeles, October 16, 1973.
B1: Recorded at the Village Recorder, Los Angeles, October 17, 1973.
B2: Recorded April 18, 1973 at Music Hall, S.A.C.I.S.I., Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Mixed in Uncle Tom's Cabin, Royal Hidley Hall, Westlake Audio, Los Angeles, February 1974.

The second entry in Gato Barbieri's series of Impulse albums dealing with Latin America picks up where the first one left off, and in its way, follows its format closely yet not without some key differences. Based on the critical reviews of Chapter One: Latin America, he was emboldened to take some new chances on this, Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre (which translates to "As to Always.") The album was recorded between Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles with the set's final cut recorded in Buenos Aires, Barbieri's homeland.
The set kicks off with parts one and three of "Econtrol," a raucous, festive jam that marks the album's only real concession to American music because of an electric bassline by Los Angeles sessionman Jim Hughart. The rest of the players are all Latins, most unheard of outside their native lands. Barbieri's blowing is, like Pharoah Sanders', over the top, unfettered, deeply emotive like the human voice in full-throated song. Totaled, the two parts of the suite cover six-and-a-half minutes -- part two was featured on an Impulse sampler called The Saxophone and is not present here. The accompaniment of Helio Delmiro's electric guitar with Paulinho Braga's drum kit, Mayuto Correa's conga work, and Daudeth de Azevedo's small, four-string guitar called the "cavaco" adds to the culture clash that comes flowing out of the center of the mix. Add to this Novelli's second electric bassline and it becomes an orgy of rhythm and carnival spirit: free, funky, and forceful. "Latino America" is a much more typical piece in that it employs folk instruments almost exclusively: Quena, Indian harp, bombo drums, small percussion alongside electric and classical guitars, and Barbieri's haunted saxophone lines playing full modal. "Maressea" is once more a sort of "fusion" tune where Latin instrumentation, carnival rhythms, Afro-Cuban salsa beats, and funky undertones all commingle, sweat, and groove under the saxophonist's intense, extremely busy tenor.
The only track not composed by Gato is the final one, "Juana Azureduy." Here, his narration (in Spanish) is supported by a host of drummers, guitars ranging from full-on electric and classical to charango, an electric funky bassline, and an army of small percussion as Indian harps and wood flutes swirl about the sound of his voice, which at times whispers like the wind, and at other times, shouts. His tenor, like Coltrane's performances on "India" or "Greensleeves," goes into the intricacies of minor modes to bring out the folk melodies he's evoking from the lyric line of the composition. At over 11 minutes, it is the longest cut here, and it's the strongest. It's a stunner and will leave any interested listener breathless by its finish.
Interestingly, Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre wasn't greeted with the same laudatory critical acclaim as its predecessor was, but in some ways, it's a far stronger album, reflecting Barbieri's growing confidence in himself as a composer, arranger, and bandleader -- he already had his mettle as a soloist. This was reissued by Verve as part of its excellent Originals series. It sounds great, is dirt-cheap, and is an essential entry in the canon of great Latin jazz.

Gato Barbieri - 1973 - Under Fire

Gato Barbieri
Under Fire

01. El Parana 9:00
02. Yo Le Canto A La Luna 4:40
03. Antonico 3:46
04. Maria Domingas 9:35
05. El Sertao 8:17

Bass – Stanley Clarke
Drums – Roy Haynes
Drums, Percussion – Airto Moreira
Guitar – John Abercrombie
Percussion – James M'tume, Moulay "Ali" Hafid
Piano, Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Lonnie Liston Smith
Tenor Saxophone, Vocals – Gato Barbieri

Under Fire is Gato Barbieri in his early-'70s prime, when the Argentinean tenorman's transition from the avant-garde to exploring his South American continental routes still hadn't passed beyond the pale into flaccid fusion. He's joined by a pretty stellar band: his regular pianist Lonnie Liston Smith (before he fuzaked out), Airto Moreira and James Mtume on drums and percussion, the veteran Roy Haynes guesting on "El Parana," a young John Abercrombie on guitar and Stanley Clarke in his young lion-of-acoustic-bass phase.
Barbieri floats in the background of "El Parana" before kicking into the song proper at an accelerated tempo. More than improvising per se, his trademark was the emotionally charged sonic stamp he put on the melody (check the intro to the ballad "Yo Le Canto a la Luna," where Barbieri sounds like he's aiming to blow down walls) that made clichés like "Latin passion and fire" sound like, well, the real deal. It also provides a good counterpoint to the exuberant playing of the group -- Smith's solo shows the impact of his years with Pharoah Sanders, but it's Clarke and the rhythm section that really drive the piece while Abercrombie tosses in fills here and there.
"Antonico" features double-tracked Barbieri and the strongest improvisation (so far) at the end, while Brazilian songwriter Jorge Ben's "Maria Domingas" fades in with a full head of steam thanks to Abercrombie and Clarke dueling over Moreira and Mtume. Barbieri's echoed yelps give way to a deeply lyrical sax melody -- he does a lot of similar dynamic shifts here -- before Abercrombie's guitar comps re-start the up-tempo with Clarke effortlessly loping on as the octave-leaping anchor for Barbieri's searing statement of the theme. "El Sertao" opens with Barbieri squeaks over Smith's echoed Fender Rhodes trills, a Clarke foundation riff, and Abercrombie's comps before Barbieri enters full-force. The music stays light and buoyant before another downtempo shift builds to a climatic coda with Clarke shining.
Even the longer pieces are over before you know it so, although Under Fire doesn't quite match the charged intensity of Fenix or El Pampero, it leaves you wishing for two things. First, that there were outtakes to include here because you never come close to getting tired of the music -- double the music would mean double the fun. And what a shame that Carlos Santana, who was just entering his Devadip phase, never recorded with Barbieri at this point in their careers because that combination had the potential to create some pretty incredible music.

Gato Barbieri - 1973 - Last Tango In Paris

Gato Barbieri 
Last Tango In Paris

01. Last Tango In Paris - Tango 3:32
02. Jeanne 2:34
03. Girl In Black - Tango (Para Mi Negra) 2:06
04. Last Tango In Paris - Ballad 3:43
05. Fake Ophelia 2:57
06. Picture In The Rain 1:51
07. Return - Tango (La Vuelta) 3:04
08. It's Over 3:15
09. Goodbye (Un Largo Adios) 2:32
10. Why Did She Choose You? 3:00
11. Last Tango In Paris - Jazz Waltz 5:44

Tracks 1-11 - The Album Recording
Bonus Tracks:

12-40. Last Tango In Paris Suite

Arranged By – Oliver Nelson
Composed By, Saxophone [Solo] – Gato Barbieri
Music By – Gato Barbieri And His Orchestra
Producer – Alberto Grimaldi
Original Soundtrack from Bernardo Bertolucci's movie.

First pressings have off-white labels with large, brown "UA" logo at top.

Gato Barbieri performs through the courtesy of Flying Dutchman Productions, Ltd.

Although some of the smoky sax solos get a little uncomfortably close to 1970s fusion cliché, Gato Barbieri's score to Bertolucci's 1972 classic is an overall triumph. Suspenseful jazz, melancholy orchestration, and actual tangos fit the film's air of erotic longing, melancholy despair, and doomed fate. "Last Tango in Paris" is a particular standout, its orgiastic, wordless vocal yelps reflecting, whether by design or not, the actual content of the movie. The 1998 CD reissue is by no means just a substitute for the old vinyl; it more than doubles the length of the original release with a "Last Tango in Paris Suite," put together by Barbieri himself from 29 cues from the original score as used in the film.

This is a brilliant revision of the original soundtrack of the movie score from the 1970s. Gato Barbieri went back into the studio as a much older man, deeply affected by the death of his beloved wife, and immersed himself in this project which proved restorative for him. And we benefit immeasurably hearing the fresh sounds of his unique saxophone, searing, untrammeled, boundless. The beauty
of his playing is never conventional but always illuminating. And there is a striking bonus. Gato also composed and performs a Suite
based on themes from the soundtrack. This music is redolent of Paris, the city's magic, mystery and wonder are Gato's gift to us. This is Paris as romantics everywhere feel it and experience it. The film itself is a tragic story of a man's life winding down, his death wish accelerating it; and the naive young woman who becomes not his lover in an apocalyptic love affair, although for a time she believes it, but rather his accomplice in his death. I know that view of the film sounds harsh, but it's accurate. The music of the Suite presents a very different Paris and suggests a more romantic love story.

Gato Barbieri - 1973 - Chapter One: Latin America

Gato Barbieri 
Chapter One: Latin America

01. Encuentros
02. India
03. La China Leoncia Arreo La Correntinada Trajo Entre; La Muchachada La Flor De La Juventud
04. Nunca Mas
05. To Be Continued

Acoustic Guitar – Quelo Palacios (tracks: A1 to B1)
Bandoneon – Dino Saluzzi (tracks: B2)
Bass [Fender] – Adalberto Cevasco (tracks: A1 to B2)
Charango – Isoca Fumero (tracks: A1, B1)
Drums – Pocho Lapouble (tracks: A1, B1)
Drums [Indian] – Domingo Cura (tracks: A1 to B1)
Electric Guitar – Ricardo Lew (tracks: A1, B1)
Engineer – Baker Bigsby, Juan Carlos Manojas, Nivaldo Duarte
Flute [Indian, Quena] – Raul Mercado (tracks: A1 to B1)
Harp [Indian] – Amadeo Monges (tracks: A1 to B1)
Percussion – El Zurdo Roizner (tracks: A1 to B1), Jorge Padin (tracks: A1 to B1)
Piano – Osvaldo Bellingieri (tracks: B2)
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri (tracks: A1 to B3)

Subtitle: Gato Barbieri recorded in Latin America.
Tracks A1, A2, B1, B2 recorded in Buenos Aires. Track B3 recorded in Rio de Janeiro.

When Gato Barbieri signed to Impulse! Records in 1973 for a series of critically lauded albums, he had already enjoyed a celebrated career as a vanguard musician who had worked with Don Cherry and Abdullah Ibrahim (then known as Dollar Brand), recorded for three labels as a leader, and scored and performed the soundtrack to director Bernardo Bertolucci's film Last Tango in Paris. Chapter One: Latin America was a huge step forward musically for the Argentinean-born saxophonist, even as it looked to the music of his heritage. This turned out to be the first of four chapters in his series on Latin America, and for it he teamed not with established jazz musicians, but instead folk and traditional musicians from his native country, and recorded four of the album's five cuts in Buenos Aires -- the final track, a multi-tracked solo piece, was recorded in Rio de Janeiro. The music found here doesn't walk a line between the two worlds, but freely indulges them. The enormous host of musicians on the date played everything from wooden flutes to electric and acoustic guitars, bomba drums and quenas, and Indian harps and charangos, creating a passionate and deeply emotive sound that echoed across not only miles but also centuries. At the helm was Barbieri, playing in his rawest and most melodic style to date, offering these melodies, harmonies, and rhythms as a singular moment in the history of jazz. While the entire album flows seamlessly from beginning to end, the A-side, comprised of Barbieri's own "Encuentros" and J. Asunción Flores and M. Ortiz Guerrero's classic "India," is the clear standout. That said, the four-part suite that commences side two -- "La China Leoncia Arreo la Correntinada Trajo Entre la Muchachada la Flor de la Juventud" -- is a work of such staggering drama and raw beauty that it is perhaps the single highest achievement in Barbieri's recorded catalog as an artist. Simply put, this album, like its remaining chapters, makes up one of the great all but forgotten masterpieces in 1970s jazz.

Gato Barbieri - 1973 - Bolivia

Gato Barbieri 

01. Merceditas 9:07
02. Eclypse/Michellina 6:24
03. Bolivia 7:46
04. Ninos 7:15
05. Vidala Triste 5:33

Bass – J.-F. Jenny-Clark, Stanley Clarke
Drums – Pretty Purdie
Guitar – John Abercrombie
Percussion – Airto Moreira, Gene Golden, James M'tume, Moulay "Ali" Hafid
Piano, Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Lonnie Liston Smith
Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Vocals – Gato Barbieri

Recorded live in New York City in 1973.
The tune "Merceditas", credited to Gato Barbieri as composer both in the original edition and CD reissues, was actually written by Ramon Sixto Ríos, an Argentinian folk singer-songwriter, back in the 40s.

In 1973, Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri contemplated a move to a more commercially viable, accessible sound, one that appealed to both North and South American audiences. He moved from the jazz vanguard toward it's exotic center (and finally into the commercial world altogether) with a number of records, including this one, which explored the various rhythms, melodies, and textures of Afro-Cuban and Latin American sounds. Bolivia features Barbieri immediately prior to his Impulse recordings that resulted in the celebrated four-chapter Latin America series. Utilizing the talents of musicians as diverse as guitarist John Abercrombie, pianist Lonnie Liston Smith, drummer and percussionists Airto Moreira, M'tume, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Gene Golden, and Moulay Ali Hafid, as well as bassists Stanley and J.F. Jenny Clark. Barbieri's musical reach is everywhere here. There's the bolero-like romp of "Merceditas," where his normally raw-toned, feeling-centered playing is kicked up a couple notches into a frenetic, emotional tidal wave, and the haunting "Bolivia," full of shimmering percussion and pianistic glissandi courtesy of Smith. Barbieri's loping, spare playing is reminiscent of Coltrane stating of the melodic frames in "India." There is also the melody of the traditional "Eclypse" wedded to a gorgeous, sensual Cuban son-like melody "Michellina" (for Barbieri's Italian born wife). The final two of the album's five tracks are based in Argentinean folk forms associated with the tango, but are less formal, more open, and modally charged. Setting both "Ninos" and "Vidala Triste" in minor keys with open modal themes, improvisation happens -- á la Ornette Coleman -- in the heart of the melody, despite the intricate nature and complex time and key changes inherent in both tunes. Ultimately, Bolivia is a sensual, musically adept, and groundbreaking recording, which offered Barbieri a chance to come in from the avant-garde before heading back to the fringes with the Latin America series. A fine effort that is finally getting the notoriety it deserves.

Gato Barbieri - 1972 - El Pampero

Gato Barbieri 
El Pampero

01. El Pampero 13:44
02. Mi Buenos Aires Querido 6:21
03. Brasil 9:36
04. El Arriero 11:59

Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri
Berimbau, Percussion – Na-Na
Congas – Sonny Morgan
Drums – Pretty Purdie
Electric Bass – Chuck Rainey
Piano – Lonnie Liston Smith

Recorded Live in Montreux, Switzerland, 1971

This record chronicles a flavorful and unforgettable night during a live show recorded in Montreux, Switzerland. Gato Barbieri leads his fantastic group of musical friends with hurricane-like flair on his tenor sax. At times surreal and mind-boggling, Barbieri shows just how far one can let the music go to break the borders of jazz, sending his music into fresh and uncharted territory. Barbieri's chops and melodic sweeps are daring and bold, while the back crew brings vitality and utter life to the music, from the record's beginning to its very end. Within the first tune, "El Pampero," Barbieri plays a home tone riff over and over, changing only the keys of the song, with improvisation in between that gets the audience into dancing. Lonnie Liston Smith plays with great sweeping ease on the piano, while percussionists Pretty Purdie, Na-Na, and Sonny Morgan send their rhythms into soaring heights. A wondrous sense of dynamics is displayed here and throughout the record. The call and response between Na-Na and Morgan is a featured key ingredient, keeping the mood of the percussion section fluid and tight. Yes, the listeners were mesmerized, and one can feel lifted in spirit again with each playing of this recording. Perhaps the focus and direction of the music, which latched on greatly to the home key and initial melody, gives the music a more solid foundation. This was certainly a special night in Switzerland, in which Barbieri proudly shared his music, credited in a natural more than economic fashion, breathing spirit into the audience rather than taking money. For this performance was priceless, a can't-miss that left audience members bedazzled, talking among themselves years later, saying, "Do you remember when?...I was there!" With passion and faith in music, this group of musicians thrived here in this recorded moment, to demonstrate art, haunting art, vivid imagination, and victory in art.

Gato Barbieri - 1971 - Fenix

Gato Barbieri 


01. Tupac Amaru
02. Carnavalito
03. Falsa Bahiana
04. El Dia Que Me Quieras
05. El Arriero
06. Bahia

Gato Barbieri - tenor saxophone
Na Ná (Naná Vasconcelos) - berimbau & conga
Gene Golden - conga & bongo drums
Lennie White, lll - drums
Ron Carter - electric bass
Lonnie Liston Smith - piano & electric piano
Joe Beck - electric guitar (A1)

Recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios, New York, April 27 & 28, 1971
Sound mixers – Gene Paul & Geoff Haslam
Producer – Bob Thiele
Originally released in 1971 by Flying Dutchman Records (USA), LP - FD 10144

Some artists totally change directions; some reinvent their personalities. It is hard to know exactly what to make of the case of this Argentinian tenor saxophonist, who first appeared as a sideman on several extremely important Don Cherry projects, making such an essential contribution to the overall feel of these records that listeners expected great things. After a few attempts at finding a meeting place between the energy and harshness of free jazz and the his own rhythmic roots, he created this album in which everything seemed to come together perfectly. If a judgement is to be made based on Barbieri's overall career, then a lot of credit would be given to his accompanying musicians here, who are strictly the cream of the crop. A horn player certainly couldn't complain about a rhythm section featuring bassist Ron Carter, drummer Lenny White, and pianist Lonnie Liston Smith, the last fresh out of the band of Pharoah Sanders, where he had established himself as the absolute king of modal, vaguely Latin or African sounding vamps. Smith was able to fit right in here, and he of course knew just what to do when the saxophonist went into his screaming fits, because he surely had plenty of practice with this kind of stuff playing with Sanders. The leader adds a nice touch of ethnic percussion with some congas and bongos and Na Na on berimbau; in fact, this was the first time many American listeners heard this instrument. From here, Barbieri continued to build, reaching a height with a series of collaborations with Latin American musicians playing traditional instruments. He would then switch gears, tone down the energy, and become kind of a romantic image with a saxophone in his mouth, producing music that brought on insults from reviewers, many of whom would have bit their tongues if they'd known much worse sax playing was to come via later artists such as Kenny G. But at this point in 1971, well before the Muppets would create a caricature out of him, Barbieri was absolutely smoking, and for a certain style of rhythmic free jazz, this is a captivating album indeed.

Gato Barbieri - 1969 - The Third World

Gato Barbieri 
The Third World 

01. Introduction-Cancion Del Llamero And Tango 11:04
02. Zelao 8:02
03. Antonios Das Mortes 9:25
04. Bachanianas Brasileiras 11:02

Bass – Charlie Haden
Design – Robert Flynn
Drums – Beaver Harris
Percussion – Richard Landrum
Piano – Lonnie L. Smith, Jr.
Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Vocals – Gato Barbieri
Trombone – Roswell Rudd

Recorded November 24th and 25th, 1969

Born to a family of musicians, Barbieri began playing music after hearing Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time". He played the clarinet and later the alto saxophone while performing with the Argentinean pianist Lalo Schifrin in the late 1950s. By the early 1960s, while playing in Rome, he also worked with the trumpeter Don Cherry. By now influenced by John Coltrane's late recordings, as well as those from other free jazz saxophonists such as Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders, he began to develop the warm and gritty tone with which he is associated. In the late 1960s, he was fusing music from South America into his playing and contributed to multi-artist projects like Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and Carla Bley's Escalator Over The Hill. His score for Bernardo Bertolucci's film Last Tango in Paris earned him a Grammy Award and led to a record deal with Impulse! Records.

By the mid-70s, he was recording for A&M Records and moved his music towards soul-jazz and jazz-pop with albums like Caliente! in 1976 (including his best known song, Carlos Santana's Europa) and the 1977 follow-up, Ruby Ruby, both produced by fellow musician and label co-founder, Herb Alpert.

Although he continued to record and perform well into the 1980s, the death of his wife Michelle led him to withdraw from the public arena. He returned to recording and performing in the late 1990s with the soundtrack for the film Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof (1996) and the album Qué Pasa (1997), playing music that would fall more into the arena of smooth jazz.

The Third World is the initial session that mixed Gato Barbieri's free jazz tenor playing with Latin and Brazilian influences. It's also the album that brought Barbieri positive attention from the college crowds of the late '60s. He would expand on this musical combination with his next few Flying Dutchman releases as well as his first recordings for the Impulse! label. The records made between 1969 through 1974 find Barbieri creating a danceable yet fiery combination of South American rhythms and free jazz forcefulness. Strangely, once Barbieri signed with A&M, he began making commercial records geared to fans of Herb Alpert, sounding nothing like his earlier albums.

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."

Gato Barbieri - 1967 - In Search Of The Mystery

Gato Barbieri 
In Search Of The Mystery

01. In Search Of The Mistery
02. Michelle
03. Obession No. 2
04. Cinemateque

Bass – Norris "Sirone" Jones
Cello – Calo Scott
Drums – Bobby Kapp
Tenor Saxophone – Gato Barbieri

Recorded March 15, 1967 in New York City.

 Gato Barbieri is the second Argentine musician to make a significant impact upon modern jazz -- the first being Lalo Schifrin, in whose band Barbieri played. His story has been that of an elongated zigzag odyssey between his homeland and North America. He started out playing to traditional Latin rhythms in his early years, turning his back on his heritage to explore the jazz avant-garde in the '60s, reverting to South American influences in the early '70s, playing pop and fusion in the late '70s, only to go back and forth again in the '80s. North American audiences first heard Barbieri when he was a wild bull, sporting a coarse, wailing John Coltrane/Pharoah Sanders-influenced tone. Yet by the mid-'70s, his approach and tone began to mellow somewhat in accordance with ballads like "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" (which he always knew as the vintage bolero "Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado") and Carlos Santana's "Europa." Still, regardless of the idiom in which he works, the warm-blooded Barbieri has always been one of the most overtly emotional tenor sax soloists on record, occasionally driving the voltage ever higher with impulsive vocal cheerleading.

Though Barbieri's family included several musicians, he did not take up an instrument until the age of 12 when a hearing of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time" encouraged him to study the clarinet. Upon moving to Buenos Aires in 1947, he continued private music lessons, picked up the alto sax, and by 1953 had become a prominent national musician through exposure in the Schifrin orchestra. Later in the '50s, Barbieri started leading his own groups, switching to tenor sax. After moving to Rome in 1962 with his Italian-born wife, he met Don Cherry in Paris the following year and, upon joining his group, became heavily absorbed in the jazz avant-garde. Barbieri also played with Mike Mantler's Jazz Composers' Orchestra in the late '60s; you can hear his fierce tone unleashed in the "Hotel Overture" of Carla Bley's epic work "Escalator Over the Hill."

Yet after the turn of the next decade, Barbieri experienced a slow change of heart and began to reincorporate and introduce South American melodies, instruments, harmonies, textures, and rhythm patterns into his music. Albums such as the live El Pampero on Flying Dutchman and the four-part Chapter series on Impulse -- the latter of which explored Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms and textures, as well as Argentine -- brought Barbieri plenty of acclaim in the jazz world and gained him a following on American college campuses.

However, it was a commercial accident, his sensuous theme and score for the controversial film Last Tango in Paris in 1972, that made Barbieri an international star and a draw at festivals in Montreux, Newport, Bologna, and other locales. A contract with A&M in the U.S. led to a series of softer pop/jazz albums in the late '70s, including the brisk-selling Caliente! He returned to a more intense, rock-influenced, South American-grounded sound in 1981 with the live Gato...Para los Amigos under the aegis of producer Teo Macero, before doubling back to pop/jazz on Apasionado. Yet his profile in the U.S. was diminished later in the decade in the wake of the buttoned-down neo-bop movement.

Beset by triple-bypass surgery and bereavement over the death of his wife, Michelle, who was his closest musical confidant, Barbieri was inactive through much of the 1990s. But he returned to action in 1997, playing with most of his impassioned intensity, if limited in ideas, at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Los Angeles and recording a somewhat bland album, Que Pasa, for Columbia. Che Corazon followed in 1999.

As the 21st Century opened, Barbieri saw a steady stream of collections and reissues of his work appear. A new album, Shadow of the Cat, appeared from Peak Records in 2002

In his early days, Gato Barbieri was a fiery improviser who rarely held back his emotional intent to play music that was less interested in formal structure. While not to the level of Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, or John Coltrane, you could hear he was striving for that type of expressionism. Accompanying the young Argentine tenor saxophonist is a unique collection of musicians including the legendary cellist Calo Scott, bassist Sirone, and drummer Bobby Kapp. While the string players swim around the rhythms of Kapp, Barbieri dives right in with no fear of the outcome, allowing the others to stretch into harmonic and sonic arenas of their own choosing. This democratic approach enhances the music without need for time signatures, although a sense of free-style bop does work its way into the pieces. Sirone, in his pre-Revolutionary Ensemble days, is startlingly fresh, setting the pace for those fellow bassists like Malachi Favors, Cecil McBee, Ronnie Boykins, and Fred Hopkins to follow in the '70s. Scott's famed work with Eric Dolphy only scratched the surface of what he accomplished in this group, and what Diedre Murray would forge as a disciple in the next decade. Barbieri is on fire for the most part, but tends to snuff out the flames; then he roars back to life for most of these two extended improvisations. The difference in these tracks is both stark and subtle, as "In Search of the Mystery" and "Michelle" start low-key with Scott's bowed cello, then roar free and spiritual à la Coltrane, go off in free-bop style with intensified high-pitched wails, and offer up solos from the string players. This in-and-out concept is further advanced during "Obsession #2" and "Cinematique," in that Barbieri's squawking tones are matched in time by the wafting cello of Scott, Sirone's insistent bass, and the roiling drumming of Kapp. This clearly is visceral, forceful, and powerful creative music. A no-holds-barred drum solo and the uncomplicated blowing session mindset of the performers keep things ever interesting, whether a bit calmed or angered up. As Barbieri's work with Don Cherry and Karl Berger, his acclaimed Latin American albums for Impulse!, and his commercial work bear stark contrast, this unique recording is the one that ostensibly started it all, and must be considered one of his prime -- if not primal -- early works.

Various Artsts - 1989 - Gumby

Various Artsts 

01. Dweezil And Moon Unit Zappa (In Love) With You Gumby 3:42
02. Eddie Wade Concrete And Clay 3:40
03. Brave Combo Zydeco Gumby Ya Ya 2:24
04. Donna McElroy Bend Me, Shape Me 4:37
05. Sly And Robbie Gumby, We Love You 4:30
06. Jonathan Richman I Like Gumby 2:57
07. Brave Combo Pokey's Polka 3:03
08. Rick Schulman The Ballad Of Gumby 4:08
09. Flo And Eddie We All Are Gumby 6:01
10. Frank Sinatra, Jr. The Gumby Heart Song (Original TV Theme) 3:06

Obscure Tribute To That Big Green Rubbery Guy
One of our commenters mentioned this ancient artifact from the 20th Century and we thought it might be fun to post it, if only for the Beatles re-write by Flo & Eddie (The Turtles/The Mothers) that captures the fab’s psych years in a rich parody of/homage to “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am The Walrus” (“all we are saying, is give Gumby a chance”). There’s some other fun stuff here as well, including Dweezil & Moon Unit Zappa’s original tribute, Sly & Robbie, Jonathan Richman and even Francis Albert’s kid, Frank Sinatra, Jr., taking an extremely weak swing at the show’s theme song (the kid never really had the chops). All but three of the contributions are original compositions.

Flo & Eddie - 1983 - The History Of Flo & Eddie And The Turtles

Flo & Eddie 
The History Of Flo & Eddie And The Turtles

01. The Westchester High School Alma Mater
02. Silver Bullet
03. I Get Out Of Breath
04. Outside Chance
05. Grim Reaper Of Love
06. Lady-O
07. Turtle Hits Medley
08. Happy Together (Live)
09. Goodbye Surprise
10. There You Sit Lonely
11. We Ain't Gonna Party No More
12. The Flo & Eddie Theme
13. Feel Older Now
14. Nikki Hoi
15. I've Been Born Again
16. Best Part Of Breaking Up
17. Another Pop Star's Life
18. Just Another Town
19. Afterglow
20. You're A Lady
21. Marmendy Mill
22. Illegal, Immoral And Fattening
23. Rebecca
24. Let Me Make Love To You
25. Mama, Open Up
26. Keep It Warm
27. Moving Targets
The Flo & Eddie Radio Show" Featuring:
28. Flo & Eddie By The Fireside (Radio Theme)
29. The Big Showdown
30. This Could Be The Day
31. Good Duck
32. Medley #1
33. The Flo & Eddie Show
The Flo & Eddie Radio Show" Featuring:
34. Getaway (Back To L.A.)
35. Livin' In The Jungle
36. Youth In Asia
37. Medley #2
38. Closing Theme

Never issued on CD, Rhino’s 1983 3LP collection, The History Of Flo & Eddie And The Turtles, is a fun collection of near-hits, misses, oddities and rarities… not to mention some excerpts from Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan’s beloved, and quite manic, 1970s radio show. The bulk of the material here comes from Flo & Eddie’s four albums for Reprise & Columbia, The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie (1972), Flo & Eddie (1974), Illegal, Immoral And Fattening (1975) and Moving Targets (1976), which have historically been treasured by fans, but largely ignored by the masses. This set kicks off with a 1963 high school recording of Mark and Howie’s class “Alma Mater,” before segueing into one of the early, regional surf hits they cut as The Crossfires (the group that would later morph into The Turtles). Rather than a cursory “best-of,” this set shuns many hits in favor of more esoteric Turtles material like “I Get Out Of Breath” (slated, but canned as a single), “We Ain’t Gonna Party No More” (from 1970’s Wooden Head) and live stuff from TV and radio (“Happy Together” comes from The BBC). There are also a few time capsule radio commercials for Battle Of The Bands, Pepsi Cola and Turtle Soup included. Sides 5 & 6 are sub-titled “The Flo & Eddie Show,” but, in reality, this is only a number of interview excerpts sandwiched between some of Flo & Eddie’s rarest studio material; including songs from the 1974 animated movie, Dirty Duck (“This Could Be The Day,” “Good Duck,” and “Livin’ In The Jungle”), and 1978’s Texas Detour (with their “Born To Run” rip/parody/homage, “The Big Showdown,” and “Getaway (Back To L.A.)”). The radio show excerpts are great fun – featuring Albert Brooks, Alice Cooper, Keith Moon, David Bowie, T-Rex, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Iggy Pop, members of ELO & The Move, Lou Reed and America – but their brevity only makes you pine for the lengthy original broadcasts that the two representative ‘medleys’ of the show’s cut-and-paste madness only hint at. Marc Bolan even performs an original Flo & Eddie theme song. I neglected to fawn over one of Flo & Eddie’s greatest recordings, a shoulda-been-a-‘big-hit-record’-if-there-ever-was-one, the Turtles-throwback, “Let Me Make Love To You.”