234

Gato Barbieri: Chapter Four: Alive In New York

Russ Musto By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Track Listing: Milonga Triste; La China Leoncia, Pt. 1; La China Leoncia, Pt. 2; La China Leoncia, Pt. 3; La China Leoncia, Pt. 4; Baihia; Lluvia Azul.

Personnel: Gato Barbieri: tenor saxophone, guiro, voice; Howard Johnson: tuba, bass clarinet, flugelhorn, tambourine; Eddie Martinez: piano, Fender Rhodes; Paul Metzke: guitar; Ron Carter: bass; Portinho: drums; Ray Armando: percussion, conga.

Title: Chapter Four: Alive In New York | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Impulse!

About Gato Barbieri
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read A Throw Of Dice
A Throw Of Dice
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Roma
Roma
By Mike Jurkovic
Read e-motion
e-motion
By Nicholas F. Mondello
Read The Real Blue
The Real Blue
By Jack Bowers
Read City Abstract
City Abstract
By Dan Bilawsky
Read Spectrum
Spectrum
By Mike Jurkovic
Read Munich 2016
Munich 2016
By Karl Ackermann
Read Sounds of 3 Edition 2
Sounds of 3 Edition 2
By Geno Thackara