[JPL] Gato Barbieri

Juan-Carlos Valencia hjun98 at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 14 15:47:38 EDT 2006

Gato Barbieri was one of the most influential Jazz players of the
70´s in South America. 

His Latinoamerica (Volumes 1 and 2) recordings for Impulse mixed
Tango, Samba and Andean music with Hardbop and Free, opening a whole
new way of playing Jazz, that differed from traditional,
cuban-influenced Latin Jazz. 

Local musicians did not have to "compete" with the likes of Trane,
Miles or Monk, an impossible task, but they could use their own
musical heritage and rephrase it in the language of Jazz, achieving
interesting results. 

There´s a growing wave of south american musicians playing this
branch of world jazz. The first that comes to mind is Danilo Perez
who has produced some excellent CD´s for Impulse, mixing Jazz with
his panaminian roots (I believe that "Panamonk" was one of the top 10
Jazz recordings of the 90´s).  In Colombia, saxophonist Antonio
Arnedo has been researching local rhythms for years and has recorded
6 CD´s that combine Jazz with local styles from the Andes and the
caribbean coast. His "Colombia" CD is being distributed in the U.S.

It´s a shame that Gato shifted gears in the late 70´s and began
playing bland instrumental music and then Smooth Jazz. His classic
sound was striking, vigorous and inmediately recognizable. 

You can hear him in top form in the movie soundtrack of the film
"Calle 54" directed by Fernando Trueba. (2000).

And how about the movie soundtrack that he composed for Bernardo
Bertolluci´s classic "Last Tango in Paris" ?

I think that Barbieri can be mentioned alonside Antonio Carlos Jobim
as one of the top south american jazz players. 

Saludos !

Juan Carlos Valencia
UN Radio. 98.5 FM
Bogota. Colombia

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