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Latino America
Gato Barbieri
Latino America
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #2

In the 1970s, Argentine-born saxophonist Leandro "Gato" Barbieri came to fame for his soundtrack of Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris--but his most important work of that period was a daring series of recordings fo...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gato Barbieri
Title: Latino America
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Grp Records
Original Release Date: 11/11/1997
Release Date: 11/11/1997
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
Styles: Caribbean & Cuba, Cuba, Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Latin Jazz, Latin Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 011105023627, 0011105223621, 011105223621

In the 1970s, Argentine-born saxophonist Leandro "Gato" Barbieri came to fame for his soundtrack of Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris--but his most important work of that period was a daring series of recordings for Impulse. On them, Barbieri travelled to places such as Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and recorded with local musicians, combining his fiery post-Coltrane sensibility and Latin American rhythms and styles, often played on indigenous instruments. This 2 CD reissue, Latino America, collects the material from the two first recordings in the series plus some previously unreleased material. Here Barbieri and his ensembles stretch out exploring Argentine folkore ("La China Leoncia"), tango ("Nunca Mas," which features Dino Saluzzi on bandoneon), and Brazilian samba ("Encontros") with remarkably clarity and force. More than 25 years later, the passion, the power, and the originality of these tracks is still stunning. --Fernando Gonzalez

CD Reviews

Gato at the height of his powers
Ned Burks | Berryville, Virginia USA | 05/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This double-CD compilation captures the Argentine saxophone phenomenon Gato Barbieri at the height of his powers. Marvelous blending of tango and samba rhythms, propulsive saxophone solos, and scintillating Andean and Brazilian percussion. If you like the smoother Gato of the mid-1970s to mid-1980s (Caliente, Ruby Ruby, Tropico, etc.), this one's probably gonna be too heavy for you. But if you're a true fan of the raw, unadulterated, Latin-flavored Gato (not the American record producers' idea of Gato as an upscale lounge act), get this great collection. You won't be disappointed. And if you lock into this groove, then go get the superb Flying Dutchman albums that preceded this one: El Pampero, Bolivia, Fenix, and Under Fire. These (and Latino America) are all available on CD at Amazon and preserve the greatest work of one of the real giants of modern jazz. Viva Gato!"
Unbelievably imaginative music; should have won a Grammy
Lois Roe | Neptune, NJ United States | 12/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If ever there was a second Gato Barbieri release (in addition to Last Tango in Paris) that should have won a Grammy, Latino America is surely it. When Gato realized his dream of blending North American jazz with South American music by recording with South American musicians on their home turf in the mid-1970's, he went from being a larger-than-life legend to being a true jazz god. Although other jazz musicians before Gato had tried out similar ideas, this effort stands apart for the approach Gato took to blending native instruments, sounds and ideas with traditional jazz - and also for the clever, cinematic touch that has become one of his special trademarks. You may find the music on this two-CD set difficult listening if you are accustomed to the soothing sound of Gato's warm, rich, erotic tenor made so popular by his rendition of Santana's Europa, but if you really listen with an open heart and mind, you will find amazing treasures on this recently reissued set. Note the fascinating contrast Gato has set up between Argentine and Brazilian musical to his fascinatingly different versions of Nunca Mas - a great tune recorded in collaboration with bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi. My favorite part though, is Gato's wonderfully cinematic end to chapter one, "To Be Continued." Here he explains the project by building the sound of the group one instrument at a time, introducing each one in turn, while at the same time introducing you to the sound that is about to come on the second CD. As he builds the sound, he builds the drama, and he does this so effectively that when he wails into his own screeching solo, he absolutely chills up my spine! Then he drops right down into his deep, warm rich tone to make this one of the most dramatic contrasts I have ever heard in a solo. This amazingly creative music deserves some real listening! And make sure you read the engaging (and often very humorous) liner notes written by producer Ed Michel - they provide a perspective on the creation of the music that you won't read anywhere else."
Nonstop South American Party - Unbridled Joy!
Christopher Forbes | Brooklyn,, NY | 06/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can't help it....I hear the first cut on this CD and my feet start going and my head starts bopping. Since I first heard the Chapter Series back in the 70s these recordings have been among my favorite recordings of the Argentinean master. This Impulse reissue contains all of the music recorded during Gato's historic sessions in Argentina and Brazil. And the joy in each cut is positively infectious. In the early 70s, when these recordings were done, Gato was one of a generation of post-Coltrane free jazz players, possessed of a huge tenor sound and a screech that would give Pharaoh Sanders a run for his money. He had released one very avant-garde album on ESP, and several wonderful, percussive records on Flying Dutchman, as well as appearing as a stalwart on many albums by Carla Bley and Michael Mantler. And he has won a Grammy for the sultry, sexy sounds that added so much to the movie, Last Tango in Paris. But one sensed that Gato was looking for something new, something to connect his Coltrane-influenced free jazz with his Latino roots. These sessions provided an almost spiritual grounding for the tenor player. He did two sessions, one in Buenos Aires and one in Rio. Assembled were musicians who represented many of the traditions of the entire South American continent. Andean flutes and harps would blend with samba percussion and tango bands to produce an exciting pan-Latin stew of indigenous instruments and traditions. Overtop this mix, Gato would sail in with his incendiary sax sound, and the party would blow the roof off the studio. The cuts are all strong. Gato finds a marvelous balance between the folkloric elements in the band and his own strong jazz sound. He also creates music that is both accessible and still wild enough to satisfy a free jazz fan. Most tunes are based on a two-chord vamp with a melody that repeats. In between repeats Gato blows some pretty wild solos, often stretching the tunes to ten minutes or longer. Among my favorites pieces are Encuentros and Encontros. They are basically the same tune, but the first is done with a typical Quencha triple time feel, while the second is performed more as a traditional samba. In both cases, Gato's sax crests in wave after wave until he just explodes at the end of each take. It leaves you breathless. The album also shows off Gato's basic strengths without making the weaknesses apparent. Gato main strength is a marvelous tone...big, sexy and slightly dirty, with a pronounced edge. When he squeezes the sound into one of his shrieks, it is as powerful as any distorted guitar sound and sends chills up and down the spine. Gato is marvelous at interpreting an existing melody or using his gorgeous tone to pull the most emotion out of a simple riff. What Gato is not so good at is an extended structured solo, al la Coltrane. His gift of melodic improvisation isn't that well developed compared to Trane or Sonny Rollins. But wisely, Gato doesn't try to force this on the CD and instead plays up the tone, making the experience a visceral one indeed. After this recording and a few others in the series on Impulse, Gato left the label to record on A&M with Herb Alpert. Since then, he has moved farther and farther into the smooth jazz world. He is a fine smooth jazz player. The form further plays up to his strengths in interpreting melody. But I miss the fire and the raw edged saxophone shrieks. And no album of his that I've heard in the intervening years has the unbridled joy of this non-stop South American party. Thank you Impulse for bringing this wonderful music out again!"