Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reissue of the Month - "Gato Barbieri: Viva Emiliano Zapata"

Reissue of the Month
Gato Barbieri: "Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata" (Impulse!) 2009
CD Reissue Date in the USA: June 9, 2009

Digipack CD reissue supervised by Harry Weinger and digitally remastered by Kevin Reeves for Universal's "Originals" series.
Original album produced by Ed Michael and recorded by Tony May at Generation Sound Studios, New York on June 25 & 26, 1974, when Barbieri was at the height of his fame due to the "Last Tango in Paris" soundtrack.

Featuring: Gato Barbieri (tenor saxophone); George Davis (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Paul Metzke (electric guitar); Seldon Powell (flute, alto flute, piccolo, alto sax & baritone sax); Howard Johnson (bass clarinet, baritone sax, flugelhorn & tuba); Bob McCoy, Alan Rubin, Randy Brecker, Victor Paz (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jimmy Buffington, Ray Alonge (French horn); Buddy Morrow (trombone); Alan Raph (bass trombone); Eddie Martinez (acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes); Ron Carter (acoustic & electric bass!!!); Grady Tate (drums); Luis Mangual, Portinho, Ray Armando, Ray Mantilla (percussion).
Arranged & Conducted by Chico O'Farrill.

"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 the Impulse! label, and released in 1974 with the core of a band he would use for his live outing on "Chapter Four: Live in New York." Produced by Ed Michel, this is a large group that included bassist Ron Carter (when he still used to play electric bass when the occasion was appropriate), drummer Grady Tate, and a four-piece percussion section comprised of the brilliant & ubiquitous Brazilian master Portinho, Ray Mantilla (then a member of Joe Beck's group), Ray Armando (the new "percussion sensation" in NY at that time, recording with everybody in the mid-70s, from Jobim to Joao Gilberto to Michael Franks) & Luis Mangual, guitarists George Davis and Paul Metzke, and a large horn section.

The session was arranged & conducted by the legendary Chico O'Farrill. There are six tunes on the set, divided between four Barbieri originals, and two covers including the haunting Argentinian melody "Milonga Triste," and "What a Difference a Day Makes," actually the famous Maria Grever bolero "Quando Vuelva A Tu Lado." 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.

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