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Ruby Ruby

Gato Barbieri

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Album Review

Charming and romantic fit the description of Gato Barbieri and the work he presents here, the album Ruby, Ruby. The production of the record, mastered and engineered handsomely by Herb Alpert, is very lush and beautiful to a lasting degree. Barbieri turns his first song, "Ruby," from an early-on haunting love ballad to an appealing and gripping all-out Latin jam session. This theme happens to find itself playing roles several times over throughout the record. The musicianship explored is captivating and adventurous, taking the listener on a passionate journey to whatever part of the soul he or she wishes to find or dares to pursue. A soaring sound at times, with Barbieri's splendid, racing saxophone melody lines. "Nostalgia" brings the delicate and eloquent guitar work of Lee Ritenour, who also takes part in the creation of "Sunride" and bits of "Ruby." As with most jazz records, percussion is responsible for playing a key role in the inception of the groove and depth of the material. Because of this album's Latin context, Barbieri does a wonderful job inspiring his friends in the rhythm section to come to life. Joe Clayton plays the textured conga on "Latin Reaction," and Lenny White leads a band of fellow passionate drummers, including Paulina da Costa, Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan, and Bernard Purdie. The entire atmosphere of the record changes smoothly in texture and tempo, drifting like a channeling stream from subdued and slow to rampant and passionately loud. Certainly, Barbieri intended it to be a delight of the first degree in the Latin scene, and one listen should win the hearts and minds of the listener. Conjuring up romance and scenes of a starry night in Latin America, this music is the soul of Latin music at its peak in the late '70s. A soothing and ethereal delight, even considering its only weakness: the lack of words and lyrics. ~ Shawn M. Haney, Rovi

Biography

Born: 28 November 1932 in Rosario, Argentina

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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...
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Ruby Ruby, Gato Barbieri
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