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Caliente!

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Album Review

Believe it or not, this Argentinian-born saxophonist spent his early years playing in the jazz avant-garde with the likes of Don Cherry. But for all his free-form experiments, "the Cat" hit his stride with this pristine piece of seminal pop-jazz. His emotional, warm-blooded playing, gritty-sweet tone, and Latin-laced grooves slide down smooth and easy. Covers of Santana's "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)" and Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" remain faithful to the originals' vibe, yet take on a seductive Spanish accent thanks to Barbieri's expressive tenor and a battery of Latin percussion. Elsewhere, hip-swiveling rhythms and tuneful arrangements of cuts like "Fiesta," "Behind the Rain," and "Los Desperados" simply simmer. Drummer Lenny White kicks down a rock-solid beat, percussionists Ralph MacDonald and Mtume add the spice that's funky and nice, and producer Herb Alpert (of Tijuana Brass, and the "A" in A&M Records) polishes the proceedings to a glossy sheen with colorful orchestrations and silky strings., 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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Caliente!, Gato Barbieri
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