While it's true that the first chapter in Gato Barbieri's musical life had been that of an explorer, from his vanguard outings on ESP with Don Cherry and Dollar Brand to his showcasing the music of his native Latin America on Impulse, Fania, and Flying Dutchman, it is the third chapter that concerns this release. Barbieri became deeply interested in the commercial possibilities for Latin jazz and the funk and salsa scenes in the early and mid-'70s. CALIENTE!, recorded with a very large group, was his first step in that direction in 1976 and it was a smash hit. RUBY, RUBY followed suit in early 1978, and then TROPICO popped out only three months later. This set features another large group with no less than three arrangers and a slew of different percussionists and backing vocalists on virtually every track. Carlos Santana makes an appearance on "Latin Lady," one of the best cuts on the set, and the Santana band's percussionist, Jos? Chepit¢ Areas, is here, as well as Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Armando Peraza, and funkmaster Bill Summers, to name a few. Another beauty is the lushly orchestrated ballad "She Is Michelle," (written for his wife). Production by David Rubison is full-throttle--there are swells of strings, overdubs galore, and a full-on chorus to add atmosphere on cuts such as Caetano Veloso's "Odara." Throughout, Barbieri's harsh, emotive tone soars over the top of virtually every arrangement, and it is this emphatic playing that drew listeners to the meld of funk, jazz, Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms, disco, and pop.
Release Date: 28 September 2009
1. Poinciana (Song Of The Tree)
2. Latin Lady
4. She Is Michelle
5. Where Is The Love
6. Evil Eyes