Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Man and His Horn, Pt. 3

This wonderful concert recently became available so I decided to continue the Enrico Rava festival. This performance reunites (apparently – I didn’t know that they had ever played together before) Rava with tenor sax player Gato Barbieri at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival in 2002. This is a quintet concert that covers some latin-tinged material, standards and (from what I can glean) original material. There were no titles provided for the pieces here but I recognized several. More about that later…

Leandro “Gato” Barbieri was born in Argentina, moved to Rome (perhaps this was when they originally met) in the early 60’s and was discovered by Don Cherry there. He became associated with the Free Jazz movement in the 60’s and was identified with a firey style of blowing that placed him in the Pharoah Sanders mold. He incorporated jazz with folk music (think: Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra, on which Barbieri was featured on the first album).

Then the 70’s came and Gato seemed to drift away from his fire and began to produce records that were no less passionate, but were substantially slicker, "over-produced" music that sold many records but earned him a reputation as somewhat of a “sell out” (though not to the extent to that of George Benson).

The lineup of musicians for this concert is: Rava on trumpet & flugelhorn, Barbieri on tenor sax, Danilo Rea on piano, Rosario Bonaccorso on bass and, the veteran, Aldo Romano on drums. The playlist is spotty: 1. unknown, 2. Summertime, 3. unknown, 4. unknown, 5. Bella, 6. unknown, 7. Bye Bye Blackbird.

“Bella” is a wonderful melody written by Rava that appears on his Pilgrim And The Stars in a slightly different form. Once again, Rava is decidedly channeling Miles Davis on the standards.


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