Gato Barbieri – R.I.P.

The passion and fire of tenor saxophonist Gato Barbieri‘s playing and writing certainly had its artistic and commercial peak with his score for Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango In Paris” from 1973, where the Argentinian musician, who was born into a very musical family, merged both his Latin and his jazz influences into a unique style.

Gato BarbieriWhether he recorded the songs of Stevie Wonder or Carlos Santana, whether he played with the best New York session musicians in the 70s or with top contemporary acts like Jason Miles, Herb Alpert, Sheila E and Will Lee on the 2002 album “The Shadow Of The Cat”, you could always tell that it was Gato playing with his signature, instantly recognizable tone.

Even though he clearly moved away from his early influences like John Coltrane and Charlie Parker on his latter-day recordings, there has always been a part in his playing that was grabbing my attention. Gato died of pneumonia last Saturday at the age of 83.

 

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