Released 1971 on Flying Dutchman (FD 10158)
Having already established himself in the vanguard of free jazz (stints with Don Cherry, an appearance on the landmark ‘Liberation Music Orchestra’ from Charlie Haden / Carla Bley), Barbieri was producing some incredible work as a bandleader by the late 60s. For some reason this album feels like an appropriate “holiday season” album to me, whatever your particular cosmological inclinations might be. The album is really part of a series of a politically-engaged, Pan-American albums whose musical sensibilities were damn unique. Barbieri’s riffing rarely drifts from the fiercer side of a Coltrane / Pharoah orientation. It’s soulful, spiritual jazz, but also angry. With Lenny White on drums, Lonnie Liston Smith on keys, and Naná Vasconcelos on congas and berimbau (Naná was, and still is, the most capable and expressive player of this instrument), you really can’t go wrong with this record. One really interesting cut is the song ‘Falsa Baiana’, written as a samba by Geraldo Pereira and made famous by Roberto Silva (to be reinterpreted later as bossa nova by João Gilberto, and in MPB’s idiom by Gal Costa and others). Gato’s rendition here, one of the calmer tracks on the album, is almost unrecognizable as he circles around the chord changes and doesn’t play the main melody until three minutes into the song. This album is a treasure for the ears and the soul, enjoy!
The BMG France reissue has the original sleeve notes from Michael Cuscuna and some newer commentary in French that I can’t really read.
Gato Barbieri – Fenix (1971) in 320kbs em pee three
Gato Barbieri – Fenix (1971) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO format
PART ONE //// PART TWO