Charming and romantic fit the description of Gato Barbieri and the work he presents here, the album Ruby, Ruby. The production of the record, mastered and engineered handsomely by Herb Alpert, is very lush and beautiful to a lasting degree. Barbieri turns his first song, "Ruby," from an early-on haunting love ballad to an appealing and gripping all-out Latin jam session. This theme happens to find itself playing roles several times over throughout the record. The musicianship explored is captivating and adventurous, taking the listener on a passionate journey to whatever part of the soul he or she wishes to find or dares to pursue.
The Japan and Porcupine Tree keyboardist Richard Barbieri releases his most sonically expansive work to date, with a brand new album entitled Planets + Persona. It is the third Barbieri solo album, but the first to feature such a wide pallet of instrumentation. Vintage analogue synthesisers combine with acoustic performances and jazz elements. Twisted voices are always present, though not in a language we can recognise. Barbieri skilfully utilises the talents of a pan-European core of musicians to produce an album that marries synthesised sounds with organic instrumentation to conjure up vivid, colourful and allusive soundscapes. It’s a skilful commingling of texture and tone, mood and musicality.
Two previously unreleased 1960s performances by Don Cherry in quintet format. The first show was recorded in Denmark in 1963 (but a different date that the release on Storyville) and showcases the New York Contemporary Five, featuring Cherry with Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, Don Moore and J.C. Moses.
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While it's true that the first chapter in Gato Barbieri's musical life – at least on records – 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 as it intersected with modern jazz, it is the third chapter that concerns this release. Barbieri became deeply interested in commercial music and its possibilities for Latin jazz and the funk and salsa scenes in the early and mid-'70s.
The Third World is the initial session that mixed Gato Barbieri's free jazz tenor playing with Latin and Brazilian influences. It's also the album that brought Barbieri positive attention from the college crowds of the late '60s. He would expand on this musical combination with his next few Flying Dutchman releases as well as his first recordings for the Impulse! label. The records made between 1969 through 1974 find Barbieri creating a danceable yet fiery combination of South American rhythms and free jazz forcefulness. Strangely, once Barbieri signed with A&M, he began making commercial records geared to fans of Herb Alpert, sounding nothing like his earlier albums.