Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gato BARBIERI - Chapter One: Latin America 1973

Gato BARBIERI - Chapter One: Latin America 1973


Gato--Chapter One: Latin America starts off with a twelve and a half minute turd called "Encuentos". Twelve and a half minutes of goose honking sax noises and duck quacking flute tones is enough to drive anyone into a cranky mood, let alone somebody who'd rather be rocking to Eddie and Colin and their boys and girls. It's not that "Encuentos" is bad, but all that needs to be said is said in the first three minutes. That leaves nine and and a half minutes of goose honking and flute quacking to endure, every second of which is a second that one can never get back.
Gato has a nice tone when he plays smooth. The problem is, he chooses it do it far too infrequently. He's no Coltrane, his honking seems to serve no other purpose than to aggravate the listener. "India" follows "Encuentos" and it's OK, but again it's nine minutes of music that could have been covered in three. The entirety of the album seems to be an exploration in avian noises--actual and simulated--backed by Latin rhythms in tracks four or five times too long.
Of course, this is the big problem with mediocre jazz in the sixties and seventies. Every artist felt that he or she had something important to say, but by that point most of what needed to be said had already been uttered. Being no idiots, most jazz musicians went on to search for new things to express, but the fact is there just wasn't much new territory to explore. So, instead of being redundant, the intelligent jazz musician had nowhere to go but the Land of Unpleasant Wankery. As we all know, wanking is best done in private.
As one can see, the cover of this album is pretty cool. Gato is one dastardly cigarette smoking, leather jacket wearing motherfucker. It probably would have been pretty cool to be a part of this recording. Unfortunately, that's exactly the take-away as I listen to the record. I'd love to have played on it, but I'd rather not be stuck having to listen to it.
A1 Encuentros 12:29
A2 India 8:58
B1 La China Leoncia Arreo La Correntinada Trajo Entre La Muchachada La Flor De La Juventud 13:38
B2 Nunca Mas 5:40
B3 To Be Continued 2:29

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