6 August 2006
GATO BARBIERI - CHAPTER 3 VIVA EMILIANO ZAPATA
Chapter 3 was recorded in June 74 and broke from the style of Chapters 1 and 2 by bringing in a big band with the great Chico O'Farrill arranging and writing the charts for the session.This was a revolutionary move as big bands were hardly the happening thing at the time and to make an lp based loosely around the tango was thought to be commercial suicide.However it didn't quite turn out that way and went on to sell well and re launch the career of O'Farrill.
The opener Milonga Triste begins with a tangoish feel and rhythmically is in the form of a habanera-it's an Argentinian melody and is based on a fragment of a theme penned by Gato.
Next up is Lluvia Azul which is based around the cha cha but forget all that easy listening crap - this starts of slow and low and just builds into a double time mambo that cooks with Gato strafing in over the top while the percussion section of Luis Mangual,Ray Armando,Ray Mantilla and Portinho drive the big band interjections before a quick lapse into cha cha then into a storming finish.
Rhythmically El Sublime is in 6/8 and 4/4 with the tempos occassionally doubled - the big band goes to town on this one blasting Gato into orbit as the tune slides into 6/8 - totally sublime!
Still cant decide which is the best track on this lp -La Padrida or the final superb Viva Emiliano but La Padrida must be one of the greatest mambos ever recorded.The big band come to the fore with this and and the percussion and bass of Ron Carter mesh perfectly with Gato blowing hard to fan the rhythmic flames -impossible to sit still through this dancer's dream.
You will probably recognise Cuando Vuelva a Tu Toda as What a Difference a Day Makes which apparently started out as a latin song before it became a hit north of the border-here it is covered as a moody bolero.
To finish the lp on a explosive note we have another mambo and this is a monster.Eddie Martinez plays a relentlessly tumbling montuno figure on piano and is quickly joined by percussion,bass and band until Gato fires up in incendiary fashion and blasts across everything taking no prisoners until the track wraps in a big band crescendo - fantastic music !