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 !

14 comments:

xmnr0x23 said...

Speedy-poster :) You make me pile it all up on the HD. Thanks for these great tunes, as usual.

It seems there's no end to your generosity.

Scott Soriano said...

This Gato series has been one of my faves for a LONG time. He is sooo underrated. A perfect blend of Latin, free jazz, &, at times, funk.

Ellen Collison said...

...Noticed your comments on "Quando Vuelvo a Tu Lado" (aka "What a Difference..."). It written by Mexican composer Consuelo Velazquez, and was - originally - a bolero. It was an international hit and is normally played as a bolero in Latin America and the Caribbean.

You might want to check out John Storm Roberts' The Latin Ting; also his Latin Jazz - The First of the Fusions for more info. on this song and many others that have had a significant impact on North American popular music. Once you've finished ...Tinge, you won't think of the cha-cha-chá as "easy listening." (You might also want to check some of the Cuban music blogs out there; there are a couple of really good ones - all roots, no lounge.)

martin said...

Qué buenos discos (Great!!!!) no se por donde empezar! La serie de Bobby Hutcherson es amazing. (Do you read spanish?)
Thanks a lot!

dopeasfunk said...

thanks for this!

quinlan said...

Thank you for this great post. It's a pity that track 2 Lluvia Azul is corrupt.
Do you think you could fix it?
Thanks again

bacoso said...

ellen-i have both john storm roberts books you mention and also his long out of print "Black music of two worlds"-which are all excellent.When i refer to cha cha as easy listening crap i am refering to the music which was churned out for so many easy listening lps over the 50s and 60s as this reflects what many peoples pre conception of this genre is.I have been collecting the harder edged end of latin music for 25 years and I agree in the right musical hands(machito/palmieri/puente etc etc etc)the cha cha can be a wonderful thing !Have you checked thru my archives for lots more latin music?And thanks for your comment.

bacoso said...

Has anybody else had a problem with track 2 -if so please leave a comment and i will re-up it.

bacoso said...

ellen-just tracked back thru your profile and found your
http://hemisphericalradio.blogspot.com/
looks very interesting -will give it a listen after work today.

etc said...

yes, track 2 doesn't work

Ellen Collison said...

Thanks, bacoso! IKWYM re. "lounge" and Cuban music, but thought it was worth mentioning JSR's books, just in case someone might be interested.

Buscoglione said...

Monumental!!!!
Yes, track 2 corrupted for me too.
My regards.

Ellen Collison said...

bacoso, have you listened much to some of the Cuban bands (like Orquesta Aragon and Arcaño y sus Maravillas) that played cha-cha-cha's back in the day. (Also Enrique Jorrín - most folks believe he invented the genre.)if not, you might really want to check 'em out. It's great, great material, not anything like the kinds of "ez listening" junk you mentioned.

manusardi0755 said...

please, can you reupload VIVA ZAPATA?

Thanks