Gato Barbieri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gato Barbieri
Gato Barbieri.JPG
Gato Barbieri in 1970
Background information
Born (1932-11-28) November 28, 1932 (age 83)
Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
Genres Jazz, Latin jazz, smooth jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader
Labels Impulse! Records, A&M Records, Flying Dutchman Records, United Artists Records, ESP-Disk, Durium Records, Columbia Records

Leandro Barbieri (born November 28, 1932 in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina), known as Gato Barbieri (Spanish for "the cat" Barbieri), is an Argentine jazz tenor saxophonist and composer who rose to fame during the free jazz movement in the 1960s and is known for his Latin jazz recordings in the 1970s.[1]


Born to a family of musicians, Barbieri began playing music after hearing Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time". He played the clarinet and later the alto saxophone while performing with the Argentinean pianist Lalo Schifrin in the late 1950s. By the early 1960s, while playing in Rome, he also worked with the trumpeter Don Cherry. By now influenced by John Coltrane's late recordings, as well as those from other free jazz saxophonists such as Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders, he began to develop the warm and gritty tone with which he is associated. In the late 1960s, he was fusing music from South America into his playing and contributed to multi-artist projects like Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and Carla Bley's Escalator Over The Hill. His score for Bernardo Bertolucci's film Last Tango in Paris earned him a Grammy Award and led to a record deal with Impulse! Records.[1]

By the mid-70s, he was recording for A&M Records and moved his music towards soul-jazz and jazz-pop with albums like Caliente! in 1976 (including his best known song, Carlos Santana's Europa) and the 1977 follow-up, Ruby Ruby, both produced by fellow musician and label co-founder, Herb Alpert.

Although he continued to record and perform well into the 1980s, the death of his wife Michelle led him to withdraw from the public arena. He returned to recording and performing in the late 1990s with the soundtrack for the film Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof (1996) and the album Qué Pasa (1997), playing music that would fall more into the arena of smooth jazz.

He received the UNICEF Award at the Argentinian Consulate in November 2009.[2]


As leader[edit]

  • Menorama (private pressing, 1960)
  • In Search of the Mystery (1967)
  • Obsession (rec. 1967, not released until later)
  • The Third World (1969)
  • El Pampero (1971)
  • Fenix (1971)
  • Last Tango in Paris (1972)
  • Bolivia (1973)
  • Under Fire (1973)
  • Chapter One: Latin America (Impulse!, 1973)
  • Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre (Impulse!, 1973)
  • Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata (Impulse!, 1974)
  • Yesterdays (1974)
  • The Third World Revisited (1974)
  • Chapter Four: Alive in New York (Impulse!, 1975)
  • Confluence (1975)
  • El Gato (1975)
  • Caliente! (1976)
  • I Grandi del Jazz (1976)
  • Ruby Ruby (1977)
  • Tropico (1978)
  • Euphoria (1979)
  • Bahia (1982)
  • Apasionado (1983)
  • Para Los Amigos (1984)
  • Passion And Fire (1988)
  • Qué Pasa (1997)
  • Che Corazón (1999)
  • The Shadow of The Cat (2002)
  • New York Meeting (2010)

As sideman[edit]

With Carla Bley and Paul Haines

With Dollar Brand

  • Hamba Khale (aka Confluence) (1968)

With Gary Burton

With Don Cherry

With Charlie Haden

With the Jazz Composer's Orchestra

With Alan Shorter

With Antonello Venditti


  1. ^ a b Richard S. Ginell. "Gato Barbieri – biography". AllMusic. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Barbieri Receives UNICEF Award in 1989". Retrieved 2010-11-12. 

External links[edit]