Gato Barbieri: Last Tango In Paris


Last Tango In Paris (Ultimo tango a Parigi)


Gato Barbieri (tenor sax)


Last Tango in Paris Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande 6729149)

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Gato Barbieri (tenor sax),

Franco D’ Andrea (piano), Wolmer Beltrani, Franco Goldani (accordions), Oliver Nelson (conductor)


Composed by Gato Barbieri


Recorded: Italy, November 20-25, 1972


Rating: 86/100 (learn more)

Musical eroticism prevails on "Last Tango in Paris," a steamy pastiche of swirling instrumentation, revolving chord structures, and thick and sexy tenor sax. Gato Barbieri's soulful horn surfs atop tuneful string accompaniment, and during his poignant performance listeners can clearly hear and identify the varied facets of his instrumental technique. His improvised minor-keyed themes work well in this particular setting; during his leads, he uses tremolo to great effect and also proves himself a master of the strategic pause. Remaining silent for several measures, then resuming his breathtaking soloing where he left off, his deliberation adds a smoldering intensity even as the cut lays back quite far.

The ingredients for Barbieri's "Ultimo tango" mix Argentine sensibilities with aspects of improvisation generally associated with fusion. Even so, it is an elegiac, thought-provoking piece that never loses sight of its jazz qualities. The appropriately French-sounding work basks in Barbieri's sensual glow, and while the 1972 Marlon Brando film was rated "X" when released, after hearing this you get the feeling that an additional "X" should have been added. The tune is catchy, confident, cool and simultaneously naughty, and is a great introduction to Barbieri's experimental yet timeless musical flair.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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