Gato Barbieri: Obsession No. 2/Cinemateque


Obsession No. 2/Cinemateque


Gato Barbieri (tenor sax)


In Search of the Mystery (ESP Disk 1049)

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Gato Barbieri (tenor sax),

Calo Scott (cello), Norris Jones (bass), Bobby Kapp (drums)


Composed by Gato Barbieri


Recorded: March 15, 1967


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Gato Barbieri’s renown as a skillful blender of jazz and South American influences is significant enough to make one forget that he was a dedicated free-jazz practitioner earlier in his career. His harsh and booming tone once put him on par with Peter Brötzmann, but even back then, the raw emotion poured out of his horn like a fully opened faucet. Those attributes aptly describe his 1967 debut record as a leader, In Search Of The Mystery. Barbieri uses a somewhat atypical assemblage of both a bass and a cello to go with the drums for the two side-long pieces that comprise of this album. “Obsession No. 2/Cinemateque” is the more explosive of the two.

The tremolo that begins this twenty-one minute piece is just a windup for the leader. The song seems to be rooted in a key, but once Barbieri gets going, it hardly matters. Scotts’ shifty cello solo wouldn’t be considered a respite any place else, but with Barbieri following with screams at the top of tenor’s register, it is, here. Kapp’s drums are up to the task, firing off artillery whenever Barbieri is feeling especially unfettered. For his part, Sirone is sometimes nearly submerged; at other times, he’s the tenuous link between the band and any semblance of melody.

“Obsession No. 2/Cinemateque” is a roller-coaster ride fueled by veering passion, complete with alternating moods of taut anticipation and exhilaration.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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