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January/February 2003

Gato Barbieri
The Shadow of the Cat
Peak Records

The Shadow of the Cat (Peak) marks Gato Barbieri's 50th recording, and the veteran Argentine-born saxophonist continues to play with spirit and passion.

The album is an interesting mix of Barbieri's past and his present. During the '70s, he recorded several popular albums for A&M, and on The Shadow of the Cat, A&M's cofounder, trumpeter Herb Alpert, joins him on the rousing opener, "El Chico," the slinky title tune and the percussive Brazilian dance number "Para Todos (For Everyone)." Barbieri's score for the 1972 movie Last Tango in Paris propelled him to international renown, and to celebrate the film's 30th anniversary, he recorded a grooving update of its theme song. Peter White's gentle Spanish guitar accents complement Barbieri's lyrical lines on "Last Kiss," and judging from the saxophonist's raw-edged performance on "Tierra Del Fuego (Land of Fire)"-which also features rock-tinged guitar by Rippingtons leader and Peak label head Russ Freeman-the song title isn't the only thing with plenty of fire in it.

Originally published in January/February 2003
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