Saturday, December 10, 2011

The mainstream jazz

Gato Barbieri
14" x 6"
oil on wood 2011
Anything that produces sound is fair game these days, from the latest million selling pop hit of Lady Gaga to the kid in the neighborhood practicing his guitar to play a tune in church next Sunday. They all have the potential to be listed in my archive alongside Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, John Coltrane, and all the other greats from the long history of recorded music. Jazz has been fair game all along but not the kind of jazz creeping into my weekly lists lately. In the last three lists three different jazz musicians, all categorized as mainstream, made their first appearance. First there was the smooth jazz trumpet of Grammy nominee Chris Botti, then the flutes of New Age pioneer Paul Horn, and lastly the Latin Jazz sounds of Gato Barbieri. None of those jazz tunes are likely to make it into the final list of 100 songs for the year 2011 but in the case of Gato Barbieri I dug a little deeper and found some really great pre-Latin-pop on a Latin-free-jazz disc called El Pampero. The tracks were recorded live in Montreux, Switzerland in 1971. Gato Barbieri hails from Argentina and the song to be included in the list of the hundred for 2011 is the patriotic Mi Buenos Aires Querido, a tune that was originally a song by Argentinian tango legend Carlos Gardel.

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