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Leandro Barbieri (born on November 28 1934 in Rosariomarker, Santa Fe Province, Argentinamarker) better known as Gato Barbieri (Spanish for "Barbieri the Cat") is an Argentinemarker jazz tenor saxophonist and composer who rose to fame during the free jazz movement in the 1960s and from his latin jazz recordings in the 1970s.


Born to a family of musicians, Barbieri began playing music after hearing Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time." He played the clarinet, then the alto saxophone while performing with the Argentine pianist Lalo Schifrin in the late 1950s. By the early 1960s, while in Romemarker, he was playing the tenor saxophone, and 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, the warm and gritty tone, which would become his trademark sound, began to develop. In the late 1960s, he was fusing musics 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.

By the late 1970s he was working for A&M Records, and moved his music towards jazz-pop with albums like Caliente (with his best known song, Carlos Santana's Europa).

Though he continued to record and perform 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, playing music that would fall into the arena of smooth jazz.his music of the sound track for the film Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof earned him great ratings in Billboard magazine as the top Jazz sound tracks and Jazz music in 1997.

Nancy Savoca and her husband, Rich Guay, are working on a documentary of Barbieri's life and work.


As leader

  • Menorama (private pressing, 1960)
  • In Search of the Mystery (1967)
  • Obsession (rec. 1967, not released until later)
  • Under fire (1969)
  • The Third World (1969)
  • El Pampero (1971)
  • Fenix (1971)
  • Last Tango in Paris (1972)
  • Bolivia (1973)
  • Under Fire (1973)
  • Chapter One: Latin America (1973)
  • Chapter Two: Hasta siempre (1973)
  • Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata (1974)
  • Yesterdays (1974)
  • Chapter Four: Alive in New York (1975)
  • Confluence (1975)
  • Caliente! (1976)
  • I Grandi del Jazz (1976)
  • Ruby Ruby (1977)
  • Tropico (1978)
  • Passion And Fire (1979)
  • Euphoria (1979)
  • Bahia (1982)
  • Apasionado (1982)
  • Para Los Amigos (1983)
  • The Third World Revisited (1998)
  • Che Corazón (1988)
  • Qué Pasa (1997)
  • Che Corazón (1999)
  • The Shadow of The Cat (2002)
  • Europa "Earth' Cry Heaven's Smile" (Date unknown)

As sideman


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