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Gato Barbieri: Ruby, Ruby

Album Notes

Charming and romantic fit the description of Gato Barbieri and the work he presents here, the album Ruby, Ruby. The production of the record, mastered and engineered handsomely by Herb Alpert, is very lush and beautiful to a lasting degree. Barbieri turns his first song, "Ruby," from an early-on haunting love ballad to an appealing and gripping all-out Latin jam session. This theme happens to find itself playing roles several times over throughout the record. The musicianship explored is captivating and adventurous, taking the listener on a passionate journey to whatever part of the soul he or she wishes to find or dares to pursue. A soaring sound at times, with Barbieri's splendid, racing saxophone melody lines. "Nostalgia" brings the delicate and eloquent guitar work of Lee Ritenour, who also takes part in the creation of "Sunride" and bits of "Ruby." As with most jazz records, percussion is responsible for playing a key role in the inception of the groove and depth of the material. Because of this album's Latin context, Barbieri does a wonderful job inspiring his friends in the rhythm section to come to life. Joe Clayton plays the textured conga on "Latin Reaction," and Lenny White leads a band of fellow passionate drummers, including Paulina da Costa, Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan, and Bernard Purdie. The entire atmosphere of the record changes smoothly in texture and tempo, drifting like a channeling stream from subdued and slow to rampant and passionately loud. Certainly, Barbieri intended it to be a delight of the first degree in the Latin scene, and one listen should win the hearts and minds of the listener. Conjuring up romance and scenes of a starry night in Latin America, this music is the soul of Latin music at its peak in the late '70s. A soothing and ethereal delight, even considering its only weakness: the lack of words and lyrics. ~ Shawn M. Haney



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