The 35th of Jon Turney’s weekly selections features a great Argentinian saxophonist enjoying a trip back home.
Chapter One indicates the first of a series made for Impulse, after Gato Barbieri (1932 – 2016) got famous for a film soundtrack. The man who had imbibed free jazz in the US and Europe, and honed his own saxophone style, assembled a band of his compatriots in Buenos Aires. The folkish tunes are credited to him, and most emerge from the ensemble beginning what sounds like a studio jam. But it’s a more disciplined affair than that, a series of brilliant showcases for the saxophonist, combining the Argentinian instruments and sounds with one of the grittiest horn timbres ever.
The sax dominates, though, even on this track (not to be confused with Coltrane’s India) which slows the pace a little after the headlong rush of the opener. The dreamy tune leads to rather beautiful slow elaboration of the melody. It’s pithy and pointful, unlike innumerable world jams to come, and still sounds fresh as can be.