Gato Barbieri – The Shadow of the Cat
(Peak – 2002)
by Ricky Miller
Gato Barbieri is one sexy saxman, and The Shadow of the Cat is dripping with that sexiness from start to finish. El Chico starts it off with flair, featuring Herb Alpert’s trumpet on this dedication to Chico O’Farrill. Last Kiss is my favorite track, with Jason Miles on keys, smooth guitar master Peter White and the combination of Sheila E on percussion and Vinny Coliauta on drums. Gato’s lead is classic lovers music and Peter’s guitar adds an atmosphere that’s lush and rich. If I Was You Woman features the vocals of Cassandra Reed, sounding much like a young Randy Crawford at times, carrying the track through a well crafted story interspersed with some wailing sax from Barbieri. Then they do it again in Spanish later on the CD, and it flows even better (I think.)
The Ivan Lins tune Ai Ai Ai brings on percussionist Marc Quinones and adds the vocal pipes of Lisa Fischer. Para Todos is driving music.. lush strings and the guitar work of Romero Lubambo and Gato’s ever-emotional tenor travelling along the musical highway. Gato Barbieri’s music is known for its emotion and flow, and his collaborative efforts here with keyboard champ Jason Miles brought together a great cast of players at the right times to give you a CD that’s exciting and rhythmic, a CD that truly captures the feel and flavor of Gato.