Leandro J. Barbieri, 28 November 1934, Rosario, Argentina. After studying clarinet while still a child, Barbieri took up alto saxophone when his family moved to Buenos Aires. He joined Lalo Schifrins band and, despite the early influence of Charlie Bird Parker, soon switched to tenor. He formed his own quartet, often supporting visiting American jazzmen, and his playing began to reveal the influence of John Coltrane. In 1962, Barbieri left South America for Italy, where he worked for a time with a free-form band led by Don Cherry. Although Barbieri had earlier turned his back on the music of his native land, the physical distancing he now experienced gave him more appreciation of its jazz potential. From the mid-60s onwards, his music took on a steadily more distinctive flavour as he began to incorporate the many dance rhythms of South America into a rich and ever-changing backcloth for his driving tenor playing. Performing the commercial title track to the movie Last Tango In Paris has since become his Albatross. Since the early 70s Barbieri has spent much time in South America, where by his example and encouragement he has helped to foster both jazz and a deeper understanding of the continents own musical heritage. Beset by ill health and the death of his wife, over 15 years elapsed before Barbieri recorded again, releasing the Columbia Records session Que Pasa? in 1997.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.