Personnel: Gato Barbieri (tenor saxophone); Gato Barbieri (vocals, saxophone); Melvin Watson, Greg Poree, Joe Caro, Lee Ritenour , Carlos Santana (guitar); Lew Soloff, Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn); Tom "Bones" Malone, Peter Gordon , John Gale (French horn); David Earl Taylor, Wayne Andre, Paul Faulise (trombone); John Barnes, Eddy Martinez (keyboards); Ian Underwood (synthesizer); Gary King (bass guitar); Bernard Perdie, Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, Steve Gadd (drums); Bill Summers (congas, percussion); Jos‚ Chepit¢ Areas (timbales); Armando Peraza, Angel "Cachete" Maldonado (percussion); David Spinozza, Eric Gale , Joe Beck (guitar); Jon Faddis (trumpet, flugelhorn); Don Grolnick (piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Lenny White (drums); Mtume, Paulinho Da Costa, Ralph MacDonald (percussion).
Liner Note Author: A. Scott Galloway.
Recording information: A&M Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (05/1978); A&R Studios, New York, NY (05/1978); Media Sound, NY (05/1978); The Automatt, San Francisco, CA (05/1978).
Photographers: Bill King ; Francesco Scavullo; Mark Hanauer.
Arrangers: Gato Barbieri; Herb Alpert; Jay Chattaway.
Argentinean saxophonist and songwriter Gato Barbieri has led a long, varied career. He is well known for his avant-garde jazz, and, conversely, for his lighter, pop style. This best-of collection highlights Barbieri's funkier side, culling tracks from albums made in the mid-to-late 1970s.
"Poinciana (Song of the Tree)" is one of this disc's high points. Combining a disco groove with rich orchestrations (including sweeping harp glissandos), this tune is a superb period dance track. Stevie Wonder's "Ngiculela-Es Una Historia (I Am Singing)" is similar, but the groove on this song is more akin to a Brazilian samba. Most of these tracks are celebratory, as best exemplified by "Fiesta." On this piece, Barbieri adds some resplendent keyboard washes into the mix, and then spices things up further by adding punchy brass figures. Throughout the album, Barbieri's tenor sax playing is brimming with energy, and his tone is typically rough-hewn and powerful. Highly arranged and intensely rhythmic, this is fiery, romantic, sensual music.