September 10, 1979 12:00 PM

Gato Barbieri

Leandro “Gato” (for “Cat”) Barbieri is an Argentinian tenor saxophonist who has been experimenting with Latin-jazz blends for 20 years. The results are sometimes raucous but always energetic. Last year his downstairs neighbors in a Manhattan apartment house sued him for $750,000 for practicing in the middle of the night and throwing noisy parties. Not counting a discoized version of his theme from the film Firepower (he also did the far more admirable Last Tango in Paris score), this LP is rewarding. It includes a straightforward version of Kurt Weill’s Speak Low, Barbieri’s own meditative Lions Also Cry and notable contributions from bassist Ron Carter, drummer Billy Cobham and guitarist David Spinozza. (Classical clarinetist Richard Stoltzman’s wite, Lucy, appears more anonymously in the string section.) There’s nothing revolutionary about the album, but it could serve as an enticing introduction to Barbieri’s spare sax style and eclectic compositions.

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