I remember sitting in a McDonald's in New York - yes, a McDonald's restaurant, just across the street from Carnegie Hall. At the table with me were my father, Gato Barbieri and his son. This is the image I recall immediately when I think of the great Argentinian saxophonist - more than just an artist, he had become a family friend.
Ojos de Gato is an extremely important project for me: it's the last project I created together with my father before he passed away. It pays homage to Gato Barbieri 40 (now 41) years after the publication of The Third World. It's also deeply connected to what journalist Libero Farne described in an article on All About Jazz as my second spring.
The last few years of my life have been tumultuous ones, and the music I am drawn to now is more airy, lighthearted, although I hope it is no less serious and honest. The musicians I have chosen for Ojos de Gato have helped me create something vital and joyous, without abandoning Gato's concept of sound, which I consider among the most profound and intense sounds I've ever heard.
I am joined by extraordinary musicians, what I consider a dream band.
Let's begin with Gianluca Petrella, incredible musician and faithful companion of a thousand voyages, both personal and professional; James Brandon Lewis, incomparable saxophonist, raw and powerful; Francisco Mela's percussion, soaked in the culture of the Global South, in constant dialogue with the impeccable rhythmic concept of Chad Taylor, one of the greatest drummers of our time. And last but not least, free and original as the 1970's, the bass playing of Brandon Lopez.
I couldn't ask for better companions with whom to explore my second spring.
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