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Gato Barbieri‘s first release under his own name found him playing with Don Cherry, and sounding like Pharoah Sanders and other avant-gardists of the ’60s. But the Argentinian tenor saxophonist started his career in the orchestra of Lalo Schifrin, and his most famous and successful work is the 1973 soundtrack to Last Tango in Paris. (Insert Brando and/or unpleasant “butter” snark here. On second thought, please don’t.)
Over the years he’s gone back and forth between the two styles, but for the last decade or so he’s been much closer to Last Tango – crossover, if not outright pop, jazz with warm arrangements and an immediately recognizable tone that a fellow DJ at my college radio station aptly described as “sexophone.”
If that’s your speed, you’ll find a lot to love in Barbieri’s appearance at 7:30 Saturday night at the Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. $45.