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Hi , does anybody knows how to make the gato barbieri sound??. i know he uses a berg larsen metal mouthpiece in his tenor, but dont know the tip opening chamber.
 

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High baffle, not a large tip but a very focused, small mouth cavity- it makes the airstream small, intense and very fast. That's where that sound comes from.
Think about the shape of your mouth when you want to whistle.

My favorite Gato recording- El Pampero (Live at Montreux) with Bernard Purdie. Incendiary music!
 

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I thought he used a SS Berg 130/? and 1.5 reeds, but does say on Theo's site that it's a 105.

And I had a Berg 105 that measured 92!
 

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I thought he used a SS Berg 130/? and 1.5 reeds, but does say on Theo's site that it's a 105.

And I had a Berg 105 that measured 92!
I always heard he used a 130/0 I believe. Can't remember the second number exactly.

But I do remember the 130.
 

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Hi,

I remember having read an interview where he mentions his combination of BL 105 and very soft reeds and comments his setup with "It's not easy picking up my horn". Which relates to noone beeing able coaxing a sound like his out of that setup. With most players the mouthpiece would simply block. Can't find the interview.
 

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Hi,

I remember having read an interview where he mentions his combination of BL 105 and very soft reeds and comments his setup with "It's not easy picking up my horn". Which relates to noone beeing able coaxing a sound like his out of that setup. With most players the mouthpiece would simply block. Can't find the interview.
That's the interview I read...no-one else could play his set-up, the reed blew flat against the lay.
What superb control....but could he ever play at high volume?
 

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That's the interview I read...no-one else could play his set-up, the reed blew flat against the lay.
What superb control....but could he ever play at high volume?
Uh, yeah. I saw him TWICE at Rosy's in New Orleans in '77-'78 and he sounded like he was actually over-blowing. He had the volume for sure-- even un-mic'd.
 

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Uh, yeah. I saw him TWICE at Rosy's in New Orleans in '77-'78 and he sounded like he was actually over-blowing. He had the volume for sure-- even un-mic'd.
Impressive.
Just illustrates the futility of the "what tip & what strength reeds should I use" discussions here. :whistle:
 

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I too am surprised that Gato uses such soft reeds and a modest 105 tip mpc, though I can kind of hear the Berg in his sound. On his recordings, he sounds really 'large' to me. The other element to his sound is the constant 'growl' that he uses - there is no way one is going to sound like Gato without that.

Another thing that I find unique about Gato's playing is the virtual absence of improvisation. I have a couple or albums of his from his later period, and have seen some clips of him on the tube, but I have never heard him stepping out of playing the melody. That really makes me curious as to what he would sound like if he were to improvise a solo, what would his vocabulary be like etc. Personally, I find that I want to hear him stepping out more on his recorded work, which I have yet to hear.
 

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Another thing that I find unique about Gato's playing is the virtual absence of improvisation.
Well, I don't know which tunes you're thinking about specifically, but he does improvise! Very often one gets the impression that he's just playing a melody, but in fact he's improvising. He's an absolute master of sparse melodic improvisation, and I'm always amazed at what he does. Ever tried playing (improvising) like him in a convincing manner? Very difficult, in spite of the relative technical simplicity of his lines.
 

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Well, I don't know which tunes you're thinking about specifically, but he does improvise! Very often one gets the impression that he's just playing a melody, but in fact he's improvising. He's an absolute master of sparse melodic improvisation, and I'm always amazed at what he does. Ever tried playing (improvising) like him in a convincing manner? Very difficult, in spite of the relative technical simplicity of his lines.
To be honest, I'm not familiar enough with his work now to quote examples, nor do I want to dredge up my cds for a listen. I can understand what you say, perhaps he does play with the melody a little bit, or perhaps make up a variation on the melody, which could be termed improvisation I suppose. But what I meant is something like say Brecker or even Kenny G would do, take a solo that is noticeably different from the melody of the tune. This is something I don't recall hearing Gato doing, though I've been dying to hear him step out and solo since buying my first Gato cd years back.

For what he does, which doesn't really strike me as improvising (in the way that I'm thinking), it's nice but not completely satisfying. There's been many points in his tunes where I felt like - now surely he's going to improvise, but then he just goes on to paraphrase the melody or alter it just a little bit. Which is not to say that I can do it better than him, of course, just to be clear on that. I agree that he has great conviction in nailing down his melodic lines, but for me, I'm always not entirely satisfied with him just doing that for a whole cd.

Anyway, this is not meant to knock him, but I was just very curious as to why Gato doesn't seem to want to improvise in the sense of how it is normally done. I'm fairly sure he could do it. I'm not disrespecting what he does, but I do wish to hear him play out more than what he has done, in the stuff that I have heard. Perhaps somewhere there is a track of him playing Rhythm Changes, Cherokee or Europa and running through the changes like butter, but I've yet to hear it...

What Gato does may strike you as a difficult improvisations, but to me, I would term it as making little changes and adjustments to the melody, or just varying the interpretation of the melody. This is just my opinion.
 

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I too am surprised that Gato uses such soft reeds and a modest 105 tip mpc, though I can kind of hear the Berg in his sound. On his recordings, he sounds really 'large' to me. The other element to his sound is the constant 'growl' that he uses - there is no way one is going to sound like Gato without that.

Another thing that I find unique about Gato's playing is the virtual absence of improvisation. I have a couple or albums of his from his later period, and have seen some clips of him on the tube, but I have never heard him stepping out of playing the melody. That really makes me curious as to what he would sound like if he were to improvise a solo, what would his vocabulary be like etc. Personally, I find that I want to hear him stepping out more on his recorded work, which I have yet to hear.
See what you think about this.

 

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See what you think about this.
Hey thanks for that clip. That is the most soloing I have heard Gato do to date! He seems to alternate simpler R&B type phrases with squealing and multiphonic effects in the clip which is from 1971.

Mainly I have two or three Gato albums from the later part of the 90s, and by then he seems to have gone on to his 'no improv' style of playing. Now does anyone have a clip of him playing some swing or bop?
 

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what I meant is something like say Brecker or even Kenny G would do
I know what you mean, but it just isn't his thing - there is more than one valid way to improvise:bluewink:

And I'll say it again, what he does isn't as easy as it sounds, in fact he makes it sound deceptively simple (IMHO!).
 

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Hey thanks for that clip. That is the most soloing I have heard Gato do to date! He seems to alternate simpler R&B type phrases with squealing and multiphonic effects in the clip which is from 1971.

Mainly I have two or three Gato albums from the later part of the 90s, and by then he seems to have gone on to his 'no improv' style of playing. Now does anyone have a clip of him playing some swing or bop?
I thought you would like that.

There was another version of this video or maybe a separate video with better quality.

I'll see if i can find it. I think the tune was written for Gato by Oliver Nelson and called " El Gato ".
 
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