Franco D'Andrea

Solo 4: Gato

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The music of Gato Barbieri, the Argentinean tenor saxophonist with whom Franco d'Andrea recorded between 1964 and 1965, is the focus of this fourth CD of solo piano to emerge from a three-day solo session in April 2001. While Barbieri's works don't seem like they would serve as sufficient inspiration for a solo date, d'Andrea succeeds by taking these somewhat repetitious themes, combining most of them into medleys, and constantly shifting his approach to each work ever so slightly, bringing out new dimensions within each composition. Even better are the individual pieces, such as somewhat abstract tango "Jeanne" and the playful "Para Mi Negra." The final piece, "Abstractly for Gato," d'Andrea's impromptu tribute to his former boss, initially seems to delve into a Twilight Zone-like vamp, followed by a series of different themes that are briefly explored, then cast aside for the next one. The pianist recorded unrelated compositions during each of the recording sessions which produced several different solo CDs (in addition to this one) to keep the music fresh; although this volume is not quite as compelling as the three which were released simultaneously with it (Solo 1, Solo 2, and Solo 3), d'Andrea's infectious playing also makes Solo 4 well worth acquiring.