Gary Bartz: Music is My Sanctuary (Capitol)

 |   |  <1 min read

Gary Bartz: Music is My Sanctuary (Capitol)

Saxophonist Gary Bartz was a graduate of Juilliard and in the early Sixties was a real frontline player with McCoy Tyner, Eric Dolphy, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and others.

He could play in the pocket (as they say) but also get into the free jazz/Black Consciousness movements of the late Sixties and early Seventies with his Gary Bartz NTU Troop which melded funk and soul alongside jazz.

In that, he had maybe been inspired by Miles Davis whose band he briefly joined (he appears on Live-Evil).

Albums like Juju Street Songs with the Troop are essential listening.

By the late Seventies however he had moved into a smart jazz-funk/disco style and this album released in '77 was produced by the Mizell Brothers (keyboard player/singer Larry, Alphonse aka Fonse of the famous Corporation which wrote the Jackson 5s hits in the late Sixties) with Syreeta Wright (who had been married to Stevie Wonder) on vocals.

Melvin Ragin (aka Wah-Wah Watson) plays guitar alongside the crack band of jazz/session musicians.

Many of Bartz' former fans and champions hated it – disco was anathema to most – but these days we can accept it for what it is: an often high-energy implosion of disco, dance, soul-funk and energetic jazz. And some slinky ballads.

It's pretty cracking and although it has been available on Spotify for quite a while it now also appears on vinyl through Sounds of the Universe.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Ornette Coleman: Friends and Neighbors (Flying Dutchman/Border)

Ornette Coleman: Friends and Neighbors (Flying Dutchman/Border)

The day I interviewed Ornette Coleman -- the composer/jazz musician I place above all others for captivating and unpredictable music-- the stars seemed in a peculiar and happy alignment. I rarely... > Read more

Cyclone Trio: The Clear Revolution (577 Records/digital outlets)

Cyclone Trio: The Clear Revolution (577 Records/digital outlets)

Elsewhere tries to be very clear when it come to free jazz/experimental music. (We don't say “avant-garde” because it's been "avant" for about 80 years now.) When we... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EVA CASSIDY; TIMELESS VOICE: The songbird gone

EVA CASSIDY; TIMELESS VOICE: The songbird gone

She may have sold more than 10 million albums, but when she died of cancer in '96 at just 33, Eva Cassidy was virtually unknown outside of small circle who had seen her playing in clubs around... > Read more

Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale: Breathing Under Water (Manhattan/EMI)

Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale: Breathing Under Water (Manhattan/EMI)

This soundtrack suffers only major drawback in my book: the presence of Sting on the song Sea Dreamer. Is there a more irritating singer on the planet? (Yep, the yelper in Yes. The screacher... > Read more