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

Esperanza Spalding: Chamber Music Society (Head Up)

Esperanza Spalding: Chamber Music Society (Head Up)

Because we could safely assume few aggrieved Justin Bieber followers will ever come to Elsewhere, it is safe to write about this hitherto little-known jazz singer-composer-bassist who won the... > Read more

Lloyd McNeill: Asha (Universal Sounds/Southbound)

Lloyd McNeill: Asha (Universal Sounds/Southbound)

Jazz flautist Lloyd McNeill lived the kind of life only possible in his era: he counted among his friends in the Sixties and Seventies Pablo Picasso (when they both lived in the south of France,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF  . . . (2014): Kiss pokes tongue at honour? No!

THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF . . . (2014): Kiss pokes tongue at honour? No!

Trust Gene Simmons of Kiss to inject some controversy into the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today (April 10, US time). While so many others are happy to take the accolade,... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more