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

LENNIE TRISTANO REMEMBERED: Jazz piano in a classical manner

LENNIE TRISTANO REMEMBERED: Jazz piano in a classical manner

Strange coincidences can be unnerving. They make you wonder if there isn’t a guiding hand behind the randomness of life. In late 2003 while unearthing some old vinyl I turned up an album I... > Read more

PIANIST JAY McSHANN: From Charlie Parker to Keith Richards . . .

PIANIST JAY McSHANN: From Charlie Parker to Keith Richards . . .

About 20 years ago I interviewed the legendary Kansas City pianist, Jay McShann, in an Auckland bar. He’d flown in late the previous afternoon, had a “talk-rehearsal” with the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mark Knopfler: Why the long face, son?

Mark Knopfler: Why the long face, son?

When former Dire Straits man Mark Knopfler came to New Zealand to play in 2005 I read the interview in the Herald about his terrible motorcycle accident . . . and burst out laughing. Not... > Read more

Various Artists: Musical Explorer Series; Deben Bhattacharya, Waves of Joy (ARC Music CD/DVD)

Various Artists: Musical Explorer Series; Deben Bhattacharya, Waves of Joy (ARC Music CD/DVD)

Elsewhere has happily been down this path previously but we acknowledge these Indian music collections of field recordings with an archival film are not for everybody. As we mentioned before,... > Read more