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9 Sep 2016

Gary Bartz ‎"Music Is My Sanctuary" 1977 soul jazz funk





Gary Bartz ‎"Music Is My Sanctuary" 1977 excellent soul jazz funk….recommended….!
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Classic jazz funk album produced by the brilliant Mizell brothers! Features “Music Is My Sanctuary” and “Carnival De L'esprit”! …. 

Exact repro of saxophonist Gary Bartz’s jazz/funk/soul hybrid from 1977. Featuring vocals by Syreeta Wright (on the title track), plus Larry Mizell (keyboard) and Nate Neblett (drums), among other top fusion musicians. The funk, soul and disco elements on this album make it a departure from Bartz’s previous recordings. ..by Forced explosure……. 


A fantastic bit of jazz funk fusion – and one of the landmark 70s albums produced by Mizell Brothers! This is Gary Bartz’s second (and most amazing) collaboration with Larry Mizell – a studio genius who could focus on the best talent of a jazz artist, then expand it using additional keyboards, percussion, and often a sweet bank of chorus vocals to give the tracks an extra soulful sound! By the time of this album, Larry had already worked to great fame with Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, and Johnny Hammond – and the record has him turning his talents towards Gary Bartz to unlock a whole hidden side of soulful expression that would never be matched again! The title cut – “Music Is My Sanctuary” – is a jazz fusion classic in anyone’s book, and it features characteristic Mizell keyboards alongside Gary’s soulful sax, augmented by a deep vocal chorus that’s simply fantastic….. 

Surrounding himself with a world-class ensemble of disco-jazz-fusion musicians and armed with the Mizell brothers at the production console (who were near the peak of their careers around this time), Gary Bartz took the route of Donald Byrd and brought new elements of funk, soul, and a foreshadowing of the soon-to-be-commercial disco craze all into a 40-minute workout on Music Is My Sanctuary. While purists shook their heads in disapproval and disdain at Bartz’s new direction (one emulated by several jazz pioneers at the time), those who could take off their traditional jazz mufflers would find Bartz and the Mizells making some highly infectious, soulful music. Further accentuated by the addition of Syreeta Wright on vocals, the Mizells took Bartz into nearly uncharted territories for jazz musicians. The results of this experimentation more than paid off, with the dividends being Bartz’s most polished, focused releases (AMG)….. 

A lost funky classic. The Mizell brothers produced this gem. If you like the sounds of mid 70’s Donald Byrd or Bobby Humphrey, you’ll like this. Not as R&B influenced as the aforementioned artists but definitely in a soulful groove. Bartz really branched out on this one! ….. 

Although best known as a straight ahead jazzer Gary Bartz went through his 1970’s jazz funk/african american music phase and this is a pretty good example of that typically 70’s low down dirty funk with some thoughtful and well intentioned vocals from Bartz himself. The soloing as you would expect from a man of this talent is superb. Just one fault really – would like to see him stretch and deliver some of those scorching solos that we know he is capable of. ….. 

Great stuff from an underrated master. …. 

It’s midweek already, and I can’t believe December is here. This year has gone by so quick, my life has changed (for the better), and we’re approaching TWO years of Flea Market Funk. I think 2009 is going to be an even more exciting year, and I look forward to doing more gigs, meeting more of you, and bringing FMF to the next level. I’ve made a few changes to this site in the past week or so. I have reconnected some broken links (The Supreme La Rock and COOP Guest Mixes), and added some more mixes to my personal website. Also, for those of you unaware, there is another Asbury Park 45 Sessions on December 12th at 9PM, at the World Famous Asbury Lanes. This month’s Guest Selector is family people, it’s none other than Cool Hands Luke out of Brooklyn. Luke is a great friend, and a terrific DJ. So if you’re around on the 12th, stop by. There is also a bonus gig the same day from 5PM to 9PM at StyleRocket’s flagship store on the boardwalk in Asbury. It’s a Holiday party for Atwater Collection and Style Rocket. There will be free food, drinks, and I will be providing the beats, so let’s see you out! Ok, now that all the news is out of the way, let’s get into some music, shall we? Today we have Gary Bartz with “Music Is My Sanctuary” off of the same titled Lp on Capitol Records from 1977. 

Alto Saxophonist Gary Bartz was born in Baltimore, MD in 1940. He attended Julliard, and from 1962-64 he was a part of the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop. Here he’d run into and make contact with McCoy Tyner and Eric Dolphy. Bartz went on to be a sideman for greats such as Art Blakey (with the Jazz Messengers), Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln. From there he’d hook back up with Tyner in 1968 in Tyner’s Expansions band. He was a busy guy, as a sideman for Max Roach, Miles Davis (Live Evil) , and formed NTU Troop. This is where I was introduced to Gary Bartz. NTU Troop was a collaboration of Soul, Funk, African music, Hard Bop and Jazz. The tune, was “Celestial Blues” and I highly recommend it. I think Pharrell from the Neptunes was all jazzed up on it recently, but it has been a favorite of mine for years. 7 minutes of the sweet shit. NTU Troop recorded from 1970-73, and released some great music. Records such as Harlem Bush Music, Juju Street Songs, and Taifa combined his influences of Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Rassan Roland Kirk, and Pharoah Sanders into a diverse style of playing. Bartz would not stop there. He’d keep on trucking and release Music Is My Sanctuary, Another Earth, Home, and I’ve Known Rivers and Other Bodies to round out the 70’s. Throughout the 80’s Bartz was around, but his greatest release during that era was Reflections on Monk. Although known by Diggers and DJ’s alike, Bartz may be one of the more under appreciated altos around. 

One Bartz’s greatest and most well known songs, but by far not his greatest, “Music Is My Sanctuary” is definitely some Jazz Fusion: fusing everything from Disco to Rock to Jazz to Funk and Soul. It weaves a tale, which is true, about the many faces of music. I feel the same way when I hear certain songs. Music definitely is a huge part of my life, and it can affect many people in different ways. I believe Bartz was on the same level. By this time in his career, his level as a musician and leader could get players like James Gadsen, Larry Mizell, David T. Walker, Wa Wa Washington, Eddie Henderson, Ray Brown, and a whole gang of others to record with him. On a whole, this song and Lp are to me, down right funky and feel good music. It’s how music should make you feel. See you at the end of the week. Keep Diggin’! ….by flea market funk…… 

Tracks 
A1 Music Is My Sanctuary 6:22 
A2 Carnaval de l’esprit 5:55 
A3 Love Ballad 4:11 
B1 Swing Thing 6:42 
B2 Ooo Baby Baby 6:51 
B3 Macaroni 5:53  

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