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Artist Portrait

Gary Bartz

as, ss, *1940 US, Baltimore
Musician of Jazz
A.k.a. Gary Lee Bartz

b. 26th September 1940, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Gary Bartz took up the alto sax at the age of eleven. As a teenager Gary had played sax in his father's nightclub, sitting in with Art Blakey and George Benson. He had started on alto at age 11 and, after studying at Juilliard and the Peabody Conservatory, Bartz worked with the Max Roach-Abbey Lincoln group in 1964. He followed that up by stints with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1965-66), McCoy Tyner and Blue Mitchell. Bartz made a strong impression with Miles Davis' 1970-71 fusion group, emerging as perhaps the strongest soloist on the recording 'Live / Evil'. The altoist, who had recorded as a leader for Milestone and Prestige fairly regularly since 1967, did some of his finest work at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival (released on Prestige as 'I've Known Rivers and Other Bodies'). In 1970 he worked with Miles Davis, then in 1972 switched to the Prelude label and moved towards fusing soul R & B with jazz in his music. By the mid seventies his recordings became funkier and more commercial. His 1977 album 'Music Is My Sanctuary' is considered one of the finest fusion albums of it's generation, with the title track receiving 'rare groove' status. 1978's 'Love Affair' on Capitol (which featured an excellent revised version of John Coltrane's 'Giant Steps') which was well received in soul and jazz circles. His next move was to Arista where he worked with writers / producers Mtume / Lucas on the single 'Music', taken from the album 'Bartz' (1980). He also recorded with The Blackbyrds and Rena Scott. By 1987, Bartz started recording more mainstream jazz style albums for Mapleshade, SteepleChase and Candid. Gary Bartz is an underrated (and often totally overlooked) jazz great.

  • Alto sax
  • Soprano sax
  • Vocals
  • Saxophone
  • Synthesizer
  • Jazz
  • R&B/Soul
  • Electronic
Popular Tracks   
Gentle Smiles (Saxy) on The Shadow Do! by Gary Bartz
Music Is My Sanctuary on Music Is My Sanctuary by Gary Bartz
I've Known Rivers on I've Known Rivers And Other Bodies by Gary Bartz
Day By Day on Gary Bartz JID006 by Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge
The Message on Gary Bartz JID006 by Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge
Spiritual Ideation on Gary Bartz JID006 by Gary Bartz, Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge
JAZZ IS DEAD (feat. Gary Bartz & Kassa Overall) on LOVE QUANTUM by Theo Croker
Ode to Super on Ode to Super by Jackie McLean & Gary Bartz
Soulsea - Cut Chemist Remix on Soulsea by Various Artists
Winding Roads on The Shadow Do! by Gary Bartz

Track list and 30sec audio provided by

Band Members

Title Artist Year Type
ジェントル・スマイルズ = Gentle SmilesGary Bartz2017Single
A Place In TimeWallace Roney, Gary Bartz, Ben Solomon, Patrice Rushen, Buster Williams, Lenny White2016Album
Ju Ju Man / Love SongGary Bartz2016Compil.
Ordinary Joe / Music Is My SanctuaryTerry Callier / Gary Bartz2013Single
Coltrane Rules (Tao Of A Music Warrior)Gary Bartz2012Album
Soprano StoriesGary Bartz2005Album
Funked Up / Think TwiceGary Bartz / Donald Byrd2005Album
Live @ The Jazz Standard Mae Velha Vol 2Gary Bartz2005Album
UntitledAntonio Negro Y Su Grupo / Joe Chambers Quartet Feat. Gary Bartz / Andy Bey Quartet2004Album
AnthologyGary Bartz2004Compil.
Blue JazzMalachi Thompson & Africa Brass Featuring Gary Bartz And Billy Harper2003Album
African LakeJarosław Śmietana / Gary Bartz2000Album
Music For Ebbe: Live In San SebastianGary Bartz, Jeanne Lee, Jorge Pardo1999Album
Libra / Another EarthGary Bartz1998Compil.
The Blues Chronicles - Tales Of LifeGary Bartz1996Album
Spirit Of '70Robert Walter With Gary Bartz1996Album
AfterglowKendra Shank With The Larry Willis Quartet Plus Gary Bartz1994Album
The Red And Orange PoemsGary Bartz1994Album
Episode 1 Children Of HarlemGary Bartz1994Album
Alto MemoriesGary Bartz, Sonny Fortune1994Album
DreamsvilleThe Richie Vitale Quintet Featuring Gary Bartz1993Album
ShadowsGary Bartz1992Album
There Goes The Neighborhood!Gary Bartz1991Album
Reflections On Monk - The Final FronteerGary Bartz1989Album
Gary BartzGary Bartz1980Album
MusicGary Bartz1980Single
BartzGary Bartz1980Album
After The Love Has Gone / Keep Goin' OnGary Bartz1980Single
Ooh Child / Shake Your Body (It's The Joint)Chuck Jackson, Gary Bartz1978Album
Shake Your BodyGary Bartz1978Album
Shake Your Body / Love AffairGary Bartz1978Single
Love AffairGary Bartz1978Album
Music Is My SanctuaryGary Bartz1977Single
Love SongGary Bartz1977Album
Music Is My SanctuaryGary Bartz1977Album
Love BalladGary Bartz1977Single
Ju Ju ManGary Bartz1976Album
Dance Of Magic (Live At Nemu Jazz Inn -1)Gary Bartz - Eddie Henderson - Norman Connors1975Album
The Shadow DoGary Bartz1975Album
Infinite JonesJohn Lee / Gerry Brown Featuring: Chris Hinze & Gary Bartz1974Album
AltissimoGary Bartz, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Jackie McLean1973Album
Ode To SuperJackie McLean Featuring Gary Bartz1973Album
Another EarthGary Bartz1969Album
External Links
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To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
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