Gary Bartz has been probably the greatest purveyors of what he calls “casual composition” (versus improvisation) on alto saxophone for the reason that Sixties, working with such luminaries as Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Artwork Blakey, and Miles Davis. He has launched greater than 45 solo albums and seems on greater than 200 as a visitor artist, in addition to working with among the up-and-coming artists in jazz right now, similar to Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge for his or her Jazz Is Lifeless sequence and the jazz-funk band Maisha.
Bartz was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to nightclub-owning mother and father and was uncovered to many nice jazz artists who performed at their membership. He was 6 when he was impressed by the sound of Charlie Parker, and obtained his first alto saxophone on the age of 11. He attended the Juilliard College in New York Metropolis in 1958. He joined the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop from 1962 to 1964, assembly jazz giants Eric Dolphy and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He additionally started working with the Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln group in 1964.
In 1965, Bartz was recruited into Artwork Blakey’s Jazz Messengers whereas they performed at his mother and father’ membership, taking John Gilmore’s place within the band. He made his recording debut with Blakey on Soulfinger that very same yr.
In 1970, Miles Davis requested Bartz to hitch his band and carry out on the historic Isle of Wight Pageant and his subsequent tour. Bartz is featured on Davis’ Dwell/Evil recording. Bartz additionally shaped his personal group, NTU Troop, named for the Bantu phrase for “essence.” The group blended soul, funk, African people music, exhausting bop, and avant-garde jazz and recorded one in every of Bartz’s first classics, I’ve Identified Rivers and Different Our bodies, primarily based on the poetry of Langston Hughes. His NTU Troop recordings are sometimes sampled by hip-hop artists.
In 1997, he was awarded a Grammy Award for Finest Latin Jazz Efficiency for his work on Roy Hargrove’s Habana album, and, in 2005, he obtained a Grammy Award for his work as a sideman on McCoy Tyner‘s recording Illuminations. In 2015, Bartz obtained the BNY Mellon Jazz Dwelling Legacy Award that honors jazz musicians from the mid-Atlantic area who’ve achieved distinction in efficiency and training.
In 2019, producer Gilles Peterson invited Bartz to play the We Out Right here competition with the London-based group Maisha, a transfer that proved so profitable that Bartz performed dates with them all through Europe and lower an album with them within the Netherlands.
Since 2001, Bartz has been a professor of saxophone and jazz efficiency at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. Bartz focuses his educating on discovering new methods for his college students to “open their ears” and presses his Oberlin college students to really hear the music they assume they know so effectively.
Gary Bartz/NTU Troop, I’ve Identified Rivers and Different Our bodies, Fantasy/Status, 1973
Music is My Sanctuary, Blue Notice, 1977
Coltrane Guidelines-Tao of A Music Warrior, OYO Recordings’ 2011
Gary Bartz/Maisha, Night time Dreamer Direct-to-Disc Classes, Night time Dreamer, 2020
I’m very honored to have been chosen to hitch lots of my mentors and contemporaries for this award honoring this artwork type that was based within the USA, which I name casual composition, not improvisation. I give because of my ancestors who nurtured this nice artwork type born within the USA. Music is humbling and I’m humbled by this award. This music is our present to the universe!