July 19, 2024


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CD review: Gary Bartz Ntu Troop – Live In Bremen 1975 – 2021: Videos, CD cover

The musical life of the American jazz saxophonist Gary Bartz is busy and eventful. The eighty-year-old American Bartz jammed with Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Pharoah Sanders at a young age. In 1965 he became a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

In 1970 Bartz joined the Miles Davis Band, played with Davis at the Isle Of Wight – Festival and on his studio/live album “Live Evil”. In 1972 Gary Bartz founded his own band, NTU Troop. He borrowed the name from the Bantu language. Bartz: “Ntu means unity in all things, in time and space, life and death, in the visible and the invisible. Musically, it stands for an alliance of bop, free, rock and African music.” On 8th November 1975, Gary Bartz performed with the NTU Troop in Bremen’s Post-Aula. Radio Bremen was there and now the recording is being released physically and digitally on Moosicus.

Gary Bartz was joined on stage by drummer Howard King, bassist Curtis Robertson and pianist Charles Mims, an extraordinary, musically brilliant quartet that was well-rehearsed and coordinated. Unfortunately, it was short-lived, because quite soon after this performance, the NTU Troop went their separate ways again. King, Robertson and Mims went on to work with Roberta Flack, Lou Rawls and Patrice Rushen, among others, while Bartz continued his solo career with such major labels as Capitol Records and Arista.

For Gary Bartz, jazz is “improvised composing”, which can be heard on this live album recorded 46 years ago.

  1. Nation Time (Live, Bremen) (11:54)
  2. Ju Ju Man (Live, Bremen) (18:51)
  3. Medley: Rise / Celestial Blues / The Sounding Song / Incident / Uhuru Sasa (Live, Bremen) (9:45)
  4. I’ve Known Rivers (Live, Bremen) (24:37)
  5. Sweet Tooth (Live, Bremen) (24:27)
  6. Peace and Love (Live, Bremen) (7:57)
  7. Sifa Zote (Live, Bremen) (10:03)
  8. For the Love (Live, Bremen) (11:46)

Gary Bartz (as,ss,voc)
Howard King (dr)
Curtis Robertson (b)
Charles Mims (p)

Ntu Troop, Live In Bremen 1975 - Gary Bartz - La Boîte à Musique

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