Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Solid --- important because he's underrecorded
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 04/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I welcome this release because there are relatively few opportunities to capture the recorded Bartz. The good news about this CD is that it presents Bartz in a solid jazz context, unlike some other late '60s/early '70s recordings he made. The bad news is that he shows again that he's the rare player who often does better as a sideman than as a leader.The only weakness of the release is that the compositions are generally a bit pedestrian. When Bartz was given the opportunity to riff on pieces by superior composers, like McCoy Tyner, the results were electrifying. Here the playing is honest, straight-ahead swing, but there's a crucial element lacking because the material isn't where it needs to be.Bartz's solos are always passionate, and the bands he assembled for the two dates represented here are above reproach. Two virtually forgotten jazz names, trumpeter Jimmy Owens and pianist Albert Dailey, make fine contributions on the first seven cuts, which comprised the original Milestone "Libra" release. On the remainder of the cuts, from "Another Earth," Bartz joins with Stanley Cowell on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Freddie Waits on drums to form a fine late-60s young lions quartet.The CD does present one extended piece, the title cut from "Another Earth," which runs 23 minutes and features Pharaoh Sanders on sax and Charles Tolliver, another shamefully ignored player, on trumpet. This cut, which manages to blend '60s mysticism with a cutting-session mentality, is fascinating for its contrast between Pharaoh's abandoned approach (which sounds a bit forced) and Bartz's more controlled but for me more coherent, passionate and satisfying commentary. But don't miss Tolliver, whose soaring trumpet poses a question to the jazz critics of the '60s: Why -- was this marvellous talent ignored by the press and the listening audience? Maybe they'd all moved on to Led Zeppelin."
2 classic late '60s 'cool fire' jazz records on 1 CD
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 12/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Bartz's playing. He's awesome now and he was even more awesome then on these mystical sounding, 'turbanned-urban' underrated masterpieces. His full-throated thick alto, sounding so completely like a tenor at times because of his amazing range, carries a unique energy all its own that truly burns, an adrenaline rush like few can deliver. It wasn't for nothing that good ole' Miles Smiles Dewey Davis picked Bartz to play in his early '70s band alongside such luminaries and lunar-zanies like Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea (Bartz appears on Miles' "Live-Evil" record). Bottom line: Two absolutely classic jazz records that have been overlooked for too long and belong in every jazz fan's collection (the high-energy level also makes them a strong recommendation for those who only like 'fusion'). There's a special soul here that's earthy and authentic and absent from most jazz; Bartz goes beyond the Coltrane influences, adding a youthful vigor all his own that's the distilled essence of its era but fully transcendent. And best of all, the compositions are more imaginative and progressive than what you'll hear on 99% of all the jazz records ever made."