Gary Bartz

Juju Man

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Although altoist Gary Bartz's career was beginning to become a bit aimless during this period (as if he were searching for commercial success), and his recordings tended to be erratic, this mostly straight-ahead outing was a major exception. Bartz teams up with pianist Charles Mims, bassist Curtis Robertson and drummer Howard King for a stimulating set of music. While "Ju Ju Man" effectively uses voices in a tribute of sorts to John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," "My Funny Valentine" is a feature for the warm vocal of Syreeta, 'Trane's "Straight Street" and Bartz's "Pisces Daddy Blue" are both swinging and "Chelsea Bridge" finds the leader taking rare solos on soprano and clarinet. This was Gary Bartz's best jazz session as a leader until he re-emerged on Mapleshade in 1987; it is a pity that the Catalyst label's LPs are difficult to find.

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