Gary Bartz

Libra/Another Earth

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Altoist Gary Bartz's first two recordings as a leader are reissued in full (except for one selection, "Disjunction," left off due to lack of space) on this 1998 CD. 1967's Libra matches Bartz (then 26) with trumpeter Jimmy Owens, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Billy Higgins for four diverse originals including "Eastern Blues," a lyrical "Cabin in the Sky," the old hymn "Deep River," and Charlie Parker's "Bloomdido." Another Earth features Bartz dueting with bassist Reggie Workman on "Lost in the Stars," performing three trio quartet numbers with Workman, pianist Stanley Cowell, and drummer Freddie Waits, and welcoming trumpeter Charles Tolliver and tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders (who is a little more restrained than usual) to the 23-and-a-half-minute, three-part "Another Earth." The music is advanced but not avant-garde, essentially falling into the genre of modern mainstream for the period. Even at this early stage, Bartz had a fairly distinctive sound and a strong musical style. Recommended.

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