Crossing boundaries and genres as well as generations, the celestial bluesman and Miles Davis collaborator details his life in music.
Gary Bartz is an outstanding musician with an astonishing career. Whether live or studio-based, his musical output is defined by artistic progression at every turn. Originally from Baltimore, he attended the Juilliard Conservatory of Music and became a member of Charles Mingus’s Jazz Workshop in the early ’60s, later joining Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He’s perhaps best known for his work with Miles Davis, playing in his band throughout the ’70s. Bartz has collaborated with myriad greats, including Max Roach, Pharaoh Sanders, Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd and the Mizell Brothers. After working in different bands, Bartz formed his own outfit, NTU Troop, blending jazz, funk and soul with a political message. After staying quiet in the ’80s, Bartz returned with gusto in the ’90s, releasing critically acclaimed albums like ‘94’s Red & Orange Poems on Atlantic. In his Fireside Chat, the prolific artist discusses his life in music, from early beginnings in NY to starting his own label and the importance of owning your compositions.