Happy Birthday Gary Bartz

September 26, 1940


A tribute to the brilliant altoist

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Gary Bartz was born on September 26, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland.

His father had a jazz club in Baltimore which gave the young alto-saxophonist an opportunity to sit in with some greats including Art Blakey.

Bartz moved to New York in 1958 to attend Julliard, making his recording debut in 1965 when he was a member of Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

The altoist gained recognition for working with McCoy Tyner, leading his NTU Troop, and especially for his period with Miles Davis (1970-72).

Bartz has mostly been a bandleader ever since (leading over 40 albums) other than appearances with other all-stars, carving out a path for himself as a forward-thinking post-bop/hard bop soloist.

This film clip features Gary Bartz live from the Blue Note Milano on Mar. 22, 2015 performing with pianist Barney McAll, bassist James King, and drummer Francisco Mela.

-Scott Yanow


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