Last Call Review: Brian Jackson and Gary Bartz/Jazz Is Dead 008/006
It's hard to resist the soulful grooves presented on two of the latest installments of the "Jazz is Dead" series helmed by multi instrumentalists and mixmasters Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The series of recordings have featured the musician/producer duo with a series of acclaimed jazz stars to create new music. Two recent sessions have seen Younge and Muhummad with two of the most significant jazz artists of our times, Brian Jackson and Gary Bartz.
Brian Jackson is a legendary figure in music who was the the writing partner, keyboardist, arranger and bandleader for Gil Scott-Heron and his band. Notable songs from that association include "The Bottle" and "Your Daddy Loves You" from the recording "Winter In America". Additionally, Jackson has worked with Kool & The Gang, Roy Ayers(who also had his own Jazz is Dead date), Charnett Moffett, and many others. On the disc featuring Brian Jackson, standout tracks include "Mars Walk" plus "Baba Ibehji"and for my ears, the cosmic grooves of "Duality".
Gary Bartz is known worldwide for his status as a top jazz saxophonist since the late 1960s. Notably, he was with the Miles Davis Band in the early 1970s that famously played at the Isle of Wight music festival. He has worked with a "whos who" in jazz that has included McCoy Tyner, Jon Hendricks, Vincent Herring, Bobby Watson and many others. With Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad Bartz creates a spiritual yet groovy vibe, with gems including "Spiritual Ideation", "Day by Day" and the gem of the whole disc, "Visions of Love".
These and other recordings in the "Jazz is Dead" series announce that Jazz is most certainly alive and well in the hands of these acclaimed veterans and master musicians. Highly recommended.
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