Gary Bartz – Dark Nebula
Another Earth – Milestone 1969, MSP 9018
American alto sax player Gary Bartz is one of dozens of prolific talents who can count being one of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as his debut to the world of jazz (Soul Finger – Limelight, 1965 LM82018). Another Earth is Bartz’ second LP as a band leader. The 20+ minute title track enlists the work Of Charles Tolliver and Pharaoh Sanders, among others, to take the late 60’s Spiritual Jazz movement into the deepest reaches of space. Dark Nebula, the featured track, continues to explore the larger theme from within an more intimate quartet setting. Like on the title track, Freddy Waits’ drums are sparse and complimentary. Stanley Cowell channels the left hand of McCoy Tyner in both rhythm and voicing. Bartz uses the extra room to take us back into outer space. In the end, the band drifts off deeper and deeper into the blackness, until there is nothing left to hear but the stillness of the space between songs. Although the original Milestone release is rare and can be a bit spendy, there was a reissue in the 20teens that should be easier and cheaper to find. I have not heard the reissue and cannot speak to the quality of the recording.