Throwback: Gary Bartz-Keep Going On

Gary Bartz is an American saxophonist and clarinetist who started his career as a member of the Charles Mingus jazz workshop in the sixties. In that same decade he worked with Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln and Art Blakely where he made his recording debut on the Soul Finger album. It was during the Mingus workshop that he met McCoy Tyner and Eric Dolphy. When Tyner formed his Expansions band in 1968 Bartz became his alto saxophone player. Bartz formed his own bands and toured with Max Roach. Miles Davis hired him as a soloist for the Live-Evil recording sessions in 1970 and Bartz also assembled his Ntu Troop band that melded jazz, funk, soul and African folk music. He released five albums with this band from 1973-75 which were considered key works that have been referenced and sampled by musicians of all walks. “Keep Going On” is from his 1980 self-titled album Bartz and the song was co-written by Mtume collaborators James Mtume and Reggie Lucas. Tawatha Agee who was the singer for Mtume sang on this track which is considered one of Bartz’s strongest R&B offerings. Bartz continues to record and receive recognition for his work such as 1995’s Red and Orange Poems with Standin’ On The Corner being his most recent release. He can also be heard on Sa Ra’s latest album Nuclear Evolution: The Age Of Love.