Review

Gary Bartz, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Jazz Is Dead 006

Jazz Is Dead • 2021

»Great music is always spiritual to me.« That’s what American jazz saxophonist Gary Bartz told us last year. Judging by that, *»Jazz Is Dead 006«* is good music. »Spiritual Ideation« is also the name of the first, leading number, on which Greg Paul on drums, and the two initiators Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad** on vibraphone and organ immediately get into the groove. Gary Bartz kicks in after 45 seconds, with the smoothness he is known for. Bartz’s saxophone playing, heard in recordings with jazz greats from Eric Dolphy, to McCoy Tyner, to Charles Mingus and Miles Davis, wraps you in the warmest of blankets. The spiritual hangs half in the esoteric with Gary Bartz. There, though, he’s right in line with the Californian jazz approach, from Phil Ranelin, Wendell Harrison, Tribe Records in general, to Carlos Niño and Kamasi Washington. The rhythmic will sometimes raise the hackles of conservative jazz apologists, for the drumming is a modern one, drawing in its grooves from hip-hop, Afrobeat, funk. These variable rhythms, relying on movement, are a good contrast to the inward-looking playing of Gary Bartz. The eight tracks are rarely longer than 4 minutes, and after only 28 minutes you will be reborn as a butterfly.