This is an exciting first listen to the wonderous combination of Gary Bartz’ soulful wizardry with Maisha’s African-jazz influences – the debut single Leta’s Dance for Night Dreamer, which is the first from May’s forthcoming Direct-To-Disc Session album.
Maisha led by drummer Jake Long, have been central to the UK’s jazz explosion, following debut LP There Is A Place on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings in 2018. They blend influences from Afrobeat and broken beat, to Persian music and more, while also giving a nod to the heritage of spiritual jazz’ titans Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane.
Now, Gary Bartz, meets them in the studio – having played with the likes of Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Art Blakey and finally in 1970, Miles Davis at the peak of his electric period, Bartz became a leading figure of the early-to-mid 70s spiritual jazz movement, releasing a string of ground-breaking albums on legendary NYC jazz label Prestige Records with his NTU Troop, featuring classics such as Celestial Blues, Uhuru Dance and I’ve Known Rivers, before collaborating on Blue Note Records with the Mizell Brothers on the anthemic jazz-funk of Music Is My Sanctuary. His recent performances show no sign of him slowing down either.
This record really is a crucial collaboration and an event in itself. This third record of the project – “capturing whole sets in just one-take, then pressed straight-to-disc, avoiding post-production embellishments and retaining the purity of the performance” – follows Night Dreamer’s recent sublime albums by Seun Kuti & Egypt ’80 and Seu Jorge & Rogê. It was again recorded in Haarlem’s Artone Studio, Amsterdam.
Here’s a link to some happenings relating to the last recording:
There’s more to come on the new one, watch this space…