Harlem Bush Music

Harlem Bush Music

by Gary Bartz Ntu TroopGary Bartz Ntu Troop


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Harlem Bush Music combines two Gary Bartz Ntu Troop albums recorded in November of 1970 and January of 1971. The title itself shows that soprano/alto Bartz and singer Andy Bey were moving toward a more expansive format to explore black consciousness within the realm of jazz. The small-group arrangements spin out long grooves on "Rise" and "People Dance" while smooth vocalist Bey adds a steady lyrical mix that weaves in and out of the music. Bass and percussion add a heavy rhythmic effect to "Drinking Song" and "Vietcong," pushing both pieces steadily forward. The overall sound of Harlem Bush Music is evocative, if unusual, but occasionally becomes stagnant -- as with the ten-minute "People Dance" -- without melodic variation. There are lots of surprises, though. Bartz's narratives in "Parted" and "A Warrior's Song" combined with bursts of music will seem dated but nonetheless intriguing, while "Blue (A Folk Tale)" shifts intriguingly over its 18-minute length. How one finally looks at Harlem Bush Music -- is it music, politics, or something in between -- matters less than understanding the time and place that it was made. And whether one ultimately finds these efforts by the Gary Bartz Ntu Troop satisfying or tiring matters less than appreciating the adventurous spirit that went into making them.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/29/2004
Label: Milestone
UPC: 0025218471121
catalogNumber: 47101
Rank: 137374

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gary Bartz Ntu Troop   Primary Artist
Andy Bey   Vocals
Gary Bartz   Piano,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Vocals,Narrator,Spoken Word
Ron Carter   Double Bass
Nat Bettis   Percussion
Joony Booth   Bass,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Harold White   Drums
Nat Bettis   Percussion

Technical Credits

Andy Bey   Composer
Gary Bartz   Composer
Elvin Campbell   Engineer
Hakim Jami   Composer
Orrin Keepnews   Liner Notes,Audio Production
Jamie Putnam   Art Direction
Paul Lawrence Dunbar   Composer

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