Gary Bartz's I've Known Rivers flows from the confluence of four major streams of late-20th century African-American music/culture: the spiritualism and modality strongly associated with John Coltrane's monumental, devotional suite A Love Supreme; the spectrum of electric sounds and bristling funk-rock rhythms of Miles Davis's heraldic Bitches Brew; the new funk directions (words and music), kinetic syncopations, and of the popular singer-songwriters Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone, and James Brown; and the dramatically expanding Afrocentric consciousness during the Vietnam War era. On the evening of July 7, 1973 ex-Miles Davis sideman Bartz (b. 1940) and Ntu Troop, whose rhythm section's swing and funk backings were equally masterful, performed superlatively, ripping through an uninterrupted, nearly 80-minute set at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Long out-of-print but now available for the first time on CD, I've Known Rivers should at last receive its due as one of the high-water marks from its era.
Nommo--The Majick Song, Sifa Zote, Jujuman, Bertha Baptist, Don't Fight That Feeling, Mama's Soul, I've Known Rivers, The Warrior's Song, Uhuru Sasa, Dr. Follow's Dance, Peace and Love