Alto saxophonist Gary Bartz (b. 1940) had worked with the vital small groups of Max Roach and Art Blakey before making his first two solo albums. Recorded almost exactly a year apart, Libra (1967) and Another Earth ('68) showed Bartz was in many ways an authoritative improviser, from modality to ballads, free (his impelling three-part suite, "Another Earth") to spiritual (a moving rendition of "Deep River"). Almost all of the material is performed by two exceptional quintets, mostly comprised of the "Young (or youngish) Lions" of the day. The sole exception is the extended "Another Earth," which finds Pharoah Sanders (recently with John Coltrane's final band) added on characteristically provocative tenor saxophone. The two LPs joined here helped send Gary Bartz on his way to becoming one of the essential alto saxophonists.
Eastern Blues, Cabin in the Sky, Air and Fire, Libra, Bloomdido, Deep River, Freedom One Day, Another Earth, Dark Nebula, UFO, Lost in the Stars, Perihelion and Aphelion
with Jimmy Owens, Albert Dailey, Richard Davis, Billy Higgins, Charles Tolliver, Pharoah Sanders, Stanley Cowell, Reggie Workman, Freddie Waits