The propulsive debut single “Leta’s Dance” magically combines Gary Bartz’ soulful musical lyricism with Maisha’s African-jazz influences.
Maisha, led by drummer Jake Long, have been central to the UK’s jazz explosion, releasing their critically acclaimed debut LP, “There Is A Place” on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings in 2018. Theirs is an organic & explosive sound that blends influences from Afrobeat and Broken Beat to Persian music, whilst giving a nod to the heritage of spiritual jazz’ titans Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane and of course, Gary Bartz.
Having cut his teeth playing with the likes of Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Art Blakey and finally in 1970, Miles Davis at the peak of his electric period, Gary 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”. An oeuvre much loved by Soul-Jazzers and Hip-Hop fans alike.
This record really is an event, in and of itself, a meeting of talents, minds, generations and zeitgeist moments, captured in a unique and pure manner. The music does not disappoint, as Maisha have been inspired to reach new heights whilst we find Bartz truly reinvigorated, and both artists in tune to the spirit of the other.
Like Night Dreamer's recent sublime album by Seu Jorge & Roge, Leta's Dance was recorded in Haarlem’s Artone Studio, Amsterdam, in just one-take, straight-to-disc, avoiding post-production embellishments and retaining the purity of the performance.