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Bruce Barth

Jazz pianist and composer Bruce Barth has been sharing his music with listeners the world over for more than twenty-five years. In addition to traveling widely performing his own music, he has also performed with revered jazz masters, as well as collaborated with leading musicians of his own generation. And in a recent review in the Newark Star-Ledger, Zan Stewart writes "No one sounds quite like Barth. His solos are characterized by robust swing, his ability to tell a story, and by his rich, beguiling sound."

Bruce has performed on over 125 recordings and movie soundtracks, including fifteen as a leader. He is equally at home playing solo piano (American Landscape on Satchmo Jazz Records), leading an all-star septet (East and West on MaxJazz), and composing for a variety of ensembles. His trio has recorded live at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City, and his duo recording with saxophonist Steve Wilson, Home, was chosen by Down Beat magazine as one of the best recordings of 2010. Last summer, his trio appeared at several major European festivals, including San Sebastian, La Spezia, and San Javier, where Bruce shared the bill with Chick Corea’s trio. His current release is “Sunday,” recorded live in Spain and featuring tenor saxophonist giant Jerry Bergonzi.

Originally from Pasadena, California, Bruce arrived on the New York jazz scene in 1988, and soon started working in the bands of Stanley Turrentine and Terence Blanchard. While in Terence’s band, Bruce recorded his first two CD’s as a leader, In Focus and Morning Call for the Enja label; both were chosen for the New York Times’ top ten lists. These recordings displayed not only Bruce’s powerfully fluent piano playing, but also the scope of his own compositions and his imaginative arrangements of jazz standards.

As a leader of his trio and larger ensembles, Bruce has performed at major venuesin the United States, Europe, and Japan; he has led bands at many majorvenues in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and major festivals in UK, Spain, Sweden, and Portugal.

Throughout his professional life, Bruce has had extended collaborations with Terell Stafford, Steve Wilson, Luciana Souza, Steve Nelson, and Tony Bennett. He has performed with James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Art Farmer, and the Mingus Big Band. Finally, Bruce is a dedicated teacher, currently on the faculties of Temple Universityand Columbia University. He has also given master classes around the globe.


Album Review

Terell Stafford: Between Two Worlds

Read "Between Two Worlds" reviewed by Neil Duggan

Family is a major theme on Terell Stafford's Between Two Worlds, with compositions dedicated to his daughter, mother and wife. His band has been playing with him so long they must feel like family too. They include tenor and soprano saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianist Bruce Barth, drummer Johnathan Blake and bassist David Wong. In fact, Wong plays with Stafford every week as part of the renowned Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Percussionist Alex Acuña is the new member of the family.

Radio & Podcasts

Harry Belafonte, Elvin Jones, GoGo Penguin & Bruce Barth

Read "Harry Belafonte, Elvin Jones, GoGo Penguin & Bruce Barth" reviewed by Joe Dimino

From the gifted world of veteran pianist Bruce Barth, we make our way into the 803rd Episode of Neon Jazz. We also hear from a crop of established cats with new music in Isaiah J. Thompson, GoGo Penguin, Gabriel Latchin and Marty Isenberg. We slip in classics from Stanley Turrentine, Dave Brubeck and the mighty Elvin Jones. Along the way, we say good-bye to the Father of Calypso in Harry Belafonte. Finally, we finish the hour up with the genre-mixing ...

Liner Notes

Steve Slagle: Into The Heart Of It

Read "Steve Slagle: Into The Heart Of It" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

In a storied career that's produced more than 20 leader dates, there's little that Steve Slagle hasn't explored and accomplished. Yet here we are with a true first from the veteran alto saxophonist: A stunning bouquet of ballads. Inspired by lodestar outings from legends like John Coltrane, and driven by a desire to find a personalized path through the format, Slagle essentially came to balance history with his own story. “I really ruminated over this," he explains, “and I find ...

Album Review

Rodney Whitaker: Oasis: The Music of Gregg Hill

Read "Oasis: The Music of Gregg Hill" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Oasis is the third time around for bassist Rodney Whitaker and music written by fellow Michigander Gregg Hill, following Common Ground (Origin 82780) and Outrospection (Origin 82819). Personnel is the same as on Common Ground (Terell Stafford, trumpet; Tim Warfield, saxophone; Bruce Barth, piano; Dana Hall, drums; Rockelle Fortin, vocals) with Hall and Fortin returning from Outrospection (on which Fortin is listed as Rockelle Whitaker). Hill's compositions are for the most part firmly grounded in customary post-bop ...

Album Review

Eric Jacobson: Discover

Read "Discover" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

With Discover, jny: Milwaukee-based trumpeter and jazz educator Eric Jacobson and team take us on an aural time trip back to the days when album covers were iconically black and white or monochrome and the contents within were drenched in blue-hued Hard Bop. This is a fine effort with that precise presentation. “New Combinations," which launches the date, is anything but new and sets the trajectory. One of four Jacobson originals, it is a straight-head burner directly ...

Album Review

Eric Jacobson: Discover

Read "Discover" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If trumpeter Eric Jacobson's name doesn't ring a bell, it could be because he is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles or any other jazz mecca. What's more, Jacobson has not recorded often; Discover is only his second date as leader or co-leader. Hindrances aside, Jacobson's is a name with which one should become familiar, as he is an excellent trumpeter and composer, and Discover is splendid from start to finish. ...

Album Review

Steve Slagle: Ballads: Into the Heart of it

Read "Ballads: Into the Heart of it" reviewed by Edward Blanco

New York-based saxophonist, composer and educator Steve Slagle refused to let the pandemic interfere with his recording activities, and in August of 2021 completed a project covering an assortment of wonderful ballads on Ballads: Into the Heart of it. Having carved out a distinguished musical career spanning over four decades and documented on over 20 albums as leader, presenting the ballads in a slightly different way was a new challenge Slagle mastered elegantly. The album features a mix ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Fly With the Wind

BCM&D Records


Between Two Worlds

Le Coq Records



Messy House Records


Into the Heart of it

Panorama Records



Origin Records



Origin Records


All Members

From: Fly With the Wind
By Bruce Barth

Betty's Tune

From: Oasis: The Music of Gregg Hill
By Bruce Barth

New Combinations

From: Discover
By Bruce Barth

George's Dance - for George Perry

From: Dedication
By Bruce Barth



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