Andrew Hill: Grass Roots

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Andrew Hill: Grass Roots This reissue contains not only Hill’s original LP, but also a previously unreleased session from four months prior. On this earlier session, an entirely different lineup plays three of the tunes from Grass Roots, along with two numbers from deep within the vault — "MC," a tribal 12/8 blues, and "Love Nocturne," an angular quasi-ballad. Thanks to the juxtaposition of the two sessions, we are afforded a rare treat: a chance to listen closely to the stylistic contrasts between Lee Morgan and Woody Shaw, Booker Ervin and Frank Mitchell, Ron Carter and Reggie Workman, and Freddie Waits and Idris Muhammad. (Guitarist Jimmy Ponder also appears on three of the five new tracks.) We also get to hear what these different lineups bring out in Hill, both as a pianist and a composer.

On the whole, Grass Roots is "inside" compared to Hill’s more representative Blue Note masterpiece, Point of Departure. "Venture Inward" and "Bayou Red" are the most advanced pieces, while the calypso "Mira" and the boogaloo "Soul Special" traverse more familiar Blue Note terrain. The title track, with its deliberately square melody, is an excellent sample of Hill’s fractured, fragmented style.

The alternate takes and new tracks are less energetic, although Woody Shaw sounds more in his element than does Lee Morgan. And whereas Booker Ervin cooks a variegated stew containing traces of Trane, Dexter, and Johnny Griffin, Frank Mitchell sounds almost like a carbon copy of Wayne Shorter. Ponder’s tasty licks are in the style of early Pat Martino.

Tracks: 1. Grass Roots 2. Venture Inward 3. Mira 4. Soul Special 5. Bayou Red 6. MC 7. Venture Inward (alt.) 8. Soul Special (alt.) 9. Bayou Red (alt.) 10. Love Nocturne

Personnel, 1-5: Lee Morgan, trumpet; Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone; Andrew Hill, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Freddie Waits, drums

Personnel, 6-10: Woody Shaw, trumpet; Frank Mitchell, tenor saxophone; Andrew Hill, piano; Jimmy Ponder, guitar; Reggie Workman, bass; Idris Muhammad, drums

Title: Grass Roots | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Spirits" CD/LP/Track Review Spirits
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Dream Delivery" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Delivery
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "The Reasons Don't Change" CD/LP/Track Review The Reasons Don't Change
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Mogoya" CD/LP/Track Review Mogoya
by James Nadal
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Do Not Disturb" CD/LP/Track Review Do Not Disturb
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 26, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.