196

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Roots and Herbs

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Arguably one of the best bands to ever be assembled under the Jazz Messengers moniker, drummer Art Blakey’s crew from the late ‘50s and early ‘60s included such legendary figures as Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, and Bobby Timmons. Blue Note producer Alfred Lion surely knew he had a good thing going because he kept these guys extremely busy in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio, recording more material than ultimately the market could afford to bear. As a result, the performances that are included on Roots and Herbs were not issued until many years after the fact, not to surface again until Mosaic’s now out-of-print boxed set appeared a few years back.

The fact that this music was delayed in being released should in no way suggest that it is inferior to that which found its way to the market in a timely fashion because Roots and Herbs contains some of the best Jazz Messenger work of the period, particularly in light of Wayne Shorter’s immeasurable writing contributions. For starters, there’s the brisk Charleston vamp that propels the head of "Ping Pong," not to be outdone by the classic "United," a tune which has inspired other interpretations over the years from such players as Woody Shaw and pianist George Colligan.

As strong as the material is here, additionally the soloists are nothing short of being profound. Morgan is his usual fiery self, while Shorter unleashes some searing improvisations of his own, using textural nuances to great effect. As a bonus, there are three additional tracks included on the disc, including alternate versions of "United," with Walter Davis, Jr. spelling Timmons on piano, and "Ping Pong." New 24-bit remastering brings further sonic clarity that even surpasses the job Mosaic did for the previously mentioned boxed set, making this the definitive reissue of some quintessential material.


Track Listing: Ping Pong, Roots & Herbs, The Back Sliders, United, Look at the Birdie, Master Mind, The Back Sliders (alt. take), Ping Pong (alt. version), United (alt. version) (62:09)

Personnel: Lee Morgan- trumpet, Wayne Shorter- tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons- piano, Walter Davis, Jr.- piano (tracks 2 & 4 only), Jymie Merritt- bass, Art Blakey- drums

| Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Continuum" CD/LP/Track Review Continuum
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Empty The Headbin" CD/LP/Track Review Empty The Headbin
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "Shimmer And Melt" CD/LP/Track Review Shimmer And Melt
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!