Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Roots & Herbs (1961/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 42:14 minutes | 1,89 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | @ Blue Note Records
Originally recorded in 1961, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers’ Roots & Herbs was first released in 1970 and then reissued on CD in 1999. Like many titles in the Blue Note catalog, this fine Blakey outing was initially shelved by Alfred Lion for unknown reasons; thankfully, considering Blakey’s large array of available Blue Note albums, this wasn’t necessarily a crisis. But now that it’s out once again with a 24-bit digital makeover, Roots & Herbs is definitely a welcome addition to the drum master’s CD catalog. Having already been a magnet for such talented hard bop players and writers as Hank Mobley, Benny Golson, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver (who helped form the original group), and Kenny Dorham, the Messengers’ lineup of 1961 featured one of Blakey’s best rosters: In addition to trumpeter Lee Morgan, who would alternate in the early ’60s with Freddie Hubbard, the band featured tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianists Walter Davis, Jr. and Bobby Timmons, and bassist Jymie Merritt. Feeding off six early compositions by Shorter (the CD also includes three alternate takes), all the players reel off topnotch solos atop Blakey’s fluidly galvanizing swing beat. Highlights include “Ping Pong,” “Look at Birdie,” and “Master Mind,” compositions that, in their fetchingly askew way, nicely foreshadow the wealth of ideas to come from Shorter’s pen throughout the ’60s.
01 – Ping Pong
02 – Roots And Herbs
03 – The Back Sliders
04 – United
05 – Look At The Birdie
06 – Master Mind
Recorded February 18, 1961 (tracks 1-2 and 4-6) and May 27, 1961 (track 3) in Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Lee Morgan – trumpet
Wayne Shorter – tenor saxophone
Bobby Timmons – piano on tracks 1, 3, 5 and 6
Walter Davis Jr. – piano on tracks 2 and 4
Jymie Merritt – bass
Art Blakey – drums
About the Mastering:
In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you’ve set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio!
— Blue Note President, Don Was.