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Roots & Herbs
Art Blakey
Roots & Herbs
Genres: Jazz, Pop


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CD Details

All Artists: Art Blakey
Title: Roots & Herbs
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1961
Re-Release Date: 11/16/1999
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724352195626, 0724352195657, 724352195657, 724352195626

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CD Reviews

A Delicious Diet of "Roots And Herbs"
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 08/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In 1960 and early 1961, Art Blakey and this classic edition of The Messengers recorded an unheard of eight sessions, seven of them in the studio and one live at the jazz club Birdland. With the CD Reissue of "Roots And Herbs," all of these sessions except the live two volume set "Meet You At The Jazz Corner Of The World" (don't confuse this with the 1959 session currently available as a two-fer with a similar title) have been made available on disc. ("Like Someone in Love" was available but has since been deleted.) The 60-61 Jazz Messengers edition (Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt) are arguably that historic band's greatest version, and without a doubt one of the great jazz groups in history. "Roots And Herbs" collects songs from three sessions in 1961, and every tune's a scorcher, with "Ping Pong," "The Back Sliders" and "United" leading the charge. The CD also includes three alternate tracks, and it should be mentioned that Walter Davis Jr. replaces Timmons on a couple of tracks, the only lineup change for all those aforementioned eight sessions. If you love classic hard driving bop meets great soul jazz, "Roots And Herbs" is for you."
Sensational Hard Bop
Bomojaz | 12/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm a big fan of Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter. This CD, featuring all titles written by a very young, brash, and musically explosive Wayne Shorter is nothing short of sensational. A must for any fan of Shorter, Morgan, Blakey, or great hard bop. I own every Morgan and Shorter issue, with this one (ok, it is actually led by Blakey, but who are we kidding, this is Shorter's gig)I can say Shorter has never sounded better (he will later with Miles, of course). Thanks, Art, for bringing this session together. Just great."
Underrated and Aptly Titled
Michael Hardin | South Duxbury, Vermont United States | 04/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Roots & Herbs" is the last recording by this particular edition of the Jazz Messengers, with Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, Jymie Merritt on bass, and Art Blakey pushing everyone from behind the drum set. Walter Davis Jr. replaces Timmons on a couple of tunes. Typically "A Night in Tunisia" and "The Big Beat," the earlier albums by this group, get more attention, but this one in particular is very intriguing in that all of the material is contributed by Wayne Shorter, at the time a new composing sensation who would go on to be possibly the greatest composer in the history of American music (insert debate here). One of Shorter's gifts, evident for the first time here, is his ability to write appropriately for the particular stylistic situation, while extrapolating and exploring in such a way that his sound is unique. This man wrote THE best post-bop for Miles later in the decade, some of the best fusion for Weather Report, and some of the most in-the-pocket yet interesting hard bop while he was with the Jazz Messengers. This album is really the first that shows that versatility, since the program is varied, stylistically correct, yet with the brilliant Wayne Shorter touch that characterizes his later work. "Ping Pong" in particular is one of his catchiest, most interesting tunes of this or any time period.

Aside from being a great composer, Shorter is a great player, and he plays well on this album. Something about the chemistry between Shorter and Lee Morgan, the playful kind of dueling while totally complementing each other, is different than what Wayne had with any other trumpet player, even Miles (although that musical pairing was something else altogether). Blakey is not prominently featured, at least in the way he might be on other albums, but his drumming was the driving force of the band and it shapes the music here to a great extent. Jymie Merritt is one of the most in-the-pocket, grooving bass players to ever play jazz, and he is in fine form here. The only potential complaint is the presence of Walter Davis Jr. on two tunes; something about his playing, especially in comparison to Bobby Timmons's playing, seems repetitive and uninspired. But it is negligible and "Roots & Herbs" is a great, underrecognized Messengers album of the period, which draws on the jazz tradition but has the Wayne Shorter dose of spice to keep things interesting. Highly recommended and accessible to anyone who likes jazz."