Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Roots & Herbs
One of Blakey's most under-rated collaborative albums. Originally released in 1970, now appearing as part of Blue Note's Tone Poet collection.
How is it that one of Art Blakey’s greatest albums with the Jazz Messengers is so little known?
The 1961 edition of the Messengers included Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymie Merritt on bass. In February and May of1961, this group (with pianist Walter Davis Jr sitting in on two tracks) entered Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in New Jersey and proceeded to lay down Roots & Herbs, a brilliant set of six Shorter compositions including the driving hard bop of the title track, the playful “Ping Pong,” and the clever “United.”
The album was eventually released in 1970 and deserves a place among Blakey’s finest recordings.
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