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 of 1961, 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.
Blue Note Tone Poet Series
The Blue Note Tone Poet Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. Was brought Joe Harley (from Music Matters), a.k.a. the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels.
Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the jacket graphics and printing quality to superior LP mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180 gm audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. This is IT.
Blue Note Records’ Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series is produced by Joe Harley and features all-analog, mastered-from-the-original-master-tape 180g audiophile vinyl reissues in deluxe gatefold packaging. Mastering is by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) and vinyl is manufactured at Record Technology Incorporated (RTI).
A1: Ping Pong
A2: Roots and Herbs
A3: The Back Sliders
B2: Look at the Birdie
B3: Master Mind