All-Analog 180g Vinyl LP of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' Roots & Herbs Mastered from the Original Master Tapes by Kevin Gray & Pressed at RTI: Reference-Caliber Blue Note Reissue Helmed by Music Matters' Joe Harley
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 Records has announced the continuation of the acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series in 2020. Launched in 2019 in honor of the label's 80th Anniversary, the Tone Poet series is produced by Joe Harley (from Music Matters) and features all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI in Camarillo, CA, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton Printing "Old Style" gatefold Tip-On jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and cover the crème de la crème of the Blue Note catalog along with underrated classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note umbrella including Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. 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.
"The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session."
- Joe Harley
Art Blakey, drums
Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone
Lee Morgan, trumpet
Bobby Timmons / Walter Davis Jr., piano
Jymie Merritt, bass
• Blue Note Tone Poet Series
• Curated by Music Matters co-founder Joe Harley
• Audiophile-quality 180g vinyl LP
• All-analog mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray
• Manufactured at Record Technology Incorporated
• Deluxe gatefold jacket packaging
- Ping Pong
- Roots and Herbs
- The Back Sliders
- Look at the Birdie
- Master Mind