Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Andrew Hill: Grass Roots

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Andrew Hill’s Grass Roots is one of those post-Alfred Lion Blue Notes that fell through the cracks, as it neither excited the pianist’s base or expanded his audience with its off-center soul jazz and Latin tunes. Still, the material has the requisite quirks that make Hill a singular composer and this sympathetic, if unlikely, quintet of Lee Morgan, Booker Ervin, Ron Carter and Freddie Waits delivers thoughtful performances, making the album recommendable to avid Hill listeners who missed it the first time out. The disc is filled out by a session from earlier in ’68 that test-drove three of the pieces issued on Grass Roots. Leading a truly improbable sextet with Woody Shaw, Frank Mitchell, Jimmy Ponder, Reggie Workman and Idris Muhammad, this is one of Hill’s more experimental sessions in the true sense of the word. Interestingly, both sessions contained the bristling “Venture Inward,” an angular theme that works hand in glove with an urgent rhythmic undertow, creating an intriguing basis for comparing Morgan and Shaw.