The Witch Doctor

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Into the third year of utilizing late-'20s superstars trumpeter Lee Morgan and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter on the front line, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers were showing a progressive compositional stance, mostly due to the emerging creativity of Shorter's sharply off-minor ideas. Pianist Bobby Timmons, a peer of the front liners, is swimming somewhere in the middle of this stylistic lake, exhibiting soulful backstrokes, straight-ahead sprinting, and the angular chordal complexities or sudden changes any potpourri of modernities might offer. Faithful bassist Jymie Merritt, no young pup at the time seven years Blakey's junior is solid, unspectacular, and right where ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Into the third year of utilizing late-'20s superstars trumpeter Lee Morgan and tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter on the front line, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers were showing a progressive compositional stance, mostly due to the emerging creativity of Shorter's sharply off-minor ideas. Pianist Bobby Timmons, a peer of the front liners, is swimming somewhere in the middle of this stylistic lake, exhibiting soulful backstrokes, straight-ahead sprinting, and the angular chordal complexities or sudden changes any potpourri of modernities might offer. Faithful bassist Jymie Merritt, no young pup at the time seven years Blakey's junior is solid, unspectacular, and right where this band of stars needed him to be. Writing chores continue to be split evenly between the horn players, but Shorter's pieces are distinct with a difference. "Those Who Sit and Wait" is a classic hard bop line with opposing non-sequitur melody/harmony cross sections, while "Joelle" sports two piano chords from Timmons leading to unusual phrasings, but still in a hard bop stance. Morgan contributes the title track and an alternate take with its typical and reliable hard bop shuffle buoying quirky horn and piano exchanges, and the spectacular "Afrique" with a 6/8 modal, choppy clave Latin beat merging to easy swing from the heavy tenor of Shorter -- the best of three worlds. Timmons contributes "A Little Busy" which is not far removed from the soul-jazz he is known for, a fun and funky groove biscuit where the pianist is truly in his element. "Lost & Found," penned by Clifford Jordan, showcases the straight-ahead signature sound the Jazz Messengers mined for decades -- upbeat, happy and tight. Whether this was or was not the pinnacle for this great band is still up for debate, but it assuredly ranks with Blakey's personal best aside from the popular album Moanin' of the same time frame.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/6/1999
  • Label: Emi Europe Generic
  • UPC: 724352195725
  • Catalog Number: 5219572

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Witch Doctor (5:32)
  2. 2 Afrique (6:58)
  3. 3 Those Who Sit and Wait (5:54)
  4. 4 A Little Busy (6:18)
  5. 5 Joelle (5:13)
  6. 6 Lost and Found (5:06)
  7. 7 The Witch Doctor (5:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Primary Artist, Track Performer
Art Blakey Indexed Contributor, Drums, Snare Drums
Lee Morgan Trumpet
Wayne Shorter Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Timmons Piano
Jymie Merritt Bass
Technical Credits
Michael Cuscuna Producer
Duke Ellington Composer
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer
Alfred Lion Producer
Ron McMaster Mastering
Patrick Roques Reissue Design
Frank Gauna Art Direction
Martin Felix Cover Photo
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