This recording features a full performance by great musicians at their peak, providing a "you are there" experience of the excitement of great music and an appreciative crowd. Mastered from the original tape reels by Kevin Gray, the limited-edition 180g 3LP set includes an extensive booklet with rare photos, plus interviews with Carlos Garnett and Cecil McBee. Award-winning arts journalist and critic Mark Stryker contributes the main essay alongside remembrances by American journalist, educator, author, activist and friend of Roy Brooks Herb Boyd, alto saxophone legend Charles McPherson (who grew up with Roy Brooks), Louis Hayes (who got Roy the gig with Horace Silver) and more. The project came about as a desire by Reel to Real Recordings to make a positive contribution to Black Lives Matter. Understanding is our celebration of the talent, courage and spirit of the Black musicians who created a timeless and universal art, with the recognition that the injustices of 50 years ago are still with us. Proceeds will go directly to The Detroit Sound Conservancy. The album is produced with the cooperation of Cecil McBee and Carlos Garnett and the estates of Roy Brooks, Harold Mabern and Woody Shaw.
About the artist: In his younger days in Detroit, Brooks started off drumming with Yusef Lateef. He played with Horace Silver from 1959-64, including on the album Song for My Father; in 1963 he released his first album as a leader. Following this he freelanced in New York City through the 1960s and early 1970s, playing with Lateef again (1967-70), Sonny Stitt, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker, Junior Cook, Blue Mitchell, Charles McPherson, Pharoah Sanders (1970), Wes Montgomery, Dollar Brand, Jackie McLean, James Moody (1970-72), Charles Mingus (1972-73), and Milt Jackson. His 1970 album The Free Slave featured Cecil McBee and Woody Shaw. Later in 1970 he joined Max Roach's ensemble M'Boom, and in 1972 put together the ensemble The Artistic Truth.
Track Listing: Side 1: Prelude To Understanding (22:13) Side 2: Understanding (20:17) Side 3: Billie’s Bounce (21:04) Side 4: Zoltan (24:04) Side 5: Taurus Woman (17:39) Side 6: Taurus Woman Continuation, The Theme (20:33)