GA Russell

Pick my next Horace Silver

Which of these is the best Horace Silver?   75 members have voted

  1. 1. This will be my only Horace Silver of the year, so what will it be?

    • The Cape Verdean Blues (1965)
      18
    • Song For My Father (1964)
      18
    • Silver's Serenade (1963)
      1
    • Doin' the Thing (1961)
      7
    • Horace-Scope (1960)
      2
    • Silver's Blue (1956)
      0
    • Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers (1954)
      19
    • Horace Silver Trio (1952)
      2
    • I don't like any of these.
      1

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73 posts in this topic

I don't quite understand why one would want to limit the selection to what's on offer at yourmusic.com ; the financial impact of choosing a Silver title not on yourmusic.com is negligible . I assume you must have some other reason for so limiting your choice . Accepting your circumscription , I chose Cape Verdean Blues . Please note however that I consider the following better than any of the poll choices : Stylings of Silver , Further Explorations , Jody Grind and Serenade to a Soul Sister .

The vox populi seems to favor the Jazz Messengers record . Its historical significance has already been noted , but that should not be dispositive . Since the 'Best of' CDs that you already own have selections from the albums under consideration , why not ordinally rank your favorite tracks and purchase the album that best reflects that ranking.

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I don't quite understand why one would want to limit the selection to what's on offer at yourmusic.com ; the financial impact of choosing a Silver title not on yourmusic.com is negligible . I assume you must have some other reason for so limiting your choice . Accepting your circumscription , I chose Cape Verdean Blues . Please note however that I consider the following better than any of the poll choices : Stylings of Silver , Further Explorations , Jody Grind and Serenade to a Soul Sister .

The vox populi seems to favor the Jazz Messengers record . Its historical significance has already been noted , but that should not be dispositive . Since the 'Best of' CDs that you already own have selections from the albums under consideration , why not ordinally rank your favorite tracks and purchase the album that best reflects that ranking.

Circumscription? Vox Populi? Dispositive?

I'm gonna go back to drinking my Old Milwaukee, while Googling these words. :P

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otoh, "sameness" is what fleshes out concept, what turns ideas into ongoing realities. Without it, we'd be faced with a succession of "projects" which might be "interesting" but don't have any viability/impact other than as items on the shelf and/or a one-off tour. Kinda like where too much of the music is now - make a record and then what do you do with it? And what do you do next? Look for another "concept" or develop stuff into a body of work that ultimately defines itself instead of allowing itself to be defined by a series of outside influences? There's certainly validity to both approaches, but which one is most likely to result in the creation of a truly personal, self-defining body of work?

Let's be thankful for "sameness", at least until it reaches the point of diminishing returns.

I guess with hardbop, as with a lot of free music too, I do feel diminishing returns are (and have been) a more regular outcome than they "should" be. For me, it's certainly not a matter of "concept" (that often works only insofar as the concept is played out), and I do feel that there are a lot of gems within hardbop, free jazz, and whatever else. Maybe I'm confusing consistency with sameness, or maybe I just have a tin ear.

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for you who find the cape verdrean blues an uneasy mix of old and new-what about jody grind? is that a more succesful mixture of some younger progressive playerd and silver's "funky" style. i ask because jody grind is my favorite silver album.

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Just had a look at the latest set of results. It seems that it's a marginal choice between "Song for my father"; "Cape Verdean blues" and "Jazz Messengers", with all the others right out of it. But, except for "Blue Silver", which I haven't heard, I love all of the listed Silvers and the choice between any of them is marginal; as well as between them and "Blowin' the blues away", "Finger poppin'", "Tokyo blues", "Serenade to a soul sister", "Six pieces of Silver", "Further explorations", "Jody grind" and "The stylings of Silver". Each one, with whatever band, has wonderful, unique, recordings which really get to me.

I've never PLANNED buying Horace's albums, because there really is so little to choose between them - I've always just bought what came to hand when I had the money and felt like a new chunk of Silver. Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

MG

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I don't quite understand why one would want to limit the selection to what's on offer at yourmusic.com ; the financial impact of choosing a Silver title not on yourmusic.com is negligible . I assume you must have some other reason for so limiting your choice . Accepting your circumscription , I chose Cape Verdean Blues . Please note however that I consider the following better than any of the poll choices : Stylings of Silver , Further Explorations , Jody Grind and Serenade to a Soul Sister .

The vox populi seems to favor the Jazz Messengers record . Its historical significance has already been noted , but that should not be dispositive . Since the 'Best of' CDs that you already own have selections from the albums under consideration , why not ordinally rank your favorite tracks and purchase the album that best reflects that ranking.

Circumscription? Vox Populi? Dispositive?

I'm gonna go back to drinking my Old Milwaukee, while Googling these words. :P

i did:

Circumscription: membership to "Moyl Monthly" magazine.

Vox Populi: when father tells an untruth.

Dispositive: colloquial put-down without being negative.

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I love Jody Grind, ma.

My favorite Horace Silver songs so far:

Sister Sadie - Blowin' The Blues Away

Swingin' The Samba - Finger Poppin'

Creepin' In - HS & The Jazz Messengers

To Whom It May Concern - HS & The Jazz Messengers

Doodlin' - HS & The Jazz Messengers

Ecaroh - Trio

Horoscope - Trio

Nothing But The Soul - Trio

Horace-Scope - Horace-Scope

Nica's Dream - Horace-Scope

Title Track - Serenade To A Soul Sister

Jungle Juice - Serenade To A Soul Sister

Title Track - Song For My Father

The Natives Are Restless - Song For My Father

Calcutta Cutie - Song For My Father

Que Pasa - Song For My Father

The Kicker - Song For My Father

Lonely Woman - Song For My Father

Sanctimonious Sam - Song For My Father

Sighin' & Cryin' - Song For My Father

Silver Treads Among My Soul - Song For My Father

Senor Blues - Six Pieces Of Silver

Soulville - Stylings Of Silver

Title Track - The Cape Verdean Blues

The African Queen - The Cape Verdean Blues

Pretty Eyes - The Cape Verdean Blues

Nutville - The Cape Verdean Blues

Bonita - The Cape Verdean Blues

Mo' Joe - The Cape Verdean Blues

Title Track - The Jody Grind

Mexican Hip Dance - The Jody Grind

Blue Silver - The Jody Grind

Grease Piece - The Jody Grind

Too Much Sake - The Tokyo Blues

Sayonara Blues - The Tokyo Blues

Title Track - The Tokyo Blues

Kathy - In Pursuit Of The 27th Man

Gregory Is Here - In Pursuit Of The 27th Man

Title Track - In Pursuit Of The 27th Man

Strange Vibes - In Pursuit Of The 27th Man

I have yet to pick favorites on At The Village Gate, which is my latest addition. I really want to see the Silver 'N' series come out as RVGs, and I need to pick up Six Pieces Of Silver & Stylings Of Silver to replace my Best Of disc...

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Re "Paris blues", I think maybe the problem is that the cuts go on for too long. It seems to me that the essence of Horace's skill was immediate impact and tunes that go on for so long slightly diffuse the impact - regardless of the content of the solos themselves.

MG

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If you don't have Song For My Father you should get it.

Also, I think Stylings of Silver and Fingerpoppin' are two of his best albums.

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I don't quite understand why one would want to limit the selection to what's on offer at yourmusic.com ; the financial impact of choosing a Silver title not on yourmusic.com is negligible . I assume you must have some other reason for so limiting your choice . Accepting your circumscription , I chose Cape Verdean Blues . Please note however that I consider the following better than any of the poll choices : Stylings of Silver , Further Explorations , Jody Grind and Serenade to a Soul Sister .

The vox populi seems to favor the Jazz Messengers record . Its historical significance has already been noted , but that should not be dispositive . Since the 'Best of' CDs that you already own have selections from the albums under consideration , why not ordinally rank your favorite tracks and purchase the album that best reflects that ranking.

Circumscription? Vox Populi? Dispositive?

I'm gonna go back to drinking my Old Milwaukee, while Googling these words. :P

i did:

Circumscription: membership to "Moyl Monthly" magazine.

Vox Populi: when father tells an untruth.

Dispositive: colloquial put-down without being negative.

:g

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I have a sentimental attachment to The Jody Grind. My senior year in high school a black r&b station in New Orleans WYLD had a two or three hour jazz show every Saturday afternoon. I was the secretary of the school's bowling league that year, and I worked out everyone's average in front of the show.

The big hit which I could count on hearing every week was The Jody Grind. That was my introduction to the Blue Note label.

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I think you should buy as many as you can, asap. I agree with what Chuck and brownie said re the original JM's recording... and yet I decided to cast a vote for Horace Scope, because it's a personal favorite that tends to get overlooked.

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otoh, "sameness" is what fleshes out concept, what turns ideas into ongoing realities. Without it, we'd be faced with a succession of "projects" which might be "interesting" but don't have any viability/impact other than as items on the shelf and/or a one-off tour. Kinda like where too much of the music is now - make a record and then what do you do with it? And what do you do next? Look for another "concept" or develop stuff into a body of work that ultimately defines itself instead of allowing itself to be defined by a series of outside influences? There's certainly validity to both approaches, but which one is most likely to result in the creation of a truly personal, self-defining body of work?

Let's be thankful for "sameness", at least until it reaches the point of diminishing returns.

I guess with hardbop, as with a lot of free music too, I do feel diminishing returns are (and have been) a more regular outcome than they "should" be. For me, it's certainly not a matter of "concept" (that often works only insofar as the concept is played out), and I do feel that there are a lot of gems within hardbop, free jazz, and whatever else. Maybe I'm confusing consistency with sameness, or maybe I just have a tin ear.

I just meant that w/Silver, the consistency/sameness/etc/whatever is the result of having actually had a traditional "career", which has afforded him the opportunity to actually do what it is that he does in a way that has allowed him to evolve, slowly but surely. Sure, it is all "the same thing", but many a Horace Silver song from, say, 1967 is going to be different in some subtle but still real ways from a Horace Silver song from 1957, and you can say the same thing about the songs from 1977 in relation to the songs from 1967, and so on. On those "Silver 'n'..." albums of the '70s, yeah, you get "gimmicky" concepts. sometimes less than fully inspired soloing, and on the whole I'd feel better about buying them all at once rather than as individual albums, if you know what I mean, but the writing on those albums is definitely more advanced and evolved than it was 10 or 20 years earlier, and Horace has always been first and foremost about the writing.

Silver's one of those guys who built their house early on and have lived in it ever since, but unlike some, he's kept that house inviting, interesting, and changing in ways that don't involve wholesale rebuilding. I think there's a place for that, not just in music but in life in general. The "drama" of radical change is correctly appreciated & celebrated, but the perhaps more "natural" course of slow but steady evolution might, might be less appreciated than it should be. I think it might have something to do with how we see our lives in terms of time. Sometimes we feel that life is too damn short, so we better get it all done asap, so let's not linger too long on any one thing once we get it down. But some folks look at it like this is our life, it's one of many both now, then, and tomorrow, so the best thing to do is to stake a claim to a place in it and make it as good as it can be for the duration.

Far be it from me to claim "superiority" for either POV, because I'd be a hypocrite either way. All I'm saying is that there's a difference between literally doing the same thing over and over and doing the same "thing" over and over but continously finding new slants, possibilities, and implications in it over the course of time. I think that Silver's taken the latter course, and if he's found fewer "new" things over the last 15-20 years, well, that's natural too. You don't go to your grandma's house to see her new HD tv, ya' know? You go for the comfort, the warmth of things remembered, and that twinkle in the eyes that tells you that life is still a groove in spite of it all. Now, if and when grandma loses any or all of those things, yeah, that's a drag, but as long as she keeps going with that spirit, you still gotta love her, and not just because she's your grandma. You love her because she's lived and built a life that's been both constant and warm.

You don't always get that combination of consistency and warmth in the same package (in fact, you seldom get it), but when you do, ain't it a groove? And don't it give you the power & confidence to live maybe a little/lot differently yourself, knowing that somebody's got that ground covered, and covered well?

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This is a horserace! Now Cape Verdean has come from behind to share the lead!

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I have a sentimental attachment to The Jody Grind. My senior year in high school a black r&b station in New Orleans WYLD had a two or three hour jazz show every Saturday afternoon. I was the secretary of the school's bowling league that year, and I worked out everyone's average in front of the show.

The big hit which I could count on hearing every week was The Jody Grind. That was my introduction to the Blue Note label.

The Jody Grind is fabulous. It is probably my all time favourite Horace Silver - and I love pretty well all of those Blue Notes. Somehow it manages to combine incredible groove, non-jazz fan 'listenability', hard drive and considerable exploratory improvisational interest (thanks to msrs Spaulding, Shaw and Washington :excited: ). What an amazing album.

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otoh, "sameness" is what fleshes out concept, what turns ideas into ongoing realities. Without it, we'd be faced with a succession of "projects" which might be "interesting" but don't have any viability/impact other than as items on the shelf and/or a one-off tour. Kinda like where too much of the music is now - make a record and then what do you do with it? And what do you do next? Look for another "concept" or develop stuff into a body of work that ultimately defines itself instead of allowing itself to be defined by a series of outside influences? There's certainly validity to both approaches, but which one is most likely to result in the creation of a truly personal, self-defining body of work?

Let's be thankful for "sameness", at least until it reaches the point of diminishing returns.

I guess with hardbop, as with a lot of free music too, I do feel diminishing returns are (and have been) a more regular outcome than they "should" be. For me, it's certainly not a matter of "concept" (that often works only insofar as the concept is played out), and I do feel that there are a lot of gems within hardbop, free jazz, and whatever else. Maybe I'm confusing consistency with sameness, or maybe I just have a tin ear.

I just meant that w/Silver, the consistency/sameness/etc/whatever is the result of having actually had a traditional "career", which has afforded him the opportunity to actually do what it is that he does in a way that has allowed him to evolve, slowly but surely. Sure, it is all "the same thing", but many a Horace Silver song from, say, 1967 is going to be different in some subtle but still real ways from a Horace Silver song from 1957, and you can say the same thing about the songs from 1977 in relation to the songs from 1967, and so on. On those "Silver 'n'..." albums of the '70s, yeah, you get "gimmicky" concepts. sometimes less than fully inspired soloing, and on the whole I'd feel better about buying them all at once rather than as individual albums, if you know what I mean, but the writing on those albums is definitely more advanced and evolved than it was 10 or 20 years earlier, and Horace has always been first and foremost about the writing.

Silver's one of those guys who built their house early on and have lived in it ever since, but unlike some, he's kept that house inviting, interesting, and changing in ways that don't involve wholesale rebuilding. I think there's a place for that, not just in music but in life in general. The "drama" of radical change is correctly appreciated & celebrated, but the perhaps more "natural" course of slow but steady evolution might, might be less appreciated than it should be. I think it might have something to do with how we see our lives in terms of time. Sometimes we feel that life is too damn short, so we better get it all done asap, so let's not linger too long on any one thing once we get it down. But some folks look at it like this is our life, it's one of many both now, then, and tomorrow, so the best thing to do is to stake a claim to a place in it and make it as good as it can be for the duration.

Far be it from me to claim "superiority" for either POV, because I'd be a hypocrite either way. All I'm saying is that there's a difference between literally doing the same thing over and over and doing the same "thing" over and over but continously finding new slants, possibilities, and implications in it over the course of time. I think that Silver's taken the latter course, and if he's found fewer "new" things over the last 15-20 years, well, that's natural too. You don't go to your grandma's house to see her new HD tv, ya' know? You go for the comfort, the warmth of things remembered, and that twinkle in the eyes that tells you that life is still a groove in spite of it all. Now, if and when grandma loses any or all of those things, yeah, that's a drag, but as long as she keeps going with that spirit, you still gotta love her, and not just because she's your grandma. You love her because she's lived and built a life that's been both constant and warm.

You don't always get that combination of consistency and warmth in the same package (in fact, you seldom get it), but when you do, ain't it a groove? And don't it give you the power & confidence to live maybe a little/lot differently yourself, knowing that somebody's got that ground covered, and covered well?

That's right - I remember a review of "Cape Verdean blues" - can't remember if it was Down Beat or Jazz Journal - remarking that Horace was still doing the same things then as he had been a decade earlier, but that now it sounded avant garde. Part of that was having much more aggressively modern musicians like Henderson and Shaw in the band, I think, but "African queen" sounds to me much less like Horace's catchy tunes of the '50s and much more concentrating on the groove of the thing.

Horace was never about great musical revolutions anyway. He moved with the times and reflected them rather well, I thought. The only trouble I find with some of his stuff is that I don't like Andy Bey's voice very much. But I CAN put up with it...

I still find a lot of interest in Horace's recent things, such of them as I've not forgotten to pick up - "Pencil packing papa" is full of good feelings - particularly "Red beans and rice". And I love the general concept of "Rocking with Rachmaninoff" - and how could anyone resist a title like that?

MG

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Because the title track and QuePasa are so indelible, it's Song For My Father for me...........

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Thanks again for your votes and comments!

Today I joined the Jazz Heritage Society (see the thread on that topic), and purchased Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers for 99 cents plus shipping. So there was no need to wait till February 6 to put it on the top of my Your Music queue.

At the moment I don't feel like making 2007 my Year of Horace Silver, but I reserve the right to change my mind after I have heard the JHS disc. At Your Music prices, buying a load of Horace Silver at once is an affordable option!

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It could be the old mastering.

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Man... one of two who chose the trio date. I have most of the others listed here and I think discovering his earlier piano playing after listeing to Cape Verdean, etc. made me jump out of my socks. I certainly don't know all that much about Horace, but it seems like so much of his later stuff, his bandmates could really lean into him as a constant, where in that trio date, they are flying by the seat of their pants to keep up.

Go with the underdog GA GA.

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It could be the old mastering.

Chuck, that didn't occur to me. I'll look to see what it says when I get it.

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One of the things that I find especially interesting in threads such as this is how the age of the listener is so significant. People of my age - I am old!!!! - who were serious jazz fans did not have to make these kind of decisions. When each Horace Silver was initially released I would automatically buy it. So my Horace Silver collection just evolved naturally over time. As Horace was a favorite of mine it was sensible to acquire each of his recordings in chronological order as they became available.

That is in fact the way I acquired most of my jazz collection from the 50's, 60's and 70's on up to the present. Of course financial considerations meant I couldn't get everything, but when it came to the musicians I liked the most, I did my best to get a copy as soon as possible after it was issued.

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otoh, "sameness" is what fleshes out concept, what turns ideas into ongoing realities.

Another thing it does is give a medium to contrast differences of expression. Here's what I mean. Many painters will paint a still life (pieces of fruit laying around a compote on a white cloth, or whatever). In a sense, they're all doing the same thing subject-wise. But the still life paintings come out very different from each other. Even in a class of students all painting the same still life arrangement, not only are the styles different, but so are the angles and the cropping as well as the use the use of shadows and light and colors, etc. With the Jazz Messengers, you have hard bop with Blakey rimshots from 1954-1991, same subject across the years and bands. But, just to take trumpet players off the top of my head, you listen to Clifford Brown, Kenny Dorham, Donald Byrd, Bill Hardman, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Chuck Mangione, Woody Shaw, Valery Pomenerev, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Wallace Roney, Philip Harper, Brian Lynch, and whoever I've missed/forgotten, and how they, quite differently from one another, musically paint their corner of the Jazz Messengers canvas, what each of them brought to the experience, what each of them took away from the experience. If Blakey had bounced from style to style, those comparisons would be obscured, and we wouldn't understand those musicians as well. Another example. A great way to understand what Coltrane took from Coleman Hawkins and what he advanced and made his own, is to listen to each of their versions of "Body and Soul".

Edited by felser

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