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Horace Silver 1928-2014


Mike Schwartz
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I turned on WKCR, and they were playing great jazz that swung, had great soloists that could swing, and make musical sense, and played great tunes that also swung and made musical sense.

I figured something cataclysmic had happened and it was the end of the world.

RIP, Horace.

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Though I understand the quintet was his main voice, I always wished he had made a trio album with mostly ballads. I made my own CDR compilation of all the trio tracks from the 1960's LPs (inspired by the Blue Note twofer, "The Trio Sides") and will spin this in his honour.

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I too wished there had been more trio work. I did make up a 14-song playlist of trios--some from trio sessions very early in his career, but most from the quintet records, where he often had a trio feature (sometimes even two). I also included the very late "Brother John and Brother Gene" from Prescription for the Blues.

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Horace Silver touched so many listeners and musicians in ways that I can't imagine. I recall that Cecil called him an influence. . . .

Yes, Cecil did cite him as an influence. I believe - though I'm not positive & the book is not in front of me - that he's quoted as such in the Spellman book. . . .

I found parts of the Spellman book online, found some relevant passages from Cecil's section (on pp. 62-63), and took screenshots of them. The resulting image takes up too much space to post in this thread, but here's a link to it (from my Flickr account):

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2921/14274998340_86b0d12256_o.jpg

In Firefox, one can just click on the image to magnify it to a nice legible size, but that should be easy with any browser.

(Don't mind me; I like to look things up.) :)

Edited by bluenoter
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It was probably the Jazz Messengers at the Cafe Bohemia LP's on Blue Note that first focused my attention on the playing of Horace Silver back when they were first released. That strong blues based hard driving approach to the instrument grabbed me deep down.

From that point on, I made it my business to get every recording that had Horace as either leader or sideman.

His playing, his groups, and his compositions have had a major impact on my musical education.

I am currently away from home on vacation, so can't pull out some of Silver's recordings. but once I return home I certainly intend to

rectify that situation.

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In contrast to what I said earlier about enjoying his trio work, I also wish he'd more often used bigger groups. There were some cases of this, such as It's Got to Be Funky and The Hardbop Grandpop. I'd like to hear his essential sound using 4-6 horns. His arrangements employ some big band elements, and I think he could have worked this style really well in mid-size combos.

Edited by Milestones
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"Commercial", yeah, ok, but it's still Horace Silver, how is that not gonna be "commercial" and how should it not be?

Radio play out the ass around here, that one got. Nobody I knew complained when it came on the air!

This was his last Blue Note album, and geez, there are so many...interesting pieces on it.

Didn't they finally get around to reissuing the "Silver "N" series in Japan within the last 12 months? Talk about a mixed bag of mixed treasures...same thing with the Silveto albums, if it was anybody else but Horace Silver, it would just be quirky, but it is Horace Silver, ok?

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There are only a few artists about whom I can honestly say my life was forever changed by having heard their music. Horace Silver was one of those artists. He was on the very first jazz LP I bought as a teenager (Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2), and my life changed the second I heard that piano. There is no way I could ever quantify how much joy his music brought into my life.

Thank you Mr. Silver, for everything. May your beautiful spirit continue to soar!

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In 1957 I was in the US Army and had just finished my basic training at Ft. Riley, KS. Had a leave and took the train heading back home to Detroit. Needed to change trains in Chicago. Was with 2 friends who both liked jazz, one of whom lived in Chicago. By chance we discovered that The Horace Silver Quintet with Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook was playing at the Sutherland Lounge on the south side.

We decided to go and hear Horace. it was a fantastic evening of music, and may have been the only time I heard Horace Silver live.

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Just sad that I never got to see/hear Horace's quintet live. They used to appear regularly over hear at Ronnie Scott's club (at least until the 1980s) but I was never in town to catch them. I think Horace must have really scaled back his touring in later years as well.

In 1969 the Horace Silver Quintet with the Brecker brothers and Billy Cobham were part of a package with the Muddy Waters Blues Band and a gospel group (Stars of Faith?) which I saw at the Batley (near Leeds) Variety Club, of all places. Couldn't get enough of the Silver band, so followed them to London and saw them at Scott's a couple of days later. Sat right up front for one of the most memorable jazz sessions I've been at. Horace and and Billy really had somethin' goin'! All very different from the studio atmosphere of Blue Note Records.

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Just sad that I never got to see/hear Horace's quintet live. They used to appear regularly over hear at Ronnie Scott's club (at least until the 1980s) but I was never in town to catch them. I think Horace must have really scaled back his touring in later years as well.

In 1969 the Horace Silver Quintet with the Brecker brothers and Billy Cobham were part of a package with the Muddy Waters Blues Band and a gospel group (Stars of Faith?) which I saw at the Batley (near Leeds) Variety Club, of all places. Couldn't get enough of the Silver band, so followed them to London and saw them at Scott's a couple of days later. Sat right up front for one of the most memorable jazz sessions I've been at. Horace and and Billy really had somethin' goin'! All very different from the studio atmosphere of Blue Note Records.

Must have been a great experience for sure......

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In 1957 I was in the US Army and had just finished my basic training at Ft. Riley, KS. Had a leave and took the train heading back home to Detroit. Needed to change trains in Chicago. Was with 2 friends who both liked jazz, one of whom lived in Chicago. By chance we discovered that The Horace Silver Quintet with Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook was playing at the Sutherland Lounge on the south side.

We decided to go and hear Horace. it was a fantastic evening of music, and may have been the only time I heard Horace Silver live.

I didn't realize that Billy Mitchell was playing with Horace in 1957. Most biographies say he was in Miami until 1958.

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In 1957 I was in the US Army and had just finished my basic training at Ft. Riley, KS. Had a leave and took the train heading back home to Detroit. Needed to change trains in Chicago. Was with 2 friends who both liked jazz, one of whom lived in Chicago. By chance we discovered that The Horace Silver Quintet with Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook was playing at the Sutherland Lounge on the south side.

We decided to go and hear Horace. it was a fantastic evening of music, and may have been the only time I heard Horace Silver live.

I didn't realize that Billy Mitchell was playing with Horace in 1957. Most biographies say he was in Miami until 1958.

Me either, so I wonder if that means Louis Smith was a sub for Blue on the Newport '58 gig?

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Horace Silver touched so many listeners and musicians in ways that I can't imagine. I recall that Cecil called him an influence. . . .

Yes, Cecil did cite him as an influence. I believe - though I'm not positive & the book is not in front of me - that he's quoted as such in the Spellman book. . . .

I found parts of the Spellman book online, found some relevant passages from Cecil's section (on pp. 62-63), and took screenshots of them. The resulting image takes up too much space to post in this thread, but here's a link to it (from my Flickr account):

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2921/14274998340_86b0d12256_o.jpg

In Firefox, one can just click on the image to magnify it to a nice legible size, but that should be easy with any browser.

(Don't mind me; I like to look things up.) :)

Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing and yes, that was basically the passage I was thinking of.

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In 1957 I was in the US Army and had just finished my basic training at Ft. Riley, KS. Had a leave and took the train heading back home to Detroit. Needed to change trains in Chicago. Was with 2 friends who both liked jazz, one of whom lived in Chicago. By chance we discovered that The Horace Silver Quintet with Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook was playing at the Sutherland Lounge on the south side.

We decided to go and hear Horace. it was a fantastic evening of music, and may have been the only time I heard Horace Silver live.

I didn't realize that Billy Mitchell was playing with Horace in 1957. Most biographies say he was in Miami until 1958.

Not sure where you came up with Billy Mitchell in my post? Look again and you will see that I wrote BLUE mitchell.

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I was listening to “Out to Lunch” on WKCR, the station has more on the way to pay homage to Horace this weekend.

I had the pleasure to speak with him once between sets in the early 90s. He was truly such a nice human being. I asked some questions and he was happy to answer all of my quesitons. The world not only lost a great musican, but a great human being.

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