Horace Silver - September 2

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Horace Silver (1928-2014)

For more than fifty years, Horace Silver has simply written some of the most enduring tunes in jazz while performing them in a distinctively personal style.

“Horace Silver was an exhilarating jazz pianist and composer behind Latin and hard-bop tunes that became post-war standards. Silver’s heyday came during the 1950s and ’60s. Recording exclusively for the Blue Note label, he developed a quirky piano style rooted in a rhythmic and melodic groove, and powered along by relentless left hand motifs that were every bit as fundamental to his delivery as basslines were to boogie woogie. Soon he was Blue Note’s most reliably successful artist, each new release bringing a fresh supply of hits: The Preacher; Sister Sadie; Doodlin’; Blowin’ The Blues Away and many more. Played at their full album length, these are superb, elegantly crafted jazz performances. Edited down to three minutes, they made perfect jukebox singles.
Yet Silver’s skill as a composer was more extensive than that. His pieces range from broad, cheerful melodies such as The Preacher (based on the chords of Show Me The Way To Go Home) to complex, multi-theme numbers such as Nica’s Dream. Such tunes have been endlessly covered by other artists, and become staples of many a jazz gig. Most famous of all was Song for My Father, which harnessed the Cape Verdean musical heritage of his father (who featured on the cover to the album of the same name). Two perfectly crafted improvisations on Song for My Father – by Silver and the saxophonist Joe Henderson – are now almost as famous as the tune itself. “ The telegraph



Last modified on Thursday, 03 September 2015 12:32

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