Meet the Godfather of Soul Jazz
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 05/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Throughout the history of Jazz, there have been many "reigning" kings of the piano. You can trace the entire evolution of Jazz from Scott Joplin, through Bud Powell, Monk, Hancock, Keith Jarret, and whoever the star of the moment is now through the contributions of the masters. Clearly, looking back, Horace Silver definitely held the reign, and held it well (in my book he still rules)... so let's ask, what was his contribution ? The answer is simple : SWEAT. I'm reminded of the title of an old Ray Charles album... Jazz + Genius = Soul. This former Jazz Messengers sideman introduced levels of SOUL and ENERGY into Jazz few have accomplished. While others (such as McCoy Tyner and Ahmad Jamal) would take the piano in more impressionistic directions, Horace Silver would sweat. When he played, he often looked like a mad scientist. His ensembles were small and tight, but the horns would play high and vamp and his songs to this day remind you that Jazz may be deep, but what counts is not the fifths you flat or ninths you raise, but the reaction of the people. This is Jazz you can move and dance to... yet no matter how entrenched in gospel and the blues it gets, it is never simple. He would reach for notes and extensions and wrote changes that took Jazz in entirely new directions, but he never lost concept of where the pocket was and the spiritual undertones of Jazz. His hooks and perspectives would almost single handedly help people redifine their conception of Jazz. While Song For My Father (actually Filthy McNasty is one of my faves) isn't on this one, unless you have every tune in this collection on your shelves, don't pass this up. This is a listen that will make you lose yourself. When you're finished check out treatments of his songs by other great artists who've either done adaptations of his songs or have been heavily influence by him such as Eddie Jefferson, Charles Earland, Les McCann, George Benson and countless others. Appreciate the enormous energy and tightness of a living Jazz institution."
Chris D | Glasgow, Scotland, | 02/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is hard bop at its utter finest. Excellent selection of signature Silver tracks, played with great passion by brilliant musicians. Essential."
Incomplete Horace Hit List
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pretty fair representation of Silver's most popular tunes before "Song for My Father," which is on Vol. 2. On the other hand, neither volume contains "essentials" such as "Nica's Dream," "Strollin'" and "Moon Rays" not to mention any of his recordings for Columbia and Epic. OK for whetting your appetite or saving some wear on the old vinyls."