A delightful recording
Joost Daalder | South Australia | 12/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Horace Silver and Art Blakey, that great drummer, probably are the real pivots of this excellent band, but the horns also pack a real punch. The music of Silver, and indeed more generally that of the various groups performing as "The Jazz Messengers", was always very "jazzy": strongly rooted in the blues and hard, driving swing. Here "The Preacher" reminds one of negro spirituals, and it is a wonderfully zestful tune and group-performance. The tempo is usually not as frenzied, on a recording like this, as that of various other performers in similar "East Coast" groups of the time, but the music is utterly powerful. The articulation of musical ideas is wonderfully clear, aesthetic, inventive, and ordered - without the extravagant cascades and mere loudness of sound that some other groups produced. Many other jazz pianists, or drummers for that matter, tend towards little more than accompaniment, but Silver and Blakey have plenty of their own to say. All in all, this record is a "gas": a constantly stimulating companion over the years, uplifting and joyful. Very satisfying to own and play regularly. - Joost Daalder"