AVOID -- MAY INSTALL A SONY ROOTKIT VIRUS
Greenlight | Vermont | 07/20/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It's absolutely infuriating that Sony implanted a significant portion of the Horace Silver 'Silver's Blue' CDs made up to 2005 with an instant-install rootkit copy protection scheme. The same goes for a number of other Sony pressings, including the Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra Great American Songbook CDs, Art Blakey's Drum Suite, Dexter Gordon's Manhattan Symphonie, Gerry Mulligan's Jeru, and about 40 other CDs.
This Sony rootkit (The XCP rootkit) lodges itself in your Windows operating system if you so much as put the CD in your computer's drive, sends info to Sony, affects your performance, and has been exploited by hackers since 2004. Rootkits are notoriously difficult to detect and dislodge, and you have two options: Use the reputable company F-Secure's BlackLight rootkit detector, which is a free tool on their website, or use the Sony-provided removal tool, which you can get from the Sony site. Per Amazon's policy, I can't give you a link, but you can find the page by Googling "Sony XCP."
If you have/buy a CD with bar code number 827969385623, then you have a CD with a rootkit problem.
In 2005, Sony also stated that it would allow owners to swap these CDs for new non-XCP copies -- but only if you have the precise bar code above. Still, there is no information on how to do so. My hunch is that you use the Tech Support link at the Sony XCP site to email Sony, and they'll provide the Return to Manufacturer details.
Amazon itself supposedly returned all of its old XCP copies to Sony, but it's not clear to me that there really was reissue without XCP. Anyway, the small sellers on Amazon Marketplace may still have the old copies for sale, unknowingly. Who knows what bar code you'll get if you buy one? Unfortunately, this also hoses all the people trying to sell their copies here on Amazon Marketplace. If you're a seller, I urge you to specify the barcode on your product."
As Good As Gold
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Horace Silver never did much for me on the several occasions when I caught him live: his compositions were showcased at the expense of musicians' solos, and Horace's piano work--with its limited technique and "catch-phrase" melodies--would pale considerably if another pianist were on the same concert bill. Hearing him on record is another matter--especially the recordings he made under his own name as well as with Art Blakey in the 1950's. His Blue Note session with Blakey and Clifford Brown at Birdland is legendary, and the set for Columbia entitled "Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers" is simply quintessential music, not to mention exemplary--make that "sterling"--Messengers' material.
"Silver's Blue" is the same line-up as the latter recording minus Art Blakey (Joe Gordon, a fiery, Clifford-inspired player, replaces the lyrical Donald Byrd for bracing, biting solos on two of the seven tunes). In the liner notes specially written for this 2005 remaster, Horace makes it clear that Mobley was not merely "the middleweight champ" of the tenor saxophone but a true heavyweight and a strikingly gifted composer as well. To anyone with "patient" ears, the evidence on the recording--beginning with Hank's earthy, unforced solo on the title tune--should provide ample support for Horace's statement. In fact, Hank as usual is "right in the pocket" and ceaselessly inventive on each of these tunes, ranging from slow blues and standards to show tunes to the hard-boppish Silver gems to Mobley's own "Hank's Tune." Last but not least is the lovely, unforgettable "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," a song that may owe its status as a jazz standard to this early, lyrical and definitive peformance (it's certainly the first recording of the tune I'm familiar with).
This is not a session that will appeal to ears seeking hard edges, exaggerated funkiness, or "grabber" visceral effects. It's too bad Sony thought so little of consumers' integrity as to "encode" earlier versions of this release, because the company otherwise produces some of the best remasters--no artificially boosted instruments, distorted piano frequencies, flattened acoustics, or other overly familiar Van Gelder/Blue Note trademarks. Just honest, natural sounds recorded with the musicians "imaged" to reflect their spatial relationships with each other.
"Silver's Blue" is a session that wears well, holding up to many repeated playings and amply rewarding the listener's investment of time and attention. No worry about the devaluation of silver here."
Hard to find classic
David J. Forsmark | Flushing, MI United States | 10/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great early Silver with some customarily superb sax playing by the great Hank Mobley. Other big names like Donald Byrd (an inconsistant band leader, but a GREAT side man) Doug Watkins and Art Taylor round out an all star cast. Swings a little less than some silver outings, a little cooler, which will appeal to fans of Miles Davis and John Coltrane's great 50s albums."