Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Horace Silver - "Senior Blues" (1959)

In the fifties and sixties the Netherlands as well as the Scandinavian countries had an enormous attraction for American jazz musicians. It appeared that they were much more appreciated and also, there were no racial barriers for so many to overcome in their homeland.
We see here a clip with the Horace Silver Quintet in 1959 recorded, in what looks to me the Singer Theatre in Laren, about 15 minutes on a bicycle from my home in Bussum. In 1951, Horace Silver (born in 1929) moved to New York City where he accompanied saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and many other legends. In the following year, he met the executives at Blue Note while working as a sideman for saxophonist Lou Donaldson. This meeting led to Silver signing with the label where he would remain until 1980. He also collaborated with Art Blakey in forming the Jazz Messengers during the early 1950s (which Blakey would continue to lead after Silver formed his own quintet in 1956).
During these years, Silver helped create the rhythmically forceful branch of jazz known as "hard bop" He based much of his own writing on blues and gospel---the latter is particularly prominent on one of his biggest tunes, "The Preacher." While his compositions at this time featured surprising tempo shifts and a range of melodic ideas, they immediately caught the attention of a wide audience. Silver's own piano playing easily shifted from aggressively percussive to lushly romantic within just a few bars. At the same time, his sharp use of repetition was funky even before that word could be used in polite company. Along with Silver's own work, his bands often featured such rising jazz stars as saxophonists Junior Cook and Hank Mobley, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, and drummer Louis Hayes.
In this clip you see tenor player Junior Cook and trumpet player Blue Mitchell

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