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Jazz Street: Horace Silver

posted July 30, 2015, 11:00 pm by Nathaniel Lathy | Filed Under Jazz Street, Throwback Thursday | comment Leave a Comment

horace silverI was at an art gallery, and there was a jazz group playing a song with a recognizable bass riff. I commented to one of the musicians how I enjoyed hearing the Steely Dan song. He told me they didn’t play Steely Dan. They were playing Horace Silver (1928-2014). Turns out Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” was inspired by Silver’s “Song For My Father.” This was my introduction to Silver, an accomplished piano player and band leader. Listening to the song, I’m still amazed by the various changes in the music. And it all comes back to Silver’s playing. He considered Thelonious Monk (my favorite bebop and hard bop artist) one of his influences. There’s a refined quality to Horace’s playing. And he sure could play with a lot of passion, as well.

The comparatively shorter tracks on Silver’s first 12″ album, “Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers,” makes for an enjoyable set. It included “The Preacher” which is one of his better tracks. The other seven cuts work well, too. The disc winds up in 43 minutes and works for repeated listens. For a while, I admired Horace for his legacy, influencing Steely Dan on a cut from a great album. I see more and more it’s worth listening to Silver for the recordings he made. They can be enjoyed, because they’s so well played and melodic. It makes me glad, when jazz is played with a nod to the masters of the past. It’s also good to just go back and play their music. Silver was one of the best.


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