Horace Silver was a major contributor towards the Hard Bop movement in the early 5o’s. He was Art Blakey’s pianist for a couple of years before they came up with the actual name “The Jazz Messengers.” For a matter of fact, the very first album of these Jazz Messengers was actually named “Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers” and which was previously featured here on Jazz Con Class (Check the Archives):
“A couple of years later I went into Birdland with Clifford Brown, Horace Silver, Curly Russell and Lou Donaldson for a few weeks. We made some live, unrehearsed records and they did pretty well. After that it was Horace who decided we should organize a group. He said, ‘We’ll call it the Jazz Messengers.’ So it was Horace who really put the name on it, and it stuck.” – Art Blakey, quoted by Herb Nolan in Down Beat, November 1979, p.21.
“I remember when I first met him. I used to call him ‘The Connecticut Yankee.’ We met at Birdland when he was with Stan Getz. I had broken up the 17 Messengers and when we formed the group with Horace, Hank Mobley, and Kenny Dorham, he said let’s call it the Jazz Messengers. It started out as a corporation. That didn’t work out too good. So we just went on with it. We just carried on and tried to get other musicians to play jazz and build names and get them out there because we need more groups out there to hold the joints open, the jazz joints throughout the United States. I wasn’t too successful at doing that but at least we tried and I had a ball doing it.” – Art Blakey, Radio Free Jazz, March 1977, pp.17-18
This album featured here “Horace Silver Live at Newport 58” was of course, afterwards and when he was well established already. He was in great demand, playing with many great but by 1956 was leading his own band. Silver alongside with Art Blakey followed through on the concept of discovering young talent, giving them the opportunity, increasing the demand for more talent and most importantly, continuing the tradition of Jazz. I encourage all the Jazz Con Class listeners to take some time out and learn more about Horace Silver. We all know how influential Art Blakey was but not much about Horace Silver’s enormous contributions. He was a great man, a great musician/composer and a major influence to Jazz! Checkout the schedule link for play times. This album will be placed afterwards on the “G4 Playlist” and where almost all “Live” recordings are located, enjoy!
About the album:
The set opens with “Tippin’,” a hard swinger, then segues to “The Outlaw,” a composition in the classic Silver mode, incorporating exotic rhythms, complex melodic leads, and deep grooves. “Senor Blues,” a cool-toned blues, and “Cool Eyes,” a frenetic bop workout, are equally impressive. The tunes are extended, and feature plenty of top-flight improvisation from the musicians, making for a memorable live date worth picking up. Composer and pianist Horace Silver was one of the leading lights of the post-bop movement, and LIVE AT NEWPORT ’58 captures him in his prime. Leading a crack quintet (which includes trumpeter Louis Smith and saxophonist Junior Cook) through four slinking, swinging tunes, Silver turns in a wonderful set. Personnel: Horace Silver (piano); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Louis Smith (trumpet); Gene Taylor (acoustic bass); Louis Hayes (drums). Rolling Stone (p.58) – “[A] surprise from Silver’s early prime….[With] Silver leading a quintet in dynamic expansions of four tunes, including the cool brass glide and staccato-piano bite of ‘Senor Blues.'”…..Read More