The Squid's Ear Magazine

Silver, Horace Quintet: Live New York, Revisited (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

Recorded around the time of his most famous records, Song For My Father and The Cape Verdean Blues, lyrical hard bop/Blue Note pianist and composer Horace Silver's band is heard live at The Half Note in NYC and at "The Cork & Bib" on Long Island with his spectacular band including trumpeters Carmell Jones & Woody Shaw and saxophonist Joe Henderson.

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product information:

UPC: 752156113720

Label: ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd
Catalog ID: ezz-thetics 1137
Squidco Product Code: 32400

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Tracks 1-5 recorded at The Half Note, in New York, New york, on April 18th, 1965, and February 11th and 16th, 1966. Tracks 6 and 7 recorded at the "Cork and Bib" nightclub, in Westbury, Long Island, New York , on June 6th, 1964.


Carmell Jones-trumpet

Woody Shaw-trumpet

Joe Henderson-tenor saxophone

Horace Silver-piano

Teddy Smith-double bass

Larry Ridley-double bass

Roger Humphries-drums

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Call together twelve fans or critics - that's a properly constituted jury in some countries, though not mine - and ask them to write down the ten most important jazz musicians since, say, 1940. We can all agree on at least some of the names that would figure prominently, but how many will make a strong case for Horace Silver? Long before his death in 2014, Silver's reputation had become occluded, or tarnished with the notion that he was a relatively slight figure, more of an entertainer than an innovator.

As we head for a decade since his passing, that's a situation and a view well worth challenging. Silver must stand as one of the most significant figures not just in jazz but in modern music. He was, of course, a commercial and critical cornerstone of Blue Note, perhaps the definitive modern jazz label. He was a pioneer of the style known as hard bop and of the distinctive instrumentation that best expressed it. He moved jazz piano on beyond the prevailing Bud Powell style, weaving in rhythms from his Cape Verdean heritage previously unheard in north American music. He was a formidable composer: this, very few are prepared to deny, citing "Song For My Father", heard in wonderful live form on the disc you're holding, "Peace", the other famous "Lonely Woman" and a dozen more that have entered the repertory. But it doesn't stop there. Silver later tried to build new bridges between jazz and the popular music that had displaced it. His United States Of Mind projects were not a success, but they deserve to be revisited. His spirituality and environmentalism were ahead of their time. His habit of quoting other songs in his solos, often dismissed as a shallow, crowd-pleasing trick, is a forerunner of sampling culture and hip-hop. It's also an acknowledgement of profoundly knowledgeable Silver was about the canon and its evolution. Here's a line of mine, he might say, and here's where it came from, but also here and here. His only mistake in this regard was to smile while he was playing. Silver's other great contribution was a challenge to the really rather recent notion that jazz should be deadly serious and played with a pained rictus.

Only listening to him at some length will confirm any of these hasty generalisations, but here is a chance to discover him at the peak of his performing career. Between 1962 and 1964, Silver made eye- and ear-opening visits to Japan and to Brazil. Though he never attempted anything that could be marketed as "world music", he came to the recognition that jazz was a world music, a creative Esperanto that could absorb different accents and dialects. His own creole nature, Irish, African, Portuguese, became the focus of his writing. Travel made a profound impact on his own practice and led, quite directly, to the making of his two most important LPs, Song For My Father, released in late January 1965, and The Cape Verdean Blues, exactly one year later. These records, the former especially, account for much of the repertoire Silver was playing with his group at the time.

In June 1964, with some of Song For My Father in the can, Silver's group was at the "The Cork & Bib" in Westbury, Long Island, New York. It was a relatively new line-up. Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook had left and were replaced by Carmell Jones and Joe Henderson, a change that either reflected or inspired a change of direction and tone in the leader's music. "Tokyo Blues" and "Señor Blues", were still mainstays of the set. Somewhat like Miles Davis, Horace didn't see the merit of live releases and he probably wouldn't have thanked you for a copy of Live 1964, which saw release twenty years later, when Horace was absorbed in his own label and the self-help imperatives of his Spiritualizing The Senses project. He might have found his own earlier music to be raw and unsophisticated, except the 1964 band was fronted by two soloists who were virtually incapable of unsubtle playing. The enigmatic Carmell Jones left the US for Germany right after his stint with Silver and was, for a time, "lost" to American jazz. Joe Henderson had already made a splash with his early Blue Notes, Page One, Our Thing, In'n'Out and the driving Inner Urge was establishing himself as a player who always seemed to be in the middle of an absorbing solo, like a storyteller who picked up the narrative every time you encountered him.

Less than a year further on, Silver and the group were playing mostly material off Song For My Father, a record which, partly because of its affectionate, late-sunshine cover portrait of the dedicatee, had established the idea that jazz could make such fond personal statements and still swing. The band's appearance at The Half Note, in April 1965 perfoming Song Of My Father, The Natives Are Restless Tonight and Que Pasa and on February 11 & 16, 1966, two versions of "African Queen" are also included on this Revisited release. Almost sixty years on, and with the piano lid now closed, it's possible to see all the work as of a piece and a process of evolution. At no point, though, was Silver more completely on point and exuberantly creative as in the period documented here. There is far more to the Silver story than these live performances, but they stand on their own terms as gently chiding reminders of Silver's role in jazz history. If the jury really is still out, this reissue should provide the clinching evidence."-Brian Morton, July 2022

Artist Biographies

"Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver[note 1] (September 2, 1928 - June 18, 2014) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, particularly in the hard bop style that he helped pioneer in the 1950s.

After playing tenor saxophone and piano at school in Connecticut, Silver got his break on piano when his trio was recruited by Stan Getz in 1950. Silver soon moved to New York City, where he developed a reputation as a composer and for his bluesy playing. Frequent sideman recordings in the mid-1950s helped further, but it was his work with the Jazz Messengers, co-led by Art Blakey, that brought both his writing and playing most attention. Their Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers album contained Silver's first hit, "The Preacher". After leaving Blakey in 1956, Silver formed his own quintet, with what became the standard small group line-up of tenor saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass, and drums. Their public performances and frequent recordings for Blue Note Records increased Silver's popularity, even through changes of personnel. His most successful album was Song for My Father, made with two iterations of the quintet in 1963 and 1964.

Several changes occurred in the early 1970s: Silver disbanded his group to spend more time with his wife and to concentrate on composing; he included lyrics in his recordings; and his interest in spiritualism developed. The last two of these were often combined, resulting in commercially unsuccessful releases such as The United States of Mind series. Silver left Blue Note after 28 years, founded his own record label, and scaled back his touring in the 1980s, relying in part on royalties from his compositions for income. In 1993, he returned to major record labels, releasing five albums before gradually withdrawing from public view because of health problems.

As a player, Silver transitioned from bebop to hard bop by stressing melody rather than complex harmony, and combined clean and often humorous right-hand lines with darker notes and chords in a near-perpetual left-hand rumble. His compositions similarly emphasized catchy melodies, but often also contained dissonant harmonies. Many of his varied repertoire of songs, including "Doodlin'", "Peace", and "Sister Sadie", became jazz standards that are still widely played. His considerable legacy encompasses his influence on other pianists and composers, and the development of young jazz talents who appeared in his bands over the course of four decades."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Song For My Father 10:34

2. African Queen 9:00

3. The Natives Are Restless Tonight 11:25

4. Que Pasa 14:55

5. African Queen 10:12

6. The Tokyo Blues 14:59

7. Senor Blues 6:36

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NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
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