Release date: 1958
Re-release date (RVG remaster): March 25th, 2008
Availabilty: CD, MP3 download, iTunes
"Further Explorations" was released in 1958, the same year as Horace Silver's appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival. As on the Festival appearance, Louis Hayes is on drums. However, the front line here with Art Farmer (trumpet) and Clifford Jordan (tenor sax) is more established with both musicians riding high in their own careers at the time. With the inclusion of Teddy Kotick (bass) this short lived quintet produced a significant milestone in the development of hard bop.
There are five Horace Silver original compositions ("The Outlaw", "Melancholy Mood", "Pyramid", "Moon Rays" and "Safari") plus the Harold Arlen composition "Ill Wind"(which also features on the Lee Morgan album "Cornbread") and as ever, his open and generous piano playing is at the centre of the music.
There is very fine, bluesy tenor sax playing by Clifford Jordan (on "Pyramid", "Melancholy Mood" and "Moon Rays" especially). Art Farmer plays with his accustomed refined minimalism. The unison and harmony parts for the two horns are memorable (especially on "Moon Rays").
Overall this is hard bop with a more subtle face, perhaps those are the 'further explorations' that Horace Silver had in mind and realized so well with this album.
The attention to detail of Rudy Van Gelder's remastering is as ever of the highest order. The re-release of the six new remastersed RVGs in March 2008 (of which this is one), marks the 200th Blue Note RVG, a tremendous achievement and a service of the highest order to jazz, the more so since Rudy Van Gelder was the recording engineer on the original takes of most if not all of these albums.
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