Horace Silver - Live At Newport '58

Blue Note

Release date: February 5th 2008

Availability: CD, MP3 Download, iTunes

Live At Newport '58 cover

This is not a re-release of previously known Horace Silver material but rather a re-discovery of a very strong set played at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 and released now for the first time (with the exception of one track "Tippin'" that had appeared on the long unavailable Newport Jazz Festival compilation album "Vol 1: Mostly Miles").

The band – Horace Silver (piano), Louis Smith (trumpet), Junior Cook (tenor saxophone), Gene Taylor (bass) and Louis Hayes (drums) – is the same as the band that would go on to produce the classic studio albums "Finger Poppin" and "Blowin' the Blues Away", with the exception that Louis Smith would be replaced by Blue Mitchell.

In that sense 1958 was a tipping point in Horace Silver's career. From his recording debut in 1950 with Stan Getz through to his time with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers he had recorded with the cream of the new generation of jazz musicians – Art Farmer, Lou Donaldson, Lester Young, Miles Davis, Milt Jackson, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, J J Johnson. Yet 1958 was, in fact, a largely fallow year in terms of recording for Horace Silver despite that pedigree. With his new band at Newport, it is as if the flood gates were burst open and he was to emerge for the first time with a band fit for a new future. This set him on his way as one of the most enduring and successful band leaders of the next thirty years.

The music is strong hard bop, swinging, exhuberent, life affirming, all those qualities that Horace Silver's music has come to exemplify. Recording quality is excellent. The four extended pieces ("Tippin'", "The Outlaw", "Senor Blues and "Cool Eyes") are remarkable for their intensity with Horace Silver's low left hand vamps and strong right hand runs of special note.

Highly recommended.

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