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A Fireside Chat with Horace Silver

By Published: February 13, 2004

HS: Not exactly. Let me put it this way, Fred, I’ve been out there on the road for fifty years and I am kind of tired of it now. It is not that I don’t want to play in front of the people. I like to do that. I am going into the studio in April to do a new album with the Silver Brass Ensemble and then I would like to tour behind that.

FJ: Impressively, even Cecil Taylor suggests your influence.

HS: I haven’t seen Cecil in a long time, but one thing is for sure, if I am playing somewhere and Cecil is anywhere near it, he always shows up and we hang out. I’m very pleased that he likes my stuff.

FJ: And the future?

HS: Well, I am hoping and praying that God will alert me when I get too old and feeble to make a good record and stop making records.

FJ: Here is hoping that never happens.

HS: Me too (laughing). A few of my idols have fallen under that. Lester Young, as great as he is, towards his later years, he was not in good physical health, but I presume he needed the money and he made some records that were not up to his standard. Same thing with Coleman Hawkins, the last record he made was not up to his standard, Bud Powell, same thing. One thing I can say about Thelonious Monk, he quit when he was ahead. He knew when to stop. You won’t find a weak record out by Thelonious. Also, I’ve started a non-profit organization called the Horace Silver Foundation to give annual scholarships to deserving piano students. I am affiliated with USC and our first show will be there November 16, Sunday afternoon at 4. The winner will receive a ten thousand dollar scholarship and go directly to the school of their choice. It is free and please come.

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