Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

12

Horace Silver: Horace Silver: Serenade to a Soul Sister - 1968

Marc Davis By

Sign in to view read count
Serenade to a Soul Sister is an album that is very much of its time–a mix of ‘60s funk and ‘50s bop.
Enter the album name hereIs it possible to love an album for just one song? I think I do.

Serenade to a Soul Sister is the happy marriage of jazz's funkiest pianist (Horace Silver) with its most soulful saxman (Stanley Turrentine). Throw in a fabulously underrated trumpeter with a big fat tone (Charles Tolliver) and you've got one of the best soul-jazz classics of the 1960s.

Serenade features six original compositions by Silver, and every one is a gem. One, however, is shinier than the rest. The album's opener, "Psychedelic Sally," is one of the catchiest, most joyful jazz tunes ever recorded.

Start with a propulsive bass line, as every good funk tune should. Add a happy theme stated by the horns in tandem. Throw in a positively bluesy sax solo, then a powerful trumpet turn, and finally the ever-reliable Silver doing his best juke-joint piano solo. The result is a recording that is every bit as soulful and rockin' as anything ever put to vinyl in the late 1960s. This is a happy, up-tempo, rollicking seven-minute classic.

The rest of Serenade is plenty good—a truly happy, upbeat record—just not up to the standard of the opening cut.

The first three tunes, including "Psychedelic Sally," feature a quintet with Silver, Turrentine and Tolliver. These are bluesy, funky numbers. The last three tunes feature a different quintet, replacing Turrentine with Bennie Maupin, plus a new bassman and drummer. It's a different feel. Maupin seems more boppish and less funky than Turrentine—not a bad thing, just different.

The result is an album that is very much of its time—a mix of '60s funk and '50s bop. The whole thing ends with a piano trio ballad called "Next Time I Fall in Love." It's all very nice. But "Psychedelic Sally" is the tune you came for, and I don't mind listening to it over and over again.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Availability: Easy to find

Cost: Under $4 used

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read My Fats Waller Obsession: Why Do We Collect Music? My Blue Note Obsession
My Fats Waller Obsession: Why Do We Collect Music?
By Marc Davis
May 31, 2017
Read Ike Quebec: Blue & Sentimental - 1962 My Blue Note Obsession
Ike Quebec: Blue & Sentimental - 1962
By Marc Davis
May 14, 2017
Read Jack Wilson: Something Personal – 1966 My Blue Note Obsession
Jack Wilson: Something Personal – 1966
By Marc Davis
May 1, 2017
Read Ronnie Foster: Two Headed Freap – 1973 My Blue Note Obsession
Ronnie Foster: Two Headed Freap – 1973
By Marc Davis
April 18, 2017
Read Bud Powell: The Scene Changes - 1958 My Blue Note Obsession
Bud Powell: The Scene Changes - 1958
By Marc Davis
April 4, 2017
Read Walter Davis Jr.: Davis Cup - 1959 My Blue Note Obsession
Walter Davis Jr.: Davis Cup - 1959
By Marc Davis
March 21, 2017
Read Paul Chambers: Paul Chambers Quintet - 1957 My Blue Note Obsession
Paul Chambers: Paul Chambers Quintet - 1957
By Marc Davis
March 3, 2017