307

Horace Silver: Live At Newport '58

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Horace Silver: Live At Newport '58 Fifty years on, and previously unreleased, this boisterous festival performance by pianist Horace Silver's quintet is 40 minutes of hard swinging, compositionally distinguished, primo hard bop. It's also the only known recording by a band in the process of morphing from the line-up which recorded Further Explorations (Blue Note, 1958) to the one which cut Finger Poppin' (Blue Note, 1959).



The four tracks also include two outstanding but neglected pieces from the Silver canon, and the performance itself was recorded with excellent sound, presence and separation between the instruments.



Live At Newport '58 is, in short, an authenticated, certificated, number one with gravy, solid gold winner.



By 1958, Silver was a composer of note. For the Jazz Messengers, he'd written the signature blues/gospel pieces "Doodlin'" and "The Preacher," and he'd recently become a marquee star in his own name with the Latin-infused "Senor Blues" from Six Pieces Of Silver (Blue Note, 1957). "Senor Blues" and another popular tune from Six Pieces, "Cool Eyes," close the Newport set.



The lesser known openers, "Tippin'" and "The Outlaw," are real treats. "Tippin'" is composed in a traditional 32-bar, AABA structure, the attractive topline played over a driving, up-tempo groove. "The Outlaw" has a more complex form—a 13-bar line, the last six over a Latin rhythm, played twice, then a ten-bar bridge, a 16-bar Latin vamp, and a two-bar tag—but one which the musicians, who solo on this ingenious stucture, navigate with poise.



The surprise in the line-up, of course, is Louis Smith. The trumpeter had joined the quintet only weeks before Newport, and was to leave (to return to teaching) just three months later, to be replaced by Blue Mitchell. Fats Navarro is a clear and present influence, apparent in Smith's rich tone, robust attack and flowing lines.



Though he rarely recorded live, Silver's expansive hard bop must frequently have blossomed in live club and festival performances, as it does here. One can only hope there are more previously unearthed gigs like this little beauty waiting to be discovered.


Track Listing: Introduction by Willis Connover; Tippin'; The Outlaw; Senor Blues; Cool Eyes.

Personnel: Louis Smith: trumpet; Junior Cook: tenor saxophone; Horace Silver: piano; Gene Taylor: bass; Louis Hayes: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "A Handful Of Songs" CD/LP/Track Review A Handful Of Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Signature" CD/LP/Track Review Signature
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Live in 1967 Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Live in 1967 Volume Two
by Doug Collette
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Rubicon" CD/LP/Track Review Rubicon
by John Kelman
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!