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Blue Note 50th Anniversaries: January 1969 & More

Read "Blue Note 50th Anniversaries: January 1969 & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We celebrate Blue Note 50th anniversary recordings from Frank Foster (material never formally released until a CD reissue of Manhattan Fever), Lonnie Smith and Horace Silver. Certamente, there's more--including a 75th anniversary salute to sides by clarinetist Edmond Hall with Red Norvo and Teddy Wilson, and a 78 rpm recording of Blue Note 5 by Earl Hines, solo at the 88s. Enjoy the show! Playlist Edward Simon “Chega De Saudade" from Latin American Songbook (Sunnyside) 00:00 Frank Foster ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Newport Jazz Festival 1959

Read "Newport Jazz Festival 1959" reviewed by Marc Davis

The collector asks: When is it OK to say, “I have enough, thanks. I don't need the live version, too." Consider the dilemma of Wolfgang's Vault, a musical treasure trove of old jazz and rock performances. If you've never been there, go now. The site is stunning. It is an enormous collection of long-lost jazz shows, mostly from the 1950s, '60s and '70s. For the fan and collector, it's a must see. But is it also ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Horace Silver: The United States of Mind – Revisited

Read "Horace Silver: The United States of Mind – Revisited" reviewed by Marc Davis

At what point did Blue Note Records jump the shark? Is there a single moment when Blue Note stopped being the world's greatest purveyor of jazz and instead became an irrelevant producer of schlock? Truth is, it was a long, slow slide. In the 1950s, Blue Note was the greatest source of hard bop. In the 1960s, it produced the best soul-jazz on earth. And then, one day in the 1970s--poof! It was all gone. Where did it ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Horace Silver: Serenade to a Soul Sister - 1968

Read "Horace Silver: Serenade to a Soul Sister - 1968" reviewed by Marc Davis

Is 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, ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Blue Note's Golden Decade

Read "Blue Note's Golden Decade" reviewed by John Eyles

Blue Note! For many of us, the words alone are enough to send a tingle down the spine, conjuring up the indefinable magic of a golden age of jazz. What were the elements that made classic Blue Note records so special? The look? The feel? The sound? All of these and more. Alfred Lion's production? Francis Wolff's photography? Reid Miles design? Rudy Van Gelder's engineering? None of these alone is an essential element, but when all four come together you've ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Horace Silver Quintet: June 1977 (livelove Series Vol 2)

Read "June 1977 (livelove Series Vol 2)" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

When the Horace Silver Quintet took the stage in Bremen in June, 1977, Silver was nearing the end of his long association with Blue Note Records. Much of the band's book was drawn from recent albums: the title tune from In Pursuit of the 27th Man (Blue Note, 1973), and two each from Silver 'N Brass (Blue Note, 1975) and Silver 'N Voices (Blue Note, 1976). Producer Peter Schulze's liner notes tell the story of how the show also became ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Horace Silver: Six Pieces of Silver – Blue Note 1539

Read "Horace Silver: Six Pieces of Silver – Blue Note 1539" reviewed by Marc Davis

Yep, this is the “Senor Blues" album. That's not the name, obviously, but it could be. This outstanding hard bop CD, recorded by Horace Silver's quintet in 1956, has 10 tracks, and three of them are “Senor Blues." No wonder. It's arguably the best track in the collection--a Spanish-tinged slow blues toe-tapper. Even so, three versions may be one too many. First, there's the album version. It's a 7-minute original by Silver himself. It's a groovy ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Horace Silver: Recollections and Retrospections

Read "Horace Silver: Recollections and Retrospections" reviewed by Nick Catalano

In the halcyon days of the first Birdland (the early 50's) Monday night was jam session night and the house rhythm section featured a young pianist named Horace Silver. Though in his early 20's (he was born in 1928) Silver appeared much younger and his diminutive figure at the keyboard is still etched in my mind intensely pouring out the hot-tempoed lines of the still-novel bebop literature. I, together with my fellow musician friends, sat there mesmerized as he gushed ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Horace Silver: The Hard Bop Grandpop

Read "The Hard Bop Grandpop" reviewed by Marc Davis

With musicians, and artists generally, there's a tendency to think the best work is the earliest. It's usually true. Paul McCartney was never better than when he recorded with the Beatles. Chuck Berry's best work was the early hits like “Johnny B. Goode" and “Roll Over Beethoven." Tom Wolfe hasn't written anything as good as “The Right Stuff" and “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." So it is, too, with jazz musicians. Dizzy Gillespie's seminal work came ...

INTERVIEWS

Horace Silver: Blue Note Records and His Lady Music

Read "Horace Silver: Blue Note Records and His Lady Music" reviewed by Ed Hamilton

The Q&A portion of this article first appeared on KPFK 90.7 FM (Los Angeles) in 1974. 75 years ago Blue Note Records was started by two German immigrants who loved jazz and believed that the music should be heard and preserved. Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff collaborated and built the Blue Note vault of music that included the artistry of immortals: Miles Davis, Sonny Clark, Sidney Bechet, Clifford Brown, Art Blakey, The Jazz Messengers, Lee Morgan, Freddie ...

REASSESSING

Horace Silver: Song For My Father

Read "Horace Silver: Song For My Father" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Horace Silver Song For My Father Blue Note Records 1963 The nice thing about reissuing classic, fifty year-old records is the benefit of hindsight; delving into a well-established catalog that's been lauded for decades helps ensure that every release will be desirable. The classic Blue Note Records catalog of the 1950s and '60s is about as evergreen a collection of albums as could be imagined. There are so many great titles that it's difficult, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Horace Silver: The Cape Verdean Blues

Read "The Cape Verdean Blues" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Any review of an XRCD extended resolution CD reissue of hard bop pianist Horace Silver's The Cape Verdean Blues is going to be as much about the success of the format as it is about the music.The music on old recordings, re-released in expensive high-tech format by specialist Elusive Disc (in it's series of Blue Note album transfers from the original master tapes) is presumed to have artistic value, otherwise no one would bother with such an expensive, ...


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