Sunday, June 22, 2014

Baghdad blues

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Horace Silver on Wednesday.

What can I say. If you didn't know of Horace Silver you probably won't get it anyway. One by one, the last of the jazz giants leave us and Horace Silver was about as big as they came.

Infectious, bluesy, groovish, funky, soulful bop. He was my first clue that it was alright for jazz to be jacked up. He blazed his own trail musically and even a tin ear like me could instantly recognize one of his tunes. Sifting through his discography you will find a gold mine full of treasures. My personal favorite, Pistol Packin Papa is not to be found on YouTube, but do yourself a favor and go track down a copy of "Soulmates" and "Red Beans and Rice" or "A Ballad for Hawk" from the Rockin with Rachmaninoff release.

Update: Please forgive but I stand corrected "Red Beans and Rice" for your enjoyment

There really hasn't been much in the way of output from Horace Silver in the last 20 years so those who are not inclined to dig down deep may have missed him. But his music was quite accessible for those that chose to look. His discography over the past 50 years is a testament to his genius.

Those who knew the man personally speak very highly of him as a wonderful human being. Many of us are just grateful to have known him through his music and recognize him as not only a unique artist but a true master of this thing we call jazz.


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