Thursday, February 14, 2008

Horace Silver: “Senor Blues” (1959)

This is the Horace Silver Quintet performing 'Senor Blues' to a European audience in 1959 with solos from Junior Cook & Blue Mitchell.

Horace Silver (born 1928) is an American jazz pianist and composer of Irish-African descent. He began his career as a tenor saxophonist but later switched to the piano. Silver was influenced by a wide range of musical styles, notably gospel music, African music, and Latin American music and sometimes ventured into the soul jazz genre.

Silver's music was a major force in modern jazz. He was one of the first pioneers of the style known as Hard Bop. The instrumentation of his quintet (trumpet, tenor sax, piano, double bass, and drums) served as a model for small jazz groups from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. Silver's ensembles provided an important training ground for young players, many of whom (such as Donald Byrd, Art Farmer, Blue Mitchell, Woody Shaw, Junior Cook, and Joe Henderson) later led similar groups of their own. Silver refined the art of composing and arranging for his chosen instrumentation to a level of craftsmanship as yet unsurpassed in jazz.

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