Hard Bop Preacher : Horace Silver

thu 16 jun 2022
Theme: Jazz

Saturday 18th June, 17:00  – House of Hard Bop. New York, middle 50’s. Pianist/composer Horace Silver and drummer Art Blakey form a quintet: Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers. This group will play an important role in the development of hard bop,  the style which combines bebop with elements of blues, gospel and R&B.

That fresh, funky, accessible sound attracts a new public and becomes a commercial success, from which Blue Note Records will also long profit. The records also get into the juke boxes, which beboppers such as Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk never managed.
Silver left the group in 1956 – partly because of the heroïne use of some Messengers – and assembled a new group around himself. This is another quintet, with tenor and trumpet, now his favourite format.

In 1958 Blue Note releases Further Explorations by the Horace Silver Quintet, with the brass players Art Farmer (trumpet) and Clifford Jordan (tenor). The opening number, The Outlaw, contains typical Silver characteristics: a quite complex structure, asymmetric time signatures, melodically contrasting phrases and periods with a latin beat in the percussion, often combined with long drawn out ostinato figures in the trio behind the brass. That the music doesn’t come across as ‘complicated’, but is easily absorbed by the listener, is one of Silver’s unique achievements as composer and arranger.
You’ll hear the whole album – Silver composed five of the six tracks.

A year later trumpeter Blue Mitchell and tenor Junior Cook feature in Finger Poppin’, comprising eight Silver compositions. If possible an even more dynamic album than the previous one, in which drummer Louis Hayes drives the music along. The last of the three pieces in this programme is Swingin’ the Samba. Try sitting still to this one !

“Finger Poppin’ is everything small-group hard bop should be, and it’s a terrific example of what made the Blue Note label’s mainstream sound so infectious“. (Steve Huey).

House of Hard Bop – a programme by hardbop drummer Eric Ineke