Friday, February 5, 2010

Horace SILVER - Paris Blues 1962

Horace SILVER - Paris Blues 1962
Recorded live at the Olympia Theatre,
Paris, France on October 6, 1962
2002 Issue PACD 5316-2


For those of us who treasure the Blue Mitchel/Junior Cook edition of the Horace Silver Quintet, this recording is as essential as the unearthed goodies by Coltrane or Bird. This was recorded in a concert setting in Paris, giving a different vibe from the intimate atmosphere of the Village Gate captured in Doin' The Thing. The recording quality is very good; all instruments can be clearly heard and the balance is fine. This is highly recommended for all Horace Silver fans
This is the classic Horace Silver Quintet. It existed and recorded here while Miles was between his two great quintets, just before Art Blakey recorded Caravan with Curtis Fuller and Wayne Shorter, and while John Coltrane was assembling his classic quartet. This concert takes place almost half way between Finger Poppin' With the Horace Silver Quintet and Song for My Father. In essence, this is hard bop reaching perfection, neither al dente nor over-cooked. All of the songs are lengthy Silver compositions.
With all cuts clocking in over ten minutes ("Sayonara Blues" stretches out to sixteen minutes), all of the musicians have ample time to say what must be said. Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook are in top form, blowing their potent mixture of smoky blues and pungent funk. Tart as a lemon and strong as a Manhattan, Mitchell proves himself more than a minor prophet in the scripture of hard bop. The same can be said of Cook, whose full-throated tone melds perfectly with Silver and Mitchell on this fall night in the City of Lights. Silver is brilliant in his leadership and performance, as is his rhythm support in Gene Taylor and Roy Brooks.
When previously asked to define hard bop, I would have steered the query toward Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' Moanin'. Now I will suggest Paris Blues.
By C. Michael Bailey
The bad news is that Paris Blues isn't an album of new songs. The good news is that it's a slammin' 1962 live set of previously unreleased material from Silver and his long-running band, which featured trumpeter Blue Mitchell, saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor, and drummer Roy Brooks. The production quality here is fairly high for a live recording of the time, with the band's hard-groovin' performances well captured. Silver tosses in licks left and right and occasionally takes a short and tasteful solo, but he's at his best here as he bangs out his patented bluesy, on-the-beat rhythms, feeding the horn players tasty riffs and rallying the band into a frenzy of upbeat hard bop. Featuring stretched-out versions of Silver classics "Filthy McNasty," "Sayonara Blues," and "The Tokyo Blues," as well as two others, Paris Blues captures this group at its high-octane best, with all the energy you'd expect from Horace Silver and his best band since leaving the Jazz Messengers.
By Tad Hendrickson.
Horace Silver- (Piano)
Junior Cook- (Tenor Saxophone)
Blue Mitchell- (Trumpet)
Gene Taylor- (Bass)
Roy Brooks- (Drums)
01. Introductions by Norman Granz and Horace Silver (1:49)
02. Where You At (10:41)
03. The Tokyo Blues (12:41)
04. Filthy McNasty (10:41)
05. Sayonara Blues (16:28)
06. Doin' the Thing (12:04)

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