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Silver's Serenade

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 28, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Silver's Serenade by Horace Silver Quintet

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 28, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BLUE NOTE
  • Run Time: 38 minutes
  • ASIN: B000E1IGDS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,095 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The most recent batch of six RVG reissues (2/21/06) has left me scratching my head, as the original CD incarnations of four of these titles have never even gone out-of-print, and are still readily available, even new on Amazon. Certainly, there are more deserving titles to re-release that have actually been missing from the catalog for years, but I guess EMI must have plans to make most every golden-era Blue Note album an RVG edition at this point. To be fair, "Silver's Serenade" is another classic recording from arguably the greatest edition of the Horace Silver Quintet, and it is great to have it available in this remastered version. The penultimate release by the Silver group featuring Blue Mitchell on trumpet and Junior Cook on tenor sax was recorded on May 7 & 8, 1963. (It features Gene Taylor on bass and Roy Brooks on drums as well.) The compositions, all by the pianist/leader, are starting to move away from the signature hard bop sound that Silver helped to define, and more towards the modern modal expressions of his fellow Blue Note artists of the time. Of course this would culminate on the next record, the masterpiece "Song For My Father," and would eventually lead to Silver changing lineups to better serve his new directions. But for now just enjoy a listen back to a golden time in Silver's music, and let the pianist "Serenade" you once more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rev. bIGhIG on October 20, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Listened to this again just last night. Silver is simply amazing. Music that is creative, surprising, yet always soulful and funky -- you can dance to this stuff, or just sit back and dig the tight band (with the great Junior Cook!) and compositions. Silver is one of those musicians who knocks out the hep cats and turns on the squares. And the CD reissue is clean and balanced.
You can't go wrong with this one.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hardin on April 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
By this point in the existence of the Horace Silver Quintet, arguably its greatest edition with Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Junior Cook on tenor saxophone, Silver on piano, Gene Taylor on bass, and Roy Brooks on drums, the band had begun to tire. Indeed, the next album, the classic "Song for My Father," would see the breaking up of this band for a new one. Gone were the days of blistering, ultra-tight uptempo unison statements that showcased the incredible telepathy of the front line horns. Instead, this album presents, for the most part, medium swing hard-bop tunes which lack the inspiration of the earlier work. The tunes are nice, but not Silver's best; I never could warm up to the title track, and the others are fairly forgettable melodies. The one uptempo tune, "Nineteen Bars," is a tune with an odd form looking ahead more to post-bop. The problem? Silver had written a tune that was way out of his personal wheelhouse, and that of the band, so the performance doesn't quite live up to the forward thought the tune presents.

Still, the band is in-the-pocket and tight, though I personally believe that this band lost a lot when Louis Hayes, the first drummer, left the group. Roy Brooks is good, but Hayes was a genius who knew how to energize the group without being as heavy as Art Blakey (this band was not particularly overpowering, so this approach was perfect). The performances are good, but I don't find myself listening to this album as much as "Finger Poppin,'" "Blowin' the Blues Away," "Horace-Scope," or "The Tokyo Blues." This album, as is most of Silver's music, is accessible to the average jazz lover.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Silver's last complete recording with the popular Blue Mitchell-Junior Cook edition of his Quintet, this date lacks the freshness, variety, and melodic invention of earlier Silver recordings. The two reasons to consider purchase are the title tune (Silver scores again with an infectious, even singable, number) and the surprisingly strong performance of Junior Cook, whose conceptions and control of the altissimo register lend credibility to reports that he was practicing with Coltrane at this time.

"Nitty Gritty" serves up Silver-certified funk, but the remaining tunes have nothing new to offer, other than the composer's departure from 8 and 12-bar song forms. Constant stop-and-go accompaniment patterns behind the solos (stop-time or pedal-tones followed by 4/4 swing) simply become tiresome after a while (just get out of the way, Horace, and let the musicians blow!). These devices take me back to a Newport concert featuring the groups of Silver and Blakey on the same program. Because of Horace's apparent compulsion for total control of each measure of each tune, Blakey's Messengers came as a welcome blast of fresh air, a contrast so striking that Silver's group sounded like a pop act in retrospect.

There's no rhyme or reason to remastering and reissuing a date such as this ahead of a truly inspired but out-of-print session like "Further Explorations by the Horace Silver Quintet."
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Cooper on February 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This CD is one of a series of early-60's Blue Note recordings, "Silver's Serenade" starts with the title track, an easy lope. "Nitty Gritty" is a blusier shuffle, and draws out livelier performances from Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook. "Sweet Sweetie Dee" has a very Silverian melody (he wrote all the songs). "The Dragon Lady" has a hint of exotica, Horace plays some whole-note chords while Roy Brooks hits the cymbals. This is underneath trumpet and sax solos. "Nineteen Bars" is an off-kilter blues, I like the songwriting. The problem with "Silver's Serenade" isn't the writing, which is pretty good, but the performances. It's not Horace Silver's shining moment. The performances aren't terrible, but it's enough to drop the CD down to 3 stars.
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