HORACE SILVER — Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers

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4.94 | 7 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1955

Filed under Hard Bop
By HORACE SILVER

Tracklist

A1 Room 608
A2 Creepin' In
A3 Stop Time
A4 To Whom It May Concern
B1 Hippy
B2 The Preacher
B3 Hankerin'
B4 Doodlin'

Line-up/Musicians

Kenny Dorham : trumpet
Hank Mobley : tenor saxophone
Horace Silver : piano
Doug Watkins : bass
Art Blakey : drums

About this release

Blue Note – BLP 1518

Recorded on November 13, 1954 & February 6, 1955

Thanks to Matt for the addition and snobb for the updates

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HORACE SILVER HORACE SILVER AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS reviews

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Matt
It all started on the 13/11/1954 at Rudy Van Gelders Hackensack studios with four tunes cut in a session by a band that would become one of the most memorable in post war Jazz and this session being the first or their debut, the name decided upon was "Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers" being the album's title as well. Art Blakey claims that it was not Horace who came up the name but him as he used it in the forties for his big and small bands and had cut a record with Blue Note under that name in 1947 but Horace said he put the words together and it was his idea for the bands name so believe who you like but one thing that is beyond dispute is reputation, calibre, talent and style that The Jazz Messengers name would come to mean under the direction of Art Blakey who of course is here pounding skins with his current bass player of the time Doug Watkins. We also have the for this debut Hank Mobley on tenor saxophone with Kenny Dorham on trumpet and both would become band leaders themselves in the near future with of course Horace Silver playing piano. Jazz changed here, no more of that rapid fire BeBop, things were a bit more stretched and the music pulled back a little melody with great strong rythmn support and before you knew it, Hard Bop was the term used to describe this new style of Jazz and that name "The Jazz Messengers" would be forever associated in the same thought when mentioning the term. Things went so well with the first session Alfred Lion decided to cut another in February the following year with another four tunes recorded which gives us the albums entirety. Seven of the compositions were written by Horace Silver with Hank Mobley contributing "Hankerin" only. One of Horace's compositions "The Preacher", Alfred Lion did not like and suggested it was corny and wanted to dump it but the story goes that Horace told Alfred they did not have another composition ready which would have caused more expense in the albums production and buisness being buisness Alfred kept it. Even later in his life he still said it was corny but it was the one that went on a single with Doodlin' being the A side which sold quite well for a jazz single at the time and helping the albums sale when it was released in April.

Named after Horace's hotel room "Room 608" is first up with a great quick tempo and it is Kenny Dorham who shines with his superb rapid trumpet solo with Horace following on piano with just as much drive and Doug Warkins has that bass gunnin' during this one with a great swinging composition which just keeps swinging on when Hank Mobley's turn follows with the best drummer ever to do a solo Art himself who never went for all fancy stuff but stayed right on pounding that right rythmn."Creepin' In" which follows has the cat feel with its slow slinky time and Kenny Dorham at the intro, "why was he not more well known" but it is Hank on tenor who is first with that great tone and timing he kept with any tune with another slow late nighter from Kenny's trumpet following. The beat is back with "Stop Time" and one of the album highlights with everbody except Doug on bass having a go with Hank leading the proceedings and a superb solo from Horace. "The Preacher" the one that nearly did not make it, is number six or 2nd track on the B side of the record if you prefer with that "I've Been Working on The Railway" similarity with the intro and ending which straight after the introduction quickly develops into a nice mid tempo number with Kenny's trumpet leading the way with some great input from Hank's tenor contribution and really who would want to dump the solo from Horace with some great up and down piano playing.'"Hanker'in", the Hank Mobley composition is a chance for Hank to shine which he sure does and everybody except Doug on bass again, has a shot with a solo. The album closer is "Doodlin' " and is blues played with all the neccesary finesse that these musicians called their usual standard and is a great finisher for the album with Kenny's trumpet just lingering with each note during his solo.

One of the most enduring bands ever in Jazz and Art Blakey would go on to lead The Jazz Messengers for another thirty five years producing some of the most talented jazz musicians and the best Hard Bop.You have to have the first one with Horace Silver as leader and he does do another recording later that year in November 1955 with The Jazz Messengers but under Art's name and that was "At The Cafe Bohemia". Jazz History and essential stuff.

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