The Jazzcat

A Tribute to Horace Silver at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

by on Mar.21, 2007, under News


Slide Show

Christian McBride hits the stage and my main man is looking

good. First things first, Christian issued a moment of silence in honor of

Alice Coltrane and Michael Brecker; two outstanding and inspirational artists

who passed this weekend.  The music is

definitely ever changing, and with the accession of major musicians, there is

silence and uncharted courses lie ahead. At the end of the performance today, there

will be a question and answer session which is a wonderful opportunity for the

fans and artists to get to know each other and share with each other.


Seňor Blues is what they call him and with Joe Lovano and

Tom Harrell out front, you know that Horace heard the men in black proceed to

lay down the familiar tune. This gives me Blue Note visuals of a gentleman

whose style and signature compositions are so deeply rooted in American music

culture.  Horace Silver is a classic and

even though apparently his health is poor, he is here and able to experience the

tribute in his honor.


I recall my days on 88.1 FM KKJZ when I used to select my

music for the evening.  Horace was

usually a part of the mix and a key element in kicking the music up a notch.  Christian’s sound is thick with rhythm.  It is pretty much his show tonight as he has

to fulfill so many hats, Artistic Chair, Producer and Leader of the astronomical

mix of talents for the evening. Many of the great tunes were selected for

tonight including “Nica’s Dream” and the “Jody Grind”


Horace has a sound that always makes you want to dance and

“get down to the Nitty Gritty”. Part soul, part humor, part promiscuity mixed

in with a big booty shaking groove is the combination that is a win win! As

Christian says, it is a cavalcade of musical stars here tonight. The next

tenor-trumpet combination is Bennie Maupin and Charles Tolliver who were both in

Horace’s band at the same time as the hit “Psycadelic Sally”.


There is genius in writing simple compositions loaded with

funk and feeling and space for the cats to dance as they play.  Bennie shared some wonderful moments about

his time and development with Horace.  He

introduced Andy Bey, who joined the quartet for a beautiful version of Horace’s

“Peace” followed by a tune that Andy and Horace were known to have a good time, “The Happy

Medium”. Another tenor and trumpet combination, George Colman and Randy

Brecker on Trumpet. This combination

started out with that “Healing Feeling” 

AA BA is the form and it is pretty classic for Horace compositions.


Dee Dee Bridgewater came to the stage and her spirit can’t

be denied as she lights up any room she walks into.  She introduced Horace who was sitting in the

audience.  She sang for us but,

specifically for Horace.  Her 1995 album

“Love and Peace” was a beautiful Grammy nominated salute to the man, the music

and the legend, Horace Silver.  “Doodlin’”

and “Filthy McNasty” were as fun as ever and “Song For my Father” was saved for

the finale where everyone came on stage and at once. As Dee Dee and Andy sang

the duet, the cats one by one and all together performed an excellent rendition

of “Silver’s Serenade”. Horace Silver, a true master, composer and arranger of

the music; and a wonderful celebrated human being.






LeRoy Downs

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