Dear Horace has departed from this planet, his funky soul now residing in a, if not the parallel dimension, should there be just one, wherein, should he meet my beloved father, he may well play a song for him. All of which is most unlikely.
It was the early-80s when I first lowered a stylus on Horace Silver's Blue Note albums and discovered his ability to blow the blues away. We were the new breed of Hard Boppers, frequenting The Wag club in Soho on Monday nights, thinking ourselves terribly hip. Being hungover from Punk and the death of Funk, what better to revive our spirits than Jazz?
Recently an archive piece about The Wag appeared on YouTube. To my surprise and delight it contains an interview with two friends from those days. Now time has devoured them, but no matter, it's great to see those fresh-faced, cool, sartorially slick young Londoners telling the interviewer what's what. Too much Ella Fitzgerald, indeed! You had to be there to understand how, towards the end, hearing Mack The Knife again became tiresome. But they, eager to display discernment, were critics of the great lady even before then. Sheldon's riposte: "We like Hard Bop," says it all; the hipster snub of what was great according to an ageing Rock critic. They went on to run The Cutting Edge club across Soho in Frith Street, conducting their sermon from behind the decks. Naturally, Horace Silver was one 'lesson' taught every Saturday night. His funky, swinging gospel was something we all adhered to religiously.
5 pieces of Silver.
The Jody Grind
Song For My Father
The Happy Medium