Horace Silver: The Preacher
Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers
Horace Silver & The Jazz Messengers (Blue Note CDP 7 46140 2)
Composed by Horace Silver.
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, February 6, 1955
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
"I can't stand the faggot-type jazz," Horace Silver fumed to Down Beat in 1956, "the jazz with no guts." He didn't name names, but insinuated West Coast jazz, then at high tide. Homophobic Horace's alternative was funk, which to hipsters meant earthiness. Despite its title, "The Preacher" was funk incarnate, a down-to-earth, backslapping, goodtime Reverend with fire but no brimstone. Surprisingly, given his missionary masculinization, Horace was born not in a barrelhouse but in Norwalk, Connecticut—founded in 1640, rebuilt after the British torched it during our Revolutionary Unpleasantness, and renowned for oysters. Horace Silver was Norwalk's funkiest pearl.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz