Horace Silver: Cookin' at the Continental
Cookin' at the Continental
Horace Silver (piano)
Finger Poppin' (Blue Note BST-84008)
Composed by Horace Silver.
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, January 31, 1959
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
The album Finger Poppin' introduced Horace Silver's longest-lasting front line, Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook, who worked with the pianist from 1959 to 1964. However, the highlight of "Cookin' at the Continental," a medium-up blues, is Silver's piano solo, one of his most harmonically adventurous on record. Silver's use of fourths in his lines must have intrigued such gifted then-up-and-comers as McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock and especially Chick Corea. (Want a revealing comparison? Play this recording back to back with Corea's 1968 version of "Matrix"—also a medium-up blues—on Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. You'll hear an interesting lineage.)
In 1994, the GRP All-Star Big Band recorded an arrangement of "Cookin' at the Continental" by Michael Abene on the album All Blues. The climax of the chart is Abene's orchestration of a transcription of Silver's recorded piano solo—a textbook example of the value of an improvisation as composition.
Reviewer: Bill Kirchner