Horace Silver: Seņor Blues
Horace Silver (piano)
Six Pieces of Silver (Blue Note 25648)
Composed by Horace Silver.
Recorded: Hackensack, N.J., November 10, 1956
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
After the demise of the cooperative group known as The Jazz Messengers (Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, Doug Watkins, Art Blakey), Silver put together his own quintet and recorded Six Pieces of Silver. He hadn't intended to become a working bandleader, but the success of "Seņor Blues" created a demand for the Horace Silver Quintet and launched Silver as a leader.
"Seņor Blues" is a 12/8 Latin piece with a dark, exotic flavor that recalls no other jazz composer as much as Duke Ellington. The first two chords are E-flat minor and B7, resembling (whether consciously intended or not) one of Ellington's favorite harmonic gestures. Donald Byrd, Mobley and Silver carefully maintain the atmosphere of the piece in their solos. In that respect, Silver's dense chording behind the two horns is an enormous help; his own solo, after a written interlude by the horns, is an effective contrast.
Reviewer: Bill Kirchner