Horace Silver: Nica's Dream


Nica's Dream


Horace Silver (piano)


Horace-Scope (Blue Note 84042)

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Horace Silver (piano), Blue Mitchell (trumpet), Junior Cook (tenor sax), Gene Taylor (bass), Roy Brooks (drums).

Composed by Horace Silver


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 9, 1960


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Some people called her the 'jazz baroness': the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter. But to the jazz greats she was Nica. She befriended some of jazz's most important figures, Bird and Monk included, and justly found her place in the musical history books as a result. But the recordings she inspired serve as even more fitting tributes, for example this great Horace Silver track from 1960. During this era, Silver had a golden touch (no pun intended), and filled his LPs with many inspired charts, but this is one of his finest, a hard-driving song with a simple A theme backed by a relentless groove, countered by an effective mood (and rhythmic) shift for the bridge. Silver adds nice touches, interludes, intro, brief backbeat pedal points . . . all the clever nuances that set his recordings apart. The soloists are definitely inspired by the chart, with Mitchell and Silver offering especially funky solos. So hot, so cool, so Nica-delic (can I coin a new word?) . . . She must have been a very hip baroness.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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    • 1 Art Vandelay // Sep 14, 2008 at 11:47 AM
      Hey man...just listening to a criss cross records release by Wycliffe Gordon ("Bones Tones" 2008 release) which features a more contemporary rendition of the above- and I had this full fledged flashback of how much I liked Horace's melody. I dig the comment about the hip baronness man haha. peace Art