Emily Remler: Strollin'

On this laid back Horace Silver piece, Emily Remler and company bring back the swing like it's 1959 all over again. Remler has such a nice, refined sound on this track. Her solo consists of some nice textures and she flips her rhythm up nicely as well, deviating between eighth note rhythms and at other times blistering fast sixteenth note rhythms. Although I would have like to heard Hank Jones play a longer solo, he still plays some tasteful lines. Like we would expect anything different from him!

All in all, "Strollin'" is a good example of Remler's ability to play straight ahead and the song works well in regards to her playing style. Although she would only be on this earth for a short time, I'm glad that she was able to give the jazz world enough of a taste of her music to leave a long, lasting impression. Very few musicians have come out of the gate running like she did and this song is a shining example to her musical spirit. R.I.P.

September 13, 2009 · 0 comments


Keith Jarrett: Strollin'

Here's an odd turn of events. Back in his youth, Keith Jarrett was a member of Jazz Messengers, and he completely deconstructed its repertoire on the one commercial recording he made with the band. Listen to Jarrett on "Secret Love" from 1965, and hear an iconoclastic pianist who reconfigures the music to suit his own dramatic vision of aural possibilities.

Now fast-forward 35 years and Keith Jarrett covers a composition by a charter member of the Jazz Messengers, Mr. Horace Silver. The young revolutionary has now become very respectful, and plays the song with deference to the composer's original vision. It's hard to complain when the band plays as felicitously as this trio. But I, for one, would like to see Jarrett & Co. rough up these songs a bit more. I can't help comparing this track with an earlier "Standards Trio" live recording from Munich in 1986, when the group did so much damage to "Autumn Leaves" that there wasn't a twig or branch left by the time they were finished. Here we are merely "Strollin'"—pleasantly enough, it's true—but I wonder what Jarrett would have done to these changes if Art Blakey had called this same tune on the bandstand at the Lighthouse back in '65.

January 27, 2009 · 0 comments


Bojan Z: The Mohican and the Great Spirit

The use of electric piano, with bass as the melodic instrument, gives a totally different feel from the original to this lesser known Horace Silver tune. Bojan Z (aka Zulfikarpasic) soon switches to acoustic piano and takes the leading voice as the drums join in. He later returns to the Fender Rhodes, but in each instance he builds a relaxed, funky mood, and the interaction between the three instruments contributes to a very personal group sound and also makes one wonder why there are so few covers of this tune.

February 18, 2008 · 0 comments


Joey DeFrancesco: Sister Sadie

Using Jimmy Smith's classic Hammond B-3 organ trio lineup, Joey DeFrancesco demolishes the myth that Horace Silver tunes work best for horn players. "Sister Sadie" never sounded better, not even Silver's 1959 original. Around 4 minutes in, however, following a rocking solo that interpolates "Rock Around the Clock," DeFrancesco seemingly wraps it up too soon with an out chorus and a sustained chord. But then the guys unexpectedly recommence reboppin' like crazy for another 1 minutes. The highest compliment we can pay is that this ranks with the most exciting trio recordings of the big kahuna himself, Jimmy Smith. Sister Sadistic!

October 29, 2007 · 0 comments


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