Horace Silver: Nica's Dream

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.

September 01, 2008 · 1 comment


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