Horace Silver: Peace

Horace Silver has never struck me as a convincing ballad performer, yet here he contributes one of the great ballad compositions of the era. "Peace" is an aptly named song, perhaps the gentlest work in the voluminous Silver discography. I especially like the way the form keeps turning in on itself, without a bridge to change the ambiance -- in this regard, this song reminds me of what Miles had done four months earlier with "Blue in Green," another pacifying bridge-less ballad. The only thing I find unsatisfying with this performance is Silver's apparent attempt to prod the rest of the band into double time during his solo. Taylor and Hayes refuse to budge, even when Silver's solo seems to be begging for a more swinging accompaniment. But even with the mismatch between the jaunty piano and the relaxed attitude of the bass and drums, "Peace" is one of Silver's gems. Mitchell's contribution is also noteworthy.

August 28, 2008 · 0 comments


Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Peace

Horace Silver was better known for his groove numbers of various types -- Latin, funk, hard bop -- than for ballads. But with "Peace," Silver contributed one of the greatest jazz ballads, a graceful short form that was closer to Miles's "Blue in Green" than to the typical Blue Note offering.

Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Another Blue Note artist, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, may likewise be better known for his groove numbers, but here shows that (like Silver) he can craft a beautiful, breathing ballad. And he chooses Silver's "Peace" for the honors. Rubalcaba does not drive the band here, but merely lingers like a gentle fog over the pace set by bassist Matt Brewer. The delicacy of his touch stands out in this setting. This is the shortest track on Rubalcaba's Avatar CD (clocking in at four minutes), but by no means a lesser one.

January 30, 2008 · 0 comments


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