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Tribute to Horace Silver from the Disney Concert Hall

Horace Silver

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He's the piano-playing, pencil-packing papa who fathered "Sister Sadie," "Filthy McNasty," "Seņor Blues," "Psychedelic Sally" and an entire musical family. He's also the man to whom Dee Dee Bridgewater dedicated an entire album in the mid'90s -- Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver.

When bassist Christian McBride, the Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, called Bridgewater up and asked her to participate in a tribute to Silver at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, she jumped at the chance.

Music comes to Silver from what he calls his "inner source of inspiration." He likens it to working with an unseen, unknown co-composer, and he believes in giving music to the world, to bring joy to the people.

Silver was born in 1928 in Norwalk, Conn., where his mother toiled as a domestic until her death when Silver was 9. His father -- for whom he wrote his best-known composition, "Song for My Father" -- worked at a local tire factory.

In the early 1950s, Silver cut his first sides for Blue Note, and he stayed with the label for 25 years. Art Blakey was the drummer on this trio date, and together they formed the Jazz Messengers. Blakey led the Messengers until his death in 1990, but Silver left the Messengers early on to organize his own quintet and play "hard bop."

Once established as a bandleader, Silver kept an ear open for young talent. For many whom he hired, it was their first important job. At various times, his band included Randy and Michael Brecker from Philadelphia, trumpeter Woody Shaw from Newark and a saxophonist from Ohio named Joe Henderson. That's an impressive list by any measure.

We open up with Silver's trumpet veteran, Tom Harrell, and his frequent saxophone sidekick, Joe Lovano. Randy Brecker, George Coleman, Bennie Maupin and Charles Tolliver will be along shortly, with singers Andy Bey and finally Dee Dee Bridgewater.


"Nica's Dream" (featuring Harrell & Lovano)
"The Jody Grind" (featuring Harrell & Lovano)
"Happy Medium" (featuring Bey, Tolliver & Maupin)
"That Healin' Feelin'" (featuring Bey, Brecker & Coleman)
"Gregory Is Here" (featuring Brecker & Coleman)
"Filthy McNasty" (featuring Bridgewater, Brecker & Coleman)
"Song for My Father"


Cedar Walton, piano
Christian McBride, bass and emcee
Roger Humphries, drums


Discoveries at Disney Concert Hall Site

Thanks to NPR's Anya Grundmann.
Recording by Fred Vogueler, remix by Chris Nelson.
Writer is Brian Sanders.

Copyright 2007 NPR