Live at New­port ’58 Blue Note

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - RAY COMISKEY

Re­cently dis­cov­ered in Columbia’s vaults, th­ese pieces of Sil­ver from the hard bop hey­day catch one of the genre’s trend­set­ting quin­tets in good form. With the leader on pi­ano were the late, lamented and more than solid tenor and bassist, Ju­nior Cook and Gene Tay­lor, drum­mer Louis Hayes, and a bril­liant, now all but forgotten trum­peter, Louis Smith. It was a crisp, to­gether, work­ing group, with good front­line soloists. If Sil­ver was over­shad­owed by them, he was part of a swing­ing, locked-tight rhythm sec­tion. His gift for dis­tinc­tive, catchy com­po­si­tions set the band’s iden­tity, epit­o­mised by Señor Blues (a latin 12-bar in mi­nor) and Cool Eyes, their clever sig­na­ture tune. Mean­while, such pieces as Tip­pin’ and The Out­law some­how man­aged to be both con­vo­luted and en­joy­able. This is sunny mu­sic, a stranger to angst and pain, and very much of its time.

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