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Horace Silver: The Hardbop Grandpop

Pianist/composer Horace Silver’s compositions have been some of the most memorable in the past four decades. This new CD-which showcases Silver in a “Jazz Messenger” style septet featuring trumpeter Claudio Roditi, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker, trombonist Steve Turre, baritone saxist Ronnie Cuber, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Lewis Nash-shows that his knack for creating snappy, toe-tapping tunes has not diminished. Silver’s spare and in-the-pocket pianisms are in full effect on the uptempo numbers “I Want You,” “Graditude,” “Hawkin,” and the title track. “I Got the Blues In Santa Cruz,” a slower, bluesier piece, highlights Silver’s penchant for catchy song titles, and the peppery Afro-Latin numbers “The Hippest Cat In Hollywood,” “We’ve Got Silver At Six,” “Serenade To A Teakettle” and “The Lady From Johannesburg” show off Silver’s comping behind Turre, Cuber, Brecker and Roditi. The last track, “Diggin’ On Dexter,” is a buoyant bop-based tribute to Dexter Gordon, as only Horace Silver can deliver.

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