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Old 06-20-2014, 12:16 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Lightbulb RIP Horace Silver

I just heard today on the radio that Horace Silver had passed and at the ripe old age of 85.

I first heard of Horace Silver back in early 1969. I was just 17 then and amongst other things, I was playing at the Jazz Workshop at Lynn Oliver Studios once a week on 89th & B'way in NYC. Lynn's wife Ann says to me one day, "Kenny, Horace Silver is auditioning people next week here for his new band. Why don't you come and try out" or something close to that. So, I went to the record store and bought some old record of Horace Silver that had Larry Ridley on bass. I then listened to the tunes and played along with the record for a few days to learn what I could before the audition.

When I showed up with my then de-fretted Fender Precision bass, I sat and waited my turn. The music was nothing like that record I had bought that was a few years old or so. There were drummers, Tenor sax players, trumpet players and bass players. It seemed like the bass players had the most seats. I was called up to play and sight read these charts, note for note and I think I just about nailed everything. The other guys were older and seemed to be upright players that were now playing electric as that was coming into vogue by then.

I was asked to come back the next day as well and audition for round two against some other guys that hadn't come yet. It seems like there were more players than could be auditioned in a single day. He switched guys around on all instruments until he had the quintet he liked most. A day or three later (can't recall), Horace called me at home and asked to speak with my father. Being only 17 and a minor at the time, Horace was a gentleman enough to ask for my fathers permission to take his son on the road.

I did just two concerts with him and then I assume he neded someone at least 18 that could play in clubs where they served alcohol which was most of them. That band was Horace on Piano, Alvin Queen on drums, Cecil Bridgewater on Trumpet (then married to the young Dee Dee Bridgewater), Buddy Terry on Tenor Sax and myself on Bass.

A couple of months later, I got a call from Buddy Terry to come down to Lynn Oliver Studios and meet the new bass player that Horace had found in Philly. Also young, though he had already turned 18. His name was Stanley Clarke. Stanley and I have been friends now since that first day we met there.

After Stanley, Horace had a two other young bass players that you may have heard of, Anthony Jackson and Will Lee. I also got to hear the band with Stanley in it down at 'Slugs', a Jazz club on the lower east side of NYC where Horace also invited me to sit in. They only served Apple Cider there..

Horace was a great leader and mentor to many of us young musicians and humble on stage as well. His music will live on way past all of us. One of his most memorable tunes is 'Song for my Father'. It's in F!
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:33 PM
Gerry Grable Gerry Grable is offline
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Default Silver

Ken,
Too bad there isn't a "like" button on your site. I don't want to knock you out of the queue, but I wanted you to know that I appreciated your post on Horace Silver. He was a great one! I never met him, but I did speak with him once a very long time ago on the phone. He was looking for a sub. I have no idea how he got my number, but I turned him down. I was busy at the time, but actually was relieved. I really didn't think my reading was quite up to it. At that time, I, too, was going to Lynn Oliver's workshops and was having enough trouble with Lynn's music. I remember struggling through a chart on "Oleo" with the bass playing the melody intro. Lynn was really great for young players. I don't think we will see a place like his again? Ah, the good old days!
What was that I said about a "like" button
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:16 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Thumbs up Oleo..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Grable View Post
Ken,
Too bad there isn't a "like" button on your site. I don't want to knock you out of the queue, but I wanted you to know that I appreciated your post on Horace Silver. He was a great one! I never met him, but I did speak with him once a very long time ago on the phone. He was looking for a sub. I have no idea how he got my number, but I turned him down. I was busy at the time, but actually was relieved. I really didn't think my reading was quite up to it. At that time, I, too, was going to Lynn Oliver's workshops and was having enough trouble with Lynn's music. I remember struggling through a chart on "Oleo" with the bass playing the melody intro. Lynn was really great for young players. I don't think we will see a place like his again? Ah, the good old days!
What was that I said about a "like" button
I remember doing Oleo on night in his room (there were 2 bands) and it was a bit after I had worked with Horace. My solo playing then was more thought out then just a lot of note or rather reaching for them. Lynn actually gave me a complement on my solo. Shocked the whole class (band). A rare Lynn Oliver moment and one I remember to this day.
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