Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Shirley Scott Plays Horace Silver (Prestige, 1961)

Organist Shirley Scott logs a nod to the compositional prowess of Horace Silver, covering six of his compositions on this excellent although apparently sadly out of print LP. Joining Scott on this LP are Henry Grimes on bass (Grimes is most well known for his avant-garde connections, but he played with a lot of mainstream jazz musicians including Sonny Rollins) and Otis Finch on drums. A concise and swinging version of "Senor Blues" opens the program with some fine group improvisation. A grinding and flashy version of "Sister Sadie," which closes side one is a real keeper, propelled by Grimes loping bass and Finch's splashy drums. This is a very fine performance with Scott using sustained chords to build tension and keep the pace fast as the trio motors along. Bass players are somewhat rare on organ dates as the organist will often play the bass lines on the organs pedals, but here Grimes really stands out adding extra lift and swing to the music. The album is closed out with happy and swinging versions of "Doodlin'" and "The Preacher" and a relaxed mid-tempo version of "Strollin'" where the organ is padded beautifully by walking bass and cymbals. This is a very good LP which is long overdue to be reissued on compact disc or in a downloadable digital format.

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