I've always felt Horace Silver was one of the greatest composers in jazz music. In addition to his uncanny ability to write a catchy soulful melody, his internal writing for small ensembles always seems to find just the right way to harmonize and decorate the main theme. And his chord changes are always fertile and fun vehicles for improvisation. The only problem with compiling a collection of Horace Silver songs for a CD project is limiting yourself to the few that you can fit onto one CD. We were able to get eleven tracks onto this guitar/bass duo project. It would have been easy to choose eleven more.
I had been entertaining the idea of a Horace Silver project for a couple of years as I noticed that there were five or six of his tunes which I found myself frequently calling at various gigs. I had a lot of fun going through all my Horace Silver CDs choosing a few more tunes to round out our project. I was really surprised to find that my two favorite discoveries, Enchantment and Calcutta Cutie, have rarely been recorded (only a couple of times each).
Horace Silver's compositions adapt very well to the guitar/bass duo format. I find so many of his tunes are identified not simply by the straight melody line, but rather by two parts. For example, the harmonized horns in songs such as the aforementioned Enchantment and Calcutta Cutie, or the chromatic bass line framing the simple melody in the minor blues Soulville. These songs just don't sound complete without both components. These "hooks" lend themselves well to dividing the elements between the two stringed instruments which can both cover a lot of ground.
We had a lot of fun playing this music. We hope you will enjoy listening to it.-Kevin Van Sant