Personnel: Horace Silver (piano); Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Woody Shaw (trumpet); J.J. Johnson (trombone); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Roger Humphries (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on October 1 & 22, 1965. Includes liner notes by Bob Blumenthal and Leonard Feather.
This is part of Blue Note's RVG series.
Horace Silver turned to his unique heritage for inspiration on THE CAPE VERDEAN BLUES, a classic mid '60s Blue Note date from the master of funky Latin-tinged jazz. His father hailed from the Cape Verdean islands, and he had exposed his son to the beauty of his native music when the pianist was just a boy. Silver uses that spicy island flavor for several of BLUES' finger-popping tunes. As a bonus, trombone great J.J. Johnson augments Silver's quintet for the second half of the date, creating a staggering front line that also includes Woody Shaw and Joe Henderson.
The title track, one of the most danceable tunes in Silver's repertoire, captures the celebratory flavor of Cape Verdean music and sets all toes tapping right from the start. The pace changes with "The African Queen," the group going from whisper to roar as the full dynamic range within each chorus of this bluesy classic is explored. Two quintessential Silver compositions, the waltzing "Pretty Eyes" and "Nutville," are presented here--the latter a relentless barn-burner that features Johnson in a fiery solo spot. The sultry rumba "Bonita" and Henderson's exciting "Mo' Joe" round out BLUES, one of Silver's finest endeavors.