Personnel: Horace Silver (piano); Bill Henderson (vocals); Hank Mobley, Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Doug Watkins, Gene Taylor (bass); Louis Hayes (drums).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on November 10, 1956 and June 15, 1958. Originally released on Blue Note (1539). Includes liner notes by Leonard Feather and Bob Blumenthal.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Rudy Van Gelder (2000, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).
This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series.
The Horace Silver Blue Note catalog would not be complete without SIX PIECES OF SILVER, a session that put the pianist on the map as a leader. After leaving the Jazz Messengers to Art Blakey, this session gave Silver a solid foothold as a solo hard bop contender, as witnessed by the ultra-funky "Senor Blues." Though his classic quintet was a few years off, SIX PIECES features many of Silver's Messengers cohorts including Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Doug Watkins, and the drummer that best suited the funky pianist, Louis Hayes.
The session gets off to a rocking start with "Cool Eyes," a swinging testament to Silver's writing and arranging strengths. Switching gears drastically, the somber ballad "Shirl" is one of his most introspective works. The often-covered hit "Senor Blues" is presented here in three versions: the regular album-length take, a shorter single version, and a vocal rendition by singer Bill Henderson, who was then a newcomer on the New York scene. The only standard of the set, the classic "For Heaven's Sake," is a touching ballad that remains a favorite of many pianists, and Silver performs it here with his usual superb taste.