Top Artists – Horace Silver

Horace Silver Quintet – Silver’s Serenade

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  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides of this copy of The Horace Silver Quintet’s final album together
  • Only the second copy of Silver Serenade to ever hit the site, it is incredibly hard to find Silver’s records in stereo with the right stampers and good sound
  • Thanks to RVG, the sound here is wonderfully full-bodied, lively and musical with a relatively bottom end
  • 4 stars: “The band had made five previous recordings for the label, all of them successful. The program here is comprised of Silver compositions. The blowing is a meld of relaxed, soulful, and swinging hard bop, as evidenced in the title track… This is another excellent recording by the greatest Silver quintet.”

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The Horace Silver Quintet – The Cape Verdean Blues

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  • The Cape Verdean Blues makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This vintage stereo LP is well balanced, big and lively, with wonderful clarity in the mids and highs, and a spacious soundfield
  • RVG in 1966 is hard to beat for you-are-there immediacy, and we guarantee this pressing delivers on that sound like no other copy you’ve ever heard, especially if all you’ve heard is the kind of vague, veiled, lifeless modern reissue that seems to be everywhere these days
  • 4 stars: “… there’s a spirit of adventure that pervades the entire album, a sense of exploration that wouldn’t have been quite the same with Silver’s quintet of old…”

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Horace Silver Quintet – Serenade To A Soul Sister

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  • A stunning sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from the first note to the last
  • This copy was clearly cut with super-low distortion mastering equipment, and boy does it help the sound
  • Rudy Van Gelder did an outstanding job as usual engineering these 1968 quintet sessions, some of which include one of our favorite tenor men, Stanley Turrentine
  • 4 1/2 stars: “One of the last great Horace Silver albums for Blue Note, Serenade to a Soul Sister is also one of the pianist’s most infectiously cheerful, good-humored outings… it’s hard to argue with musical results as joyous and tightly performed as Serenade to a Soul Sister.”

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Horace Silver Quintet – The Stylings of Silver

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  • With superb Triple Plus (A+++) grades on side two and Double Plus (A++) sound on side one, this is one of the best copies of Silver’s 1957 classic we’ve ever heard
  • The last copy to hit the site went up in 2016 – clean Horace Silver records in stereo with the right stampers and good sound are hard to find!
  • Rich and solid, this is the kind of sound that makes us sit up and take notice – Thanks RVG, we love your work (when it sounds like this)
  • “All of Silver’s Blue Note quintet recordings are consistently superb and swinging…”

I chanced upon a clean copy of this album in a store last year. When I got home with it I found I loved the music and I loved the sound. I then went about buying them up as fast as I could, returning something on the order of half the copies I was sent: some for scratches, some for the wrong labels, some for being mono — you never know what you’re going to get when you order records online!

Except from us of course. Unless something goes terribly wrong you will always get a good sounding, reasonably quiet record from us.

RVG in ’57

The best copies are just bigger, fuller and more present than others. The sound is natural and REAL, with exceptional space and see-through transparency, something that practically no heavy vinyl modern pressing we’ve ever played can reproduce.

Classic Records remastered the album, Music Matters remastered it, and there are plenty of copies of both out there. If you have either one, do yourself a favor and order up this Hot Stamper. We’re pretty sure you will be amazed at how much more musical involvement you will find on it, involvement that will be lacking when you go back to the Heavy Vinyl LP.

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Horace Silver Quintet – Doin’ The Thing

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Minty Blue Note LP has EXCELLENT LIVE JAZZ SOUND! It’s rich, full, and tonally correct from top to bottom. Just listen to the cymbals on the track Doin’ The Thing — you’ll hear how wonderfully extended the top end is.

“This live set (recorded at the Village Gate) finds pianist/composer Horace Silver and his most acclaimed quintet (the one with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks) stretching out on four selections, including his new song Filthy McNasty… [An] enjoyable and always funky hard bop session.” (more…)

Horace Silver – Horace-Scope

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

The really good RVG pressings (often on the later labels) sound shockingly close to live music — uncompressed, present, full of energy, with the instruments clearly located on a wide and often deep soundstage, surrounded by the natural space and cool air of his New Jersey studio. As our stereo has improved, and we’ve found better pressings and learned how to clean them better, his “you-are-there” live jazz sound has come to impress us more and more.

Side One

Present, clear, natural and balanced, with no smear on the piano (or anything else), this side was doing pretty much everything right. RVG has never had the best sounding piano in his studio but it sounds right on the Blue Note for a Blue Note.

Side Two

Perhaps even a bit better, this side is big, lively and clear. If you can bring a bit more Tubey Magic to the sound so much the better. (more…)

Horace Silver Quintet – The Tokyo Blues – Reviewed in 2009

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This QUIET Blue Note ’70s issue LP has a PHENOMENAL SIDE ONE and a GREAT SIDE TWO! It’s one of the better sounding Blue Notes we’ve heard over the last few months.

I’ve played quite a few of these over the years and I’ve NEVER heard a side one this good. (We did hear a slightly better side two earlier this year.) The sound is full-bodied and shockingly transparent with real depth to the soundfield. The brass has a nice bite and the piano sound is superb — you can very clearly hear the sound of the little hammers hitting the strings inside! Piano jazz almost never sounds this good.

Side two is very transparent with lots of ambience, but not quite as good as side one. The piano sounds excellent, but there’s a touch of grit and grain at times that doesn’t show up on side one.

We sometimes prefer the sound on the later Blue Note issues to the sound of the New York and Liberty label pressings. Modern cutting equipment allows for improved clarity, more weight to the bottom, and less grit and grain up top.

Of course, many of the later pressings are just plain awful, and some originals are mindblowingly good. If there was an easier way to know what copies sounded good than cleaning them and playing them, our work would be a heckuva lot easier.

I wish we could find more copies of Song For My Father that sounded this good! (more…)

Horace Silver – Song For My Father – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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This White Hot Stamper reissue pressing has the BEST SOUND WE HAVE EVER HEARD for this album — on either side! This copy has the kind of sound and quiet vinyl we have been trying to find for years, and now it is here!

This is our first Hot Stamper listing for the album, and believe me, it’s not for want of trying. The best sounding original copies I had picked up over the years were far too noisy and scratched to be acceptable to audiophiles, not to mention the fact that the originals were (and are) replete with mastering issues that often exacerbate problems in the recording itself.

Trade-Offs

Having said all that, every Hot Stamper copy we found had its own mastering strengths and weaknesses — the tubey magic and fullness in the best originals isn’t really heard on the later pressings, but the later pressings have a clarity and freedom from obvious compressor and cutter-head distortion that makes them appealing in their own right, not to mention much better brass sound: more dynamic and less smeared.

Rudy, Nice Piano For a Change! (more…)

Horace Silver – Song For My Father

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  • You’ll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on this Blue Note Jazz classic
  • The piano is clear and clean here, with much more weight and solidity than one would expect from an RVG recording
  • This copy was obviously cut with super-low distortion mastering equipment, and boy does it help the sound
  • 5 Stars: “Horace Silver’s signature LP and the peak of a discography already studded with classics. Silver was always a master at balancing jumping rhythms with complex harmonies for a unique blend of earthiness and sophistication, and Song for My Father has perhaps the most sophisticated air of all his albums…”

The leading edge transients on the horns here are excellent, with the pinched quality you hear on some tracks kept to a minimum. The whole of the ensemble is transparently clear. (more…)

Horace Silver – Blowin’ The Blues Away

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  • A KILLER sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout – reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • Another triumph for Rudy Van Gelder – he refined a “live-in-the-studio” jazz sound that still sounds fresh to this day, even after 60 years
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Blowin’ the Blues Away is one of Horace Silver’s all-time Blue Note classics, only upping the ante established on Finger Poppin’ for tightly constructed, joyfully infectious hard bop… one of Silver’s finest albums, and it’s virtually impossible to dislike.”

The really good RVG pressings (often on the later labels) sound shockingly close to live music — uncompressed, present, full of energy, with the instruments clearly located on a wide and often deep soundstage, surrounded by the natural space and cool air of his New Jersey studio. As our stereo has improved, and we’ve found better pressings and learned how to clean them better, his “you-are-there” live jazz sound has come to impress us more and more. (more…)