Got The Senor Blues: Jazz Pianist Horace Silver Dies

silver, horace-senor blues LP2I have a general recollection of the first time I heard the piano of Horace Silver. There was an odd (but likeable) funk and his left hand tended to hit somewhat dissonant block chords I wasn’t used to. But mostly, it was his melodies that stood out. I believe that’s why Silver will be remembered long after his death on June 18, 2014. It was Bud Powell’s prowess at the keys that made you stop and listen. With Silver, it’s the melody. Not that all his melodies were happy and bright. His minor mood often came through in memorable ways, too. Continue reading

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Lost! Big Al Farleigh

Big Al webI wondered what would happen to Big Al’s Record Barn. Al’s has been ‘closing’ for well over a year and it looked like it was going to keep on chuggin’ along. But with the death of owner Al Farleigh on April 30, 2014 due to complications from tonsil cancer, the future of the store is a bit murkier. Al’s son, Will, is hoping for a buyer to come along and take over the inventory. Continue reading

Lost! Cedar Walton & Eydie Gorme

walton-cedar-tixWe lost a very fine jazz pianist today (Aug 19, 2013) in Cedar Walton, who died at 74. I was fortunate to hear him live on two, or was it three occasions, all at Yoshi’s Nightclub in Oakland, CA. There was a life in his playing, a bright spark that came through. He genuinely enjoyed playing to his audience and seemed like an all around nice guy. Walton’s history is pretty deep, you can dig up the details by online search. Suffice to say that he was among the barest handful of greats who were still alive, still playing well. I suspect he wasn’t near the top of most lists because he didn’t become better known until the early 60s, much later than Bud Powell, Monk or Bill Evans. Continue reading