Horace Silver: The Stylings of Silver (1957) Blue Note



Selection: Soulville

Selection 2: No Smokin’


Art Farmer (trumpet) Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone) Horace Silver (piano) Teddy Kotick (bass) Louis Hayes (drums) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 8, 1957


1957Art Farmer! Hank Mobley!! Who would have credited such a combination? Lyrical trumpet and malted tenor.Typically Horace, this is a perfectly balanced set of varied moods and tempo’s, graced with exquisite solo and collaborative performances. Though his mid ’60s work earned Horace the most acclaim, it’s his earlier work from the golden age of bop that is the most substantial. It’s Mobley. It’s Blue Note 1500 series. It’s cordon blue bop, inventive, lyrical, energetic, and substantial.

AllMusic fall back on the “enjoyable but not essential” line.

“All of Silver’s Blue Note quintet recordings are consistently superb and swinging and, although not essential, this is a very enjoyable set”.

Enjoyable but not essential, meh. Stylings of Silver may or may not be HS’s “best” album, but it is a better album than many others around. Following the siren-call of peak experience – being the first best fastest longest hottest coldest tallest most whatever, merely being good  can relegate something to the sidelines. It may or may not be Silver’s best album, but the best is the enemy of the good, the merely enjoyable can become overlooked.

Sonny Rollins may be a more accomplished  tenor  player than any other, but that doesn’t mean you should listen only to Rollins. Listening to music requires a varied diet of contrasting material. Coltrane is not better than Mingus, both are enjoyable, and exciting. What matters is whether music is enjoyable, and the only way to know that is to sit and listen. If it isn’t doing it for you, take it off the turntable and come back to it another time. Sometimes your enjoyment is influenced by what else you have been listening to at the time. There will be other times. I had forgotten how good this is.

Vinyl: BN 1562 on mixed 47W63rd and NY labels;

RVG stamp and 9M etched, original stampers but pressed somewhere around 1962, laminated heavy card cover, possibly an original cover from stock. Many copies of these Horace Silver albums turn up with mixed labels, suggesting Horace albums sold well and were subject to further pressings.



Collector’s Corner

As the Tour de France races through London, this retrospective Tour de Horace is reaching its final stages, just a couple more laps. It has sparked off some interesting and unexpected new lines of enquiry.

It also marks my 600th post, which has taken LJC now to over 900,000 page views, and I hope, will reach over one million somewhere in September. Haven’t you guys anything better to do? I certainly don’t.

As an aside, LJC poster Rodrigo asks a pertinent question: whatever  happened to the piano in Hackensack? Did it move to Englwood Cliffs? Where is it now? Anybody know anything?



13 thoughts on “Horace Silver: The Stylings of Silver (1957) Blue Note

  1. I have a question regarding the 9M etching. In your excellent Blue Note label guide pages you mention that the 9M etching is on pressing from 1956-1957, but you now mention 1962 for this pressing. Have I misinterpreted your holy scriptures?

  2. yesterday, not thirty minutes after reading this entry before leaving work, i went to my local record store, as i tend to do on tuesday evenings, and BAM! there was an original lexington avenue pressing in VG+ condition for a VERY reasonable price waiting for me.

    i have a list of records i would like you to write about so that we can exploit this superpower. where do i send it? 🙂

    • Yes, I confess, I am gifted with superpowers. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Cause Lexingtons to appear at reasonable prices! I am SuperLJC!

      Send in your wants lists, and let’s unleash miracles ;-).

  3. LJC, thanks for reviewing this album and the many other Silver albums. I am a huge fan of his music and was sorry I couldn’t make it up to NYC for the memorial service held for him last night. I do know some folks who did attend the services and were sad for the occasion but happy to remember the man in such fashion.

    I know a shop near me that has a nice looking copy of “Further Explorations.” I’ve tried reading up online about that HS album but haven’t come across that many opinions on it. I guess it’s hard to go wrong w/ Clifford Jordan and Art Farmer fronting the group but I was curious to learn if you have that album and what you think about it.

    As a new(er) follower of your blog, I too greatly appreciate these posts – as modern technology goes, I was excited to learn that I can stream music from your sites whilst driving in my car over bluetooth. Quite interesting (and of course great) to hear the crinkling of a record playing over my car stereo system!

    • Bob, IMHO, you cannot go wrong with “Further Explorations,” one of my favorites. It has some superb writing, playing, and a great line-up. Buy it without reservation. First pressing will have W63rd, P, no R, dg both sides, no address on the jacket, if you care about that sort of thing.

      • Mr Fancy, thanks again for the strong recommendation. I of course made my way back to the local record shop to score “Further Explorations” today during my lunch break. I’m happy to disclose that it IS a first pressing w/ all of the qualifiers you’ve listed above and looks to be in very nice shape. Can’t wait to give it my full and undivided attention on the turntable very soon ;*)

    • Blue tooth? Consult dentist!

      Further Explorations is a great record which has always escaped me as an original (yes, it matters) . I have a modest vintageJapanese press, which I might with a fair wind add as a footnote, if there is an appetite for more. There’s a few more tricks up the LJC sleeve.

      • Thanks for the input, you’ve made the decision pretty clear that I must buy this album, fairly certain it’s a first pressing [cough cough enablers!]. And yes I really must see the dentist about this blue tooth problem, appt set for tomorrow at tooth hurty (sorry couldn’t resist).

  4. LJC,

    Can I simply say that your blog makes me very very happy. It helps me realize there are kindred spirits out there who appreciate the relentlessly beautiful simplicity of good jazz records. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  5. Great record, also let’s not forget the superb cover photo. Class.

    Agree with Dottor – it’s been fun to watch the site grow into such a friendly, community-driven reference site. Kudos to Andrew.

  6. Same here, Dottore. Glad I was around as one of the ‘fervent rookies’ to see LJC grow into what it is today.

    I’ll make sure to keep on visiting as much as possible, because who doesn’t want to win that secret copy of Mobley’s 1568 that LJC has in store for the millionth visitor?! 😀 😉

  7. I’ve been thinking ’bout this some time: we are approaching one million page views.
    I had the opportunity to follow LJC since its beginning.
    he started as a personal Jazz lover site but, month after month, contents have grown to become e real reference in many subjects.
    I know that many collectors search here for unusual info on label.
    I’m proud to be here to enjoy, learn and share my knowledge together with real jazz gurus as well as fervent rookies.
    ah, Andrew is goin’ to announce the next millionaire will be presented with a secret original 1568 he hasn’t yet written about.

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