Down Beat (1960) - 5 Stars - Excellent - "...a lovely album, full of fire and brimstone....We're going to be playing this one for a long time..."
The Rudy Van Gelder Edition of BLOWIN' THE BLUES AWAY includes an essay by Bob Blumenthal.
Personnel: Horace Silver (piano); Junior Cook (tenor saxophone); Blue Mitchell (trumpet); Eugene Taylor (bass); Louis Hayes (drums).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on August 29 & 30 and September 13, 1959. Originally released on Blue Note (84017). Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler and Michael Cuscuna.
Digitally remastered using 24-bit technology by Rudy Van Gelder (Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey).
This is part of the Blue Note Rudy Van Gelder Editions series.
Besides the wildly popular SONG FOR MY FATHER, the second most acclaimed Horace Silver disc is the endlessly enjoyable BLOWIN' THE BLUES AWAY. This 1959 Blue Note date features the pianist in full stride with a quintet that includes trumpeter Blue Mitchell and saxophonist Junior Cook, two fellow proponents of funky hard bop. The gospel and R&B influence in Silver's approach is evident as finger-snapping grooves support bouncing melodies that bubble and pop with every chorus. As the title suggests, this music is a celebratory fanfare that washes away the hardships of everyday life.
The explosive title track opens the session with a bang as the group burns through the changes with tight precision and plenty of spirit. The jazzier "The St. Vitus Dance" is a swinging trio cut with hints of an Ellington influence among the bopping lines of Silver's solo. The most well known tunes here are the lush ballad "Peace," featuring outstanding work by Mitchell, and the classic "Sister Sadie," one of the most recorded Silver compositions in the jazz repertoire. Other highlights of this exemplary session are the bebop-flavored "Break City" and the aptly titled ballad "Melancholy Mood."
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