Horace SILVER – In Pursuit of the 27th Man 1972

Horace SILVER – In Pursuit of the 27th Man 1972


Here’s a rare item in Horace Silver’s discography as a leader: a session with vibraphonist David Friedman and no horns. (Flutist Hubert Laws was originally slated to have been involved as well, but was prevented from doing so by his record company.) “In Pursuit of the 27th Man” was one of four pieces recorded by this quartet. The album was completed with three other selections by Silver, Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker, and two then-rising young players, trumpeter Randy Brecker and his younger brother, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker.

This tune finds Silver in a modal mood—C Phrygian, to be precise. It also shows him as a more interactive accompanist than has usually been the case. This is especially true during the last half of the track. (Typically, Silver—to quote critic Martin Williams— “bounces, barks and chops” behind soloists, to generally positive effect.)
By Bill Kirchner.
In Pursuit of the 27th Man may not be the best CD Horace Silver has ever made but it is one of the most intriguing. Recorded in 1972–a time when undiluted jazz was considered commercial anathema–it found Silver cleverly adapting some of the latest fusion devices while remaining true to his soulful and quirkily melodic style. That the mixture was successful both aesthetically and in terms of sales was all the more remarkable for it being, in effect, two separate projects. Three tracks feature the Brecker brothers, Randy and Michael, in some typically forthright (though newly tinged) Silver originals; the other four team him with vibist David Friedman, once a classical percussionist. Of the former, “Liberated Brother” is especially invigorating, while amongst the latter “Kathy” and “Summer in Central Park” are quite delightful, the last-named operating partly as homage to John Lewis’s celebrated “Skating in Central Park”. Throughout drummer Mickey Roker and Bob Cranshaw on electric bass provide immaculate and always apposite support. Unlike a lot of “real” fusion, this album has not dated one bit, and its still-fresh and cogent music is thoroughly recommended.
By Richard Palmer.
This obscure Horace Silver LP features two separate sessions by the pianist/composer. On three selections he is joined by trumpeter Randy Brecker, tenor great Michael Brecker, Bob Cranshaw on electric bass and drummer Mickey Roker. The other four numbers feature vibraphonist David Friedman in a quartet with Silver, Cranshaw and Roker, a very unusual sound for a Horace Silver set. But no matter what the instrumentation, the style is pure Silver, hard-driving and melodic hard bop with a strong dose of funky soul.
By Scott Yanow. AMG.
This recording definitely has a bit of “showbiz” sheen to it, but, as other people has said, it also has a dark day and mysterious depth to it that makes for an interesting tension. The soloing and ensemble work is immaculate throughout and I have always found it exceptionally accessible to the ear. It grabs you and doesn’t let go. “Gregory is Here” should be singled out for its straight ahead and insistent joy (a quality of much of Horace’s music!). The quiet tunes have a very special reflective feeling to them, almost trance like, much of course owing to the great vibes work. A wonderful record for musicians to learn from and for anyone to enjoy!
By Kenneth Seidman.
Bass [Electric]- Bob Cranshaw )
Drums- Mickey Roker
Piano- Horace Silver
Producer- George Butler
Saxophone [Tenor]- Michael Brecker (tracks: A1, A3, B2)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn- Randy Brecker (tracks: A1, A3, B2)
Vibraphone- David Friedman (tracks: A2, B1, B2, B3)
Composed By- Horace Silver (tracks: A3, A4, A4 B3) , Livingston, Evans (tracks: A2) , Santos (tracks: A2) , Weldon Irvine (tracks: A1)
A1. Liberated Brother  5:20
A2. Kathy  4:15
A3. Gregory Is Here  6:18
A4. Summer In Central Park  4:38
B1. Nothin’ Can Stop Me Now  5:13
B2. In Pursuit Of The 27th Man  9:42
B3. Strange Vibes  5:02

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