Many artists have covered pianist Horace Silver's compositions, but few have approached them with a freshness like multi-reed player Greg Abate. Accompanied by trumpeter Claudio Roditi, pianist Hilton Ruiz (on one of his last recording sessions prior to his mysterious death in 2006), bassist Marshall Wood, and drummer Artie Cabral, Abate reharmonized each of the pieces and gave them a new sound while retaining the essence of the original works. "Song for My Father" is a perfect example, with the leader's rich tenor blending with Roditi's mellow trumpet and a less pronounced rhythm. Abate is on alto for "Nica's Dream," which has a more breezy air, almost seeming to float over its hard bop inner soul. Wood's brooding bass introduces "Peace," with Abate's mournful soprano sax beautifully backed by Ruiz's almost reverent piano. Abate also penned two solid tribute to Silver, the hip "Horace Is Here" and the turbulent "On the Road." Greg Abate's salute to Horace Silver will please fans of the hard bop giant's music.
Horace Is Here: A Tribute to Horace Silver Review
by Ken Dryden