Horace Silver


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Career-spanning retrospectives are always difficult to pull off in jazz, since the music is often about the moment. An artist can peak for a few years, and that's what's worth hearing -- the rest is interesting, but not quite as compelling, as a lengthy four-disc box set can prove. That certainly isn't the case with the four-disc Horace Silver Retrospective, an excellent, involving trawl through the pianist's seminal stay at Blue Note. Apart from the fourth disc, which is filled with his trippy late-'60s/early-'70s recordings that are largely unavailable in the U.S., there's not too much here for collectors, but it's an ideal set for any listener that wants to hear Silver's hard, funky style evolve. At the end of the set, it's hard not to be impressed with the scope and evolution of his music.

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