Horace Silver: Highest Marks for Billy Higgins

SKF NOTE: I’ve always thought pianist Horace Silver‘s left hand comping makes great fodder for drummers’ left hand comping. That idea first came to me listening to Blue Note’s classic albums, A Night at Birdland Vols. 1 and 2. Recording as the Art Blakey Quintet, the group made up of Blakey (drums), Clifford Brown (trumpet), Lou Donaldson (alto sax), Curley Russell (bass), and Horace Silver (piano) was an early version of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

Both albums are great, but give them a listen, or another listen, and focus on Silver’s left hand.

This morning I came across a letter to the editor (Chords & Discords) from Horace Silver in the May 2, 1968 Down Beat. Silver’s reference to an earlier DB piece on drummer Billy Higgins is intriguing. I’ll have to track it down. Horace Silver, after all, recommends all drummers “read and digest that article very carefully.”

Okay. I will. Meanwhile, here’s Mr. Silvers’s letter.

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From One Who Knows

I would like to say how much I enjoyed the article on Billy Higgins in the recent drum issue, and how important I think it is that young drummers read that article. There’s a lot of valuable information there.

I meet many young drummers in my travels who ask me what they should study and who they should listen to, etc. etc. I think Billy tells them pretty much where it’s at, and I recommend that all young drummers read and digest that article very carefully.

Horace Silver
New York City

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