cover image Let's Get to the Nitty Gritty: The Autobiography of Horace Silver

Let's Get to the Nitty Gritty: The Autobiography of Horace Silver

Horace Silver, , Edited with an afterword by Phil Pastras. . Univ. of California, $29.95 (264pp) ISBN 978-0-520-24374-3

Silver's contributions as pianist, producer, bandleader, composer and lyricist have catapulted him into the pantheon of jazz legends. Finding an "inner source of inspiration" for his music in dreams, tea kettle whistles, cricket chirps and the spirit world, Silver is an innovator whose musical influences include the blues as well as gospel, Latin, symphonic, Broadway shows and folk music. Painting a colorful backdrop of the jazz scene over six decades, Silver reveals the events behind songs like "Señor Blues" and "Song for My Father" as he traces his musical development from his youth in Norwalk, Conn. Following gigs in high school, he toured with Stan Getz, arriving in New York to team with top talents on club dates, recording sessions and radio broadcasts. In 1952, he began a 28-year association with Blue Note Records and then ran Silveto, his own independent record label, during the 1980s. Silver, now 78, has an astonishing recall of every musician he ever encountered, prompting plenty of anecdotes amid the solid self-insights. The critical afterword by Pastras (Dead Man Blues ) analyzes Silver's "steadfast refusal to let a groove become a rut." 17 b&w photos not seen by PW . (Mar. 6)