Friday, February 10, 2006

The Odd Spin 2/10: Horace Silver’s Guide to Growing Up

Every Friday we’ll be spinning some of the more bizarre, gimmicky jazz records ever recorded. Sometimes they worked. Often not. These schemes cooked up by over-imaginative A&R men are guaranteed to catch the eye, if not inspire confidence. Yet for a die-hard vinyl-hound, they have a beauty all their own.

Horace Silver's Guide to Growing Up
Leader, Piano: Horace Silver
Tenor Sax: Eddie Harris
Guitar: Joe Diorio
Bass: Bob Magnusson
Drums: Ron McCurdy
Recitations: Bill Cosby
Vocals: Feather (Weaver Copeland & Mahmu Pearl)
Label: Silveto
Recorded: 9/18/81 & 9/29/81

The dealio: Who better to help raise your kids than a group of jazz musicians? Don't worry, jazz enthusiast Bill Cosby (seen smiling with Silver on the jacket, I’d love to show it to you, but I believe in copy-write enforcement) is on hand to make sure everything is cool. Silver recorded this on his own Silveto label at a time when he was writing tunes with heavy New Age lyrics and ungainly titles like “The Soul in Communion with it’s Creator.” This LP continues that tradition with New Age parenting numbers like “Accepting Responsibility” and “Honesty and Self Control.”

The bottom line: Despite being didactic, in a New Agey kind of way, Silver’s Silveto sessions feature some great playing, most notably by Silver himself, and tenor great Eddie Harris. This LP is no exception. Look to pick it and other Silveto records up for $8-$12.