Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Horace and Mike: Cookin’ at the Continental

Horace Silver was the subject of an earlier feature on JazzProfiles which you can locate via this link.

My favorite among Horace’s many Blue Note albums is Finger Poppin’ which contains his original composition – Cookin’ at the Continental.

Mike Abene, the renown Jazz composer-arranger, scored Cookin’ at the Continental for the GRP All-Star Big Band, and we have used this version as the audio track for the following video tribute to Horace.

The first time I heard Mike’s arrangement of the tune, I was surprised by the fact the he took Horace’s solo from the original recording and arranged it for the entire band – no mean feat!

As Mike explains: “It’s a great solo that he plays on that, so I had a couple of friends, Bill Kirchner and Andy Boehmke, transcribe Horace’s solo and I used it for the ensemble. By using the solo as an ensemble line and kind of expanding the harmony a little, it puts the song in a new perspective.  The hardest part for me was trying to orchestrate Horace’s solo, because since it’s a piano solo, it covers six octaves.”

Arturo Sandoval takes the trumpet solo, followed by Tom Scott’s tenor solo; Mike’s orchestration of Horace’s piano solo begins at 3:22 and ends at 4:47 minutes.