Album Review: Aspenrose: Live at the Opera House from Herb Silverstein

Album:  Aspenrose: Live at the Opera House
Artist:  Herb Silverstein
Label: Silver Tunes

Pianist and composer Herb Silverstein's online biography reveals that "In the early 1980s, one of Herb’s sons introduced him to a recording of Chick Corea, and this began a long love affair with jazz music."  His bond with stride piano, bebop, and improvised music has motivated him to release his 17th recording Aspenrose:  Live at the Opera House, recorded with Michael Ross on bass and produced by Silversten.  Containing twelve original compositions written by Silverstein, the listener immediately becomes aware of Silverstein's ability to create lyrical phrases that are comforting and therapeutic for the aural senses. 

His practice as an Otologist (the branch of medicine concerned with the ear) and as an Otolaryngologist (the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ears, nose, and throat), Silverstein has an intrinsic understanding of the auditory pathways of the human body.  His practice honed his talent to create music that is universally tuned to be pleasing to the human ear.  His recording lives up to that standard.

The strolling gait of his keys produce fluid motifs that form a charming bebop romp along "My Way or The Highway," acting like an exercise for the ears.  Silverstein's use of major notes on the piano flow with a seamless stride as Ross's chord movements complement and soften the pulsating lilt in Silverstein's melodic phrases.  The suave carriage in Silverstein's keys driving "Our Little Secret" has a romantic luster, while the jovial beat in his phrasing along "Synchrony" suspends the listener off the ground.   

Conversely, the dramatic tone of "Waiting By The Window" drapes the listener in a somber mood, setting the track apart from the upbeat feel generated throughout the recording.  The heady pulse piping through "Sb Blues" has a smooth blues vibe, and the sleek strut of Silverstein's keys sashaying across "She Only Has Eyes for Herb" keeps listeners elevated.

The harmony produced by Silverstein and Ross's exchanges is therapeutic for the ears.  Silverstein's music stimulates pleasing sensations in the listener, achieving what Art Blakey professed, that "Music washes away the dust of everyday life."

Herb Silverstein - piano
Michael Ross - bass


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