Horace Silver compositions are often as fun to play as they are to listen to, and this is one of my favorites. This song doesn’t get much recognition even among Silver aficionados, so recently I’ve been trying to insert it into the repertoire of some of the bands I play with.
Watermelon is the opening track on Introducing Nat Adderley, the trumpeter’s first album as a leader from 1955. Nat and his brother Julian were in their mid-20s at the time of this recording, and newcomers to the New York jazz scene, but they play with poise and maturity beyond their years on a program of mostly medium tempo swingers. In fact, the band sounds so cool and relaxed that in the hands of a lesser drummer the album might have lacked the vitality I usually associate with the Adderley brothers’ work. Luckily the master Roy Haynes is on hand to fan the flames.
I recently had the good fortune to share a bill with the Italian quartet Accordo dei Contrari. I was really impressed with the band’s rapport, and the way they make improvising over difficult music seem easy. This week, to keep my mind occupied while sitting in traffic, I’ve been enjoying their recent album Violato Intatto. This song in particular has sort of a Mahavishnu Orchestra vibe that I like.
You can hear for yourself on the band’s website.