The first Gilles Peterson show I really remember listening to is still one of my favourites.
It was 1994 and a friend at university had been sent a tape of one of Gilles’ Sunday afternoon shows for Kiss which he kindly copied for me (illegal downloads, analogue style). What blew my mind then and still sums up what I love about Peterson’s approach to music is that in the same show, and almost back to back, he played Josh Wink’s acid classic Higher State Of Consciousness and the epic Sayonara Blues by The Horace Silver Quintet.
Whilst I can’t say I still listen to the former much anymore, Sayonara Blues has gone on to be one of my favourite ever pieces of music. It led to me buying quite a few of Silver’s other albums and it’s why I was really sad to hear of his passing, though at 85 he certainly had a good innings, and an eventful one at that*.
Anyway, words can’t do justice to the man, so I’ll finish where I started, and leave you with this tribute mix that Gilles has made of Horace Silver’s amazing back catalogue.
*Including being part of that photo you can see at the top of this post, A Great Day In Harlem, taken for Esquire in 1958. An amazing story in and of itself.