Herb Silverstein is one of Florida’s pre-eminent otolaryngologists [to the non-medical reader, that is, one who specialises in the study of diseases of the ear and throat.]. The good doctor is also the eminence gris of the piano and a quintessential storyteller whose exquisite linear narratives are captured in primary colours and refined textures – in the manner of someone like Tommy Flanagan or Hank Jones. In terms of character, his compositions capture what appears to be greatest, most lyrical joy of vignettes in which he becomes a principal character with a very keen eye for detail at that
As a musician and a composer, the [medical] doctor in him recedes into the shadows, but not before it gives him what could be described as a surgeon’s scalpel in his hand [instead of a pencil, that is]. Armed with this what the eye appears to see and the ear seems to overhear is transferred with surgical precision to the page, only to have the black dots imprinted thereon fly off the page and dance dreamily in the air, like ballet dancers or ballroom dancers, seemingly oblivious to the curious listener.
Such charm might seem a rare find in a medical specialist whose mind defaults to the left hemisphere of the brain for dispassionate analysis. But his artistry reveals that Dr Silverstein is equally skilled when it comes employing his left hemisphere, which leaves him open to staying in touch with human feelings and emotion; with visualisation, imagination, intuition, rhythm, holistic thinking all of which makes him ideally equipped to be the artist that he is. This is what the music of Magic Hands is all about: the poetry of feeling.
The pianist and Michael Ross make wonderful bedfellows as the bassist [Mr Ross] anchors the pianist or reels him in after he has embarks on a flight of fancy. In sum, what both men do throughout the music of this recording is provide the listener with eloquent poetic vignettes that are vibrant, communicative and emotionally committed.
Track list – 1: Honesty; 2: Just Alone; 3: Blue Friday; 4: Century Remembered; 5: Night Crawler; 6: Magic Hands; 7: Sunday Brunch; 8: Once Upon a Dream; 9: Millennium Waltz; 10: Breath of Fresh Air Blues; 11: You’re Almost Right
Personnel – Herb Silverstein: piano; Michael Ross: contrabass
Released – 2021
Label – Silvertunes Music
Runtime – 47:23