Redhead Record Review – Serenade to a Soul Sister

Dedicated to my little soul sister Kim.

Our featured redhead is Rusty Staub, affectionately nicknamed “Le Grande Orange” during his stint with the expansion Montreal Expos. Rusty had a long and illustrious baseball career that spanned 23 seasons and 6 All-Star appearances.

Rusty’s achievements on the field are surpassed by his dedication to others.

On April 4, 1986, Staub established the Rusty Staub Foundation to provide educational scholarships for youth and fight hunger.

In 1985, Staub founded the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, which supports the families of New York City police officers, firefighters, Port Authority police, and emergency medical personnel who were killed in the line of duty. During its first 15 years of existence, the fund raised and distributed $11 million for families of policemen and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Since September 11, 2001, Staub’s organization has received contributions in excess of $112 million, and it has played a vital role in helping many families affected by the attack.


Our featured album is Serenade to a Soul Sister the 1968 Blue Note release by Horace Silver. While the opening track “Psychedelic Sally” is jumping and fun with an interesting bass line, to me it sounds a bit dated, and too similar to other popular jazz and funk compositions from this period. In contrast, the rest of the set is classic Silver with eclectic themes, rhythms and influences.

“Serenade to a Soul Sister” features a lively and thoughtful sax solo by Stanley Turrentine supported by Silver’s signature chorded rhythms.

“Rain Dance” makes use of a Native American inspired theme, much as Silver’s earlier album “The Tokyo Blues” displayed elements of Asian phrasing, while “Jungle Juice” is carried by a bouncing bass line and harmonized horn section.

“Kindred Spirits” follows a more traditional blues structure, at times echoing Coltrane’s “Cousin Mary.”

The final selection “Next Time I Fall in Love” is in the tradition of “Lonely Woman”, minus the melancholy.

If you are a fan of Horace Silver, this album is a must have for your collection.

Track listing
All compositions by Horace Silver.

Psychedelic Sally – 7:14
Serenade to a Soul Sister – 6:19
Rain Dance – 6:21
Jungle Juice – 6:46
Kindred Spirits – 5:55
Next Time I Fall in Love – 5:19


on tracks 1 – 3 (February 23, 1968)

Horace Silver – piano
Charles Tolliver – trumpet
Stanley Turrentine – tenor saxophone
Bob Cranshaw – bass, electric bass (on track 1)
Mickey Roker – drums

on tracks 4 – 6 (March 29, 1968)

Horace Silver – piano
Charles Tolliver – trumpet (exc. track 6)
Bennie Maupin – tenor saxophone (exc. track 6)
John Williams – bass
Billy Cobham – drums

Alfred Lion – production
Rudy Van Gelder – engineering
Reid Miles – design
Billy Cobham (Cover), Francis Wolff (Interior) – photography


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