My first radio interview in the US since 1993. With Brad Chambers at www.martiniinthemorning.com
David sings and plays songs from the great American songbooks of the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Jimmy McHugh, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hart, Cy Coleman and so many others.
Growing up in the North Hollywood area of California David first started playing the clarinet at Colfax elementary school. His first music teachers were John Newsome and Ralph LaPolla. When he entered Walter Reed junior high he switched to piano and was highly influenced by the music teacher Tim Innocencio. Someone who remained a life long friend and mentor to David. David formed small combos in junior high with student bass players and drummers and was highly influenced by the music of Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole, Vince Guaraldi and Monty Alexander. This was the 70's when all his other friends were listening to rock and roll.
Attending North Hollywood High School David formed a quartet and started working as a professional musician. Don Randi the well known jazz pianist and owner of the famed Baked Potato Jazz club gave the quartet the opportunity to perform at his club every Sunday afternoon for 3 years. It was during this time that David got to listen to and sit in with such jazz greats as Harry Sweets Edsion, Earl Palmer, Joe Pass, Benny Carter, Lou Rawls, Jimmy Rowles, Dave McKay, Lou Levy, Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams, Frank Rosolino, Bud Shank, Tom Scott, Joe Sample, Shorty Rogers, Conte Condoli and many other super star Los Angeles based Studio musicians that played at the Baked Potato during the 1970's. This was the place for jazz in Los Angeles. "This was a musical experience that he could never have learned in any music school" David says. We got to hang out there even though we were all under age at the time. Sitting 5-10 feet away from Jazz legends was an unforgettable experience. Other Los Angeles jazz clubs like Dontes and Shelly's Manne Hole do not exist these days for young jazz musicians just starting out.
In 1972 the David Silverman Quartet won 1st place at the Hollywood Bowl "Battle of the Bands". David left Los Angeles in 1974 and began traveling around the US playing nearly all styles of music with many great musicians. David has lived and worked in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dallas, Texas. During this time David performed with Clark Terry, Barney Kessel, Paul Horn, Eddie Harris, Monty Budwig, Colin Bailey, Andy Simpkins, John Worster, Harry Sweets Edison and others.
The late 80's returning to Los Angeles for a 2 year stint at the world famous Bel-Air Hotel. 1988 was year that changed David's life forever. He met famed singer, teacher and mentor Jeri Southern. Chapters could be written on this wonderful, spiritual, loving and very brief 3 year relationship with Jeri. "Everything I thought I knew about music I quickly forgot". David Studied piano and voice with Jeri 365 days a year. "She taught me to listen to music and to listen to singers". Jeri was a master at diction and phrasing. She was also a world class pianist, composer and arranger. Jeri Southern passed away in 1991. "I might get everything she taught me correct one of these days if I live long enough". "Every musician and singer should be as fortunate and lucky as I have been to have met and studied with Jeri Southern". Jeri introduced David to the great "Late night TV" inventor Steve Allen. David and Steve recorded an album together in 1994. Jeri also introduced David to Anita O'day and Peggy Lee. David performed with these two wonderful ladies of song during the 1990's.
In 1990 David began going to Japan and performing internationally traveling to 17 countries. He has performed extensively in England, France, and Brazil. Not unlike many other American Jazz musicians David has always had a great passion and love of Brazilian music from the 1960's and 70's.
David has recorded for the Chase Music Group Record Co. in the US and has been a King Records Tokyo, Japan recording artist since 1995. A brand new CD is due out this year.
There are no new sins. Even when the wonders of modern technology extrapolate the possibilities of evil, the essence is still the same, and very ancient. The modern cult of ugliness then is largely a matter of difference in degree. But one makes such observations chiefly to ward off accusations of moral naivete.
Recent findings, which have merely comfirmed long-held suspicions, suggest that something about our present culture and civilization is literally inimical to human nurture. We should not be surprised to find the same tragic reality reflected in the popular arts.
While it would be unnecessary exaggeration to suggest that beauty in it's traditional forms is now an unmarketable commodity, the fact remains that ugliness is rampant. The evidence is there in the nightmare of our modern urban culture. The excessive noise, the mindless, vile graffiti, the general illiteracy of the lyrics of popular songs , the guiltless assertion of political cruelty, the grating, barbaric yawp and rasp of heavy metal , punk and other modern musical forms , the general substitution of volume and rhythm for harmony and melody - it is all - well, really too much.
Thank God for the saving remnant, the minority of singers and instrumentalists capable of producing pleasant sounds. There are young artists whose emergence cheers the heart.
There is Harry Connick Jr., there is Michael Feinstein, Diane Schur , Roseanna Vitro.
And now, there's the fresh new voice of David Silverman.
How do they get here? What explains the resistence of these very young traditionalists to the tidal waves of the culture in which they are socially immersed.
Or, to turn the question around , since it is obvious that the American composers of the Golden - Age the Gershwin's, Porter's, Berlin's, Kern's, Mercer's, Ellingtons - were vastly more gifted than those presently providing the glut of American music - how does it happen that only a small number of those in their 20s sense that superiority and gravitate toward it?
I argue that we should formally study such case. Was a parent wise enough to brainwash his children with recordings in the Basie - Torme - Sinatra - Tony Bennett - Peggy Lee tradition? Could it be that simple?
Were the new young singers somehow genetically programmed to seperate quality-fare from drek? Whatever the influences might have been they should now be identified and made available to a greater number.
Often it would be found that a particular mentor was influential. In the case of David Silverman, that guide was Jeri Southern, herself a fine singer and accompanist.
Well, for whatever reasons, Silverman got the message. He is, first of all, a good singer with a clear, pleasant sound of the traditional sort. Not a syllable he utters is garbled or moaned into incoherence.
David's taste, as regards individual selections, is close to impeccable. Although giving credit where credit is due, David says all the selections except two instrumentals, were suggested by Jeri Southern. The 1930's ballad, "Blame It On My Youth" is a canny choice in that Silverman's voice sounds even younger than his 26 years. STEVE ALLEN -1993
My 1st CD review several years ago. By Scott Yanow.
A protégé of Jeri Southern, singer David Silverman has a clear voice and the ability to swing while still being a superior interpreter of lyrics. His piano playing is excellent in the jazz mainstream, as shown on two instrumentals (Wes Montgomery's "Fried Pies" and "Beautiful Love") and in short solos on his 13 vocal pieces. Highlights include "I Won't Dance," "Let's Fly Away," "Rhode Island Is Famous for You" and the Peggy Lee-associated "I Love Being Here With You." Silverman (who is accompanied by bassist Paul Gormley and drummer Paul Kreibich) is in fine form throughout his recording debut.
This review was written before I moved to Japan in 1994.
JAZZ REVIEW : Silverman Has Learned Well From Southern
Pianist and singer David Silverman, who appears three nights a week at the Smoke House in Burbank, is a student of Jeri Southern, who since her own performing days ended in the 1960s has been a busy teacher of piano and voice.
Silverman has learned well. His piano, displaying no trace of bebop, steers down the middle of the road. His single-note lines often have an attractive behind-the-beat tendency. He also makes good use of two-handed chording and his choice of tunes mixes standards with such lesser-known but handsome vehicles as Alec Wilder's "Give Me Time" and the Fats Domino hit "I'm Walkin'."
As a singer, he has a pleading, sometimes confidential quality, well-suited to such ballads as "Just for a Thrill." His diction is flawless.
Everything about Silverman is diminutive: his stature, his hands (one wonders how he manages even to stretch a tenth) and his voice, which could use a little practice in the upper register, where his intonation fails him now and then.
But the overall impression is that of a consistently listenable artist. He is accompanied Thursdays by bassist Monty Budwig and on Fridays and Saturdays by drummer Paul Kreibich.
This quote is from Liner notes from my 1st CD released in 1993 * * * * * In the old original TONIGHT SHOW days, before the untutored tastes of 14 year olds with discretionary spending money came to dominate the recording industry, I would have booked David for repeated TV appearances, as a results of which his remarkable talent would have assured him of commercial success. Today there can be no such guarantees, only partly for the reason that none of the current school of talk show hosts seems to have any particular sympathetic interest in American music" - STEVE ALLEN
David Silverman Swingin’ Sweet (King Records)
David Silverman Softly (King Records)
Pianist-singer David Silverman was born in North Hollywood and grew up listening to big band music and singers. He began playing piano in junior high school and by high school was gigging, playing every Sunday afternoon at the Baked Potato. In the 1980s Silverman played for two years at the Bel Air Hotel. He studied with Jeri Southern during 1988-91, recorded with Steve Allen, and worked with Anita O’Day and Peggy Lee. He first visited Japan in 1990, moving to Tokyo in 1994 where he performed and recorded regularly. In 2012 he moved back to Los Angeles.
Two of David Silverman’s Japanese-released albums from 1995 are covered in this review. Swingin’ Sweet features him as the leader of groups that are sometimes as large as a quintet with trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison, tenor-saxophonist Gordon Brisker, drummer Jim Paxon and either Andy Simpkins or Robert Daugherty on bass while Softly is a set of duets with Daugherty. David Silverman’s singing and playing are often reminiscent of Nat King Cole, particularly on Softly which includes many Cole-associated numbers (including “Sweet Lorraine,” “For Sentimental Reasons,” “Route 66,” “Too Young” and “Unforgettable”), although it also displays his own musical personality. His light-toned singing is always musical, pays justice to the lyrics he interprets, and swings while his piano playing is equally enjoyable. Softly consists of 15 standards with the least known being Jeri Southern’s “Ooh I’d Love To See Your Face.” Swingin’ Sweet has Silverman alternating familiar songs with such relative obscurities as “I Won’t Believe My Eyes,” “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head,” “London By Night,” “A Song For Christmas” and “Touch The Earth.”
While I would give Softly the edge since it puts more of a focus on David Silverman (a talent well worth discovering), both CDs are excellent, recommended and available from www.davidsilvermanjazz.com.
Another new super nice review of two of my Japan Released CD's on King Records. From JOE LANG in the September issue of JERSEY JAZZ. Thanks so much Joe for all the kind words. Much appreciated, David
Vocalist/pianist DAVID SILVERMAN has had an interesting performing history that began while he was still in high school playing at Don Randi's Baked Potato. He is from Los Angeles. He left Los Angeles in 1974 to travel around the country as a performer, settling down for periods in Albuquerque and Dallas before returning to his home town in the late 1980s. Once home, he connected with the legendary vocalist/pianist, Jeri Southern who became a friend, teacher and mentor. He became a steady presence on the L.A. scene, and started traveling internationally, and found a new home base in 1994 in Japan where he performed and recorded for 18 years. Recently returned to Los Angeles, he has been working his way back into that performing scene. Recently two of his Japanese-released CDs from the mid-1990s came to my attention, and they give a good sampling of his vocalizing and keyboard talents. Swingin’ Sweet (King Records – 259) finds Silverman in the company of Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet, Gordon Brisker on tenor sax and flute, Andy Simpkins or Robert Daugherty on bass and Jim Paxson on drums for 17 selections. Softly (King Records – 240) is a duo album of 16 songs by Silverman and Daugherty. Silverman has wonderfully absorbed the lessons from Jeri Southern. He has a pleasant, smooth baritone voice, a nicely understated approach to singing, pays careful attention to the lyrics, phrases with the knowing assurance and sophistication of a jazz guy, and chooses good songs to sing. These albums have a lot of the “West Coast Cool” sensitivity found in the Cheryl Bentyne/Mark Winkler album mentioned above. These are the kind of albums that make me close my eyes, and feel like I am in one of those small boîtes enjoying a good singer like David Silverman digging deeply into the Great American Songbook, and doing it with taste and musicality. Both CD's available at: (www.davidsilvermanjazz.com)
David Silverman sings and plays the "Great American Songbook" Standards. He has been living and performing in Japan for the last 18 years. His recent return to the USA is an exciting time to reconnect with many.