Album Review of
The Hidden Standard

Written by Robert Silverstein
June 17, 2021 - 5:21pm EDT
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The best jazz artists of the twentieth century had a knack for combining mainstream jazz and pop standard aesthetics within the framework of contemporary instrumental music. Incorporating the combination melodic pop and timeless jazz instrumentals, Wes Montgomery started the trend shortly before his untimely passing in 1968, especially noticeable on his 1967 album, named after the Beatles standard “A Day In The Life”. Now in 2021, decades later, that same formula of jazzing up the standards takes a new shape on The Hidden Standard, the 2021 album by Wisconsin-based jazz guitarist Paul Silbergleit, who is also renowned as a composer, educator and author. To his credit, Paul’s album puts a new sonic stamp on classics from the Beatles, Burt Bacharach, soul-pop artist Prince, Elton John along with fresh interpretations of music from jazz icons Joe Henderson, Thelonious Monk and much more including Paul’s interpretation of the theme from the 1970s / ‘80s era TV show “The Love Boat.” There’s even a set-closing cover of the traditional folk music masterpiece “Danny Boy”. Key to the sound of The Hidden Standard is of course Paul’s impeccable guitar chops and skills, which receives excellent backing from a wide range of musicians. There’s something quite stately about the sound of Eric Jacobson’s trumpet, which lends a dignified air to these songs. Also backing up Paul’s new vision on The Hidden Standard are Eric Schoor (sax), Mark Davis (piano), Jeff Hamann (bass), along with a host of guest artists further fleshing out the sound stage. With its unique understanding of musical magic, The Hidden Standard clicks on every musical level while also bringing fresh insights into the sound and vision of jazz guitar ace Paul Silbergleit.