Horace Silver Quintet Playing Senor Blues:
There's lots of very good jazz up on YouTube these days, although it's actually pretty hard to find a strong musical performance that is complete, acoustically clean, visually compelling, and yet not already widely known.

  I recently across one gem that is worth flagging: the Horace Silver Quintet playing Silver's composition Senor Blues at a concert in Holland in 1959. Horace Silver is unusual for the consistently high quality of the groups he has led in his long career; I think I have all of his albums recorded from around '55 to the early '70s, and it's hard to think of a misfire on any of them. Still, the video captures Silver during a particularly fruitful period with his quintet that included Junior Cook on tenor and Blue Mitchell on trumpet. Louis Hayes, who is still playing regularly, is on drums. It's a terrific performance and an excellent example of Silver's style. (The band is playing with their backs to the audience, which must have been a bit weird live but works well for the TV cameras.) I particularly enjoyed Junior Cook's solo, although it's much too short:
  One of the reasons I chose to blog about this clip in particular is that it's very accessible to folks who know nothing about jazz. If you have a vague sense that you might like jazz but don't quite know where to start, give this clip a listen. If you like it and want to hear some more, start by buying Song for My Father, recorded a few years later with the great Joe Henderson on tenor. It's a classic. Picking the next one to buy after that is a little arbitrary, but you can't go wrong with The Tokyo Blues from 1962. And if you like the song Senor Blues in particular, you'll want to get Six Pieces of Silver, the 1956 album on which it first appeared.

  Thanks to Bob Erwig for posting the clip, and to Blue Note for putting lots of Silver's work back in circulation in the last few years. Finally, if you liked this clip and want to see another from the same group, check out this performance of Cool Eyes.