Horace Silver

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About Horace Silver

Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1928, pianist Horace Silver was an important figure in the development of hard bop and soul jazz, emerging in the early 1950s and maintaining widespread appeal until his death in 2014 at age 85. In 1950, his working trio landed a gig behind saxophonist Stan Getz; in its wake, he became an ubiquitous sideman for the likes of Coleman Hawkins, Lou Donaldson, Miles Davis, and Milt Jackson. In 1952, he began his 28-year relationship with Blue Note Records with a trio session featuring drummer Art Blakey. As the Jazz Messengers, they recorded several albums between 1954 and 1956, after which Silver went on to lead his own bands. For the rest of the decade and into the early 1960s, he made a series of acclaimed recordings codifying the sound of hard bop, which cooled the relentless tempo of bebop with a more graceful, measured rhythmic attack. During the mid-’60s, his writing began to incorporate a clear gospel influence, contributing to a groove-oriented soul jazz that reached its pinnacle on 1965’s Song for My Father. In the 1970s Silver dabbled with fusion, but by the following decade he reclaimed an acoustic lineup, more or less retaining his classic sound until his passing.

Norwalk, CT, United States
September 2, 1928

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