Al Young title

HORACE SILVER | September 2, 1928 – June 18, 2014 | in memoriam


Horace Himself on Horace Silver

Courtesy Blue Note Records

Legendary jazz pianist, composer-arranger and poet-sculptor of funky hard bop, dies at age 85


Horace Silver was brilliant. A populist musician-performer, he loved and respected the audience he’d helped build for an earthy style of bebop deeply rooted in jazz’s blues and gospel origins. With drummer Art Blakey, Silver co-founded the conquering Jazz Messengers. I’m old enough to remember seeing his name listed as Stan Getz’s pianist on 78- and 45-rpm discs on the Royal Roost label when, at age 12, I began to collect records in earnest. I remember, too, the time I called to speak to him when Phil McKellar, a radio DJ at CKLW — a Canadian station in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit — was interviewing Silver right after Six Pieces of Silver, his first Blue Note album, came out.

A tuba player in Detroit’s Central High band, I was just beginning to play trumpet. In a live broadcast Horace asked: “Al, do you play?”

“Yes,” I said.



“Oh, yeah, all right! Come on down to the club, man — and bring your horn.”

I almost died. I’d just sarted taking lessons. By the time he reached his late teens, Horace Silver had moved  from Connecticut to New York to play professionally.

Consider the titles of some of his classics: “Señor Blues,” “Opus de Funk,” “Quicksilver,” “The Preacher,” “Filthy McNasty ,” “Sister Sadie,” “Doodlin’,” “Opus de Funk,” “Nica’s Dream,” “Strollin,'” ‘The Tokyo Blues” “The Bagdhad Blues,” “Psychedelic Sally,” and “Song for My Father.”

Is there a price we can place on the treasury of pleasure Horace Silver has left to us?

— Al Young



‘Horace Silver, 85, Master of Earthy Jazz, Is Dead’ | Peter Keepnews, | January 18, 2014

Horace Silver, a pianist, composer and bandleader who was one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians of the 1950s and ’60s, died on Wednesday at his home in New Rochelle, N.Y. He was 85.

His death was announced by Blue Note Records, the company for which he recorded from 1952 to 1979.

After a high-profile apprenticeship with some of the biggest names in jazz, Mr. Silver began leading his own group in the mid-1950s and quickly became a big name himself, celebrated for his clever compositions and his infectious, bluesy playing. At a time when the refined, quiet and, to some, bloodless style known as cool jazz was all the rage, he was hailed as a leader of the back-to-basics movement that came to be called hard bop.
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Prolific composer and master jazz pianist Horace Silver dies at 85

By John Andrews
24 June 2014

Jazz emerged in the 1920s to the clarion call of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet, whose musical ideas dominated until the “young Turks” of the 1940s, led by alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Bud Powell, broadened the harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary of jazz, creating the new musical language of bebop.

Much as the conventions of early jazz were consolidated, polished and expanded by the swing bands of the 1930s—the only period when jazz dominated popular music in the US—so the innovations of modern jazz were explored and developed into sundry forms during the 1950s, the aesthetically most diverse and richest decade in jazz history.
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Jazz Profiles
from NPR

Horace Silver
Produced by Miyoshi Smith

Horace Silver
Read and listen



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38px-Speaker_Icon.svg1983 HORACE SILVER INTERVIEW 
Three Audio Clips 

Canadian Jazz Archive Online | FM 91 (Toronto)

Song_for_My_Father_(Horace_Silver_album_-_cover_art) © Blue Note Records

YouTube icon wee38px-Speaker_Icon.svg Listen to “Song for My Father,”(Canção para Meu Pai) just one of Horace Silver’s celebrated and much-played works.

npr logo38px-Speaker_Icon.svg Seasoned jazz lovers A.B. Spellman and Murray Horowitz revisit Horace Silver’s music to discuss in depth his deathless “Song for My Father.”


Jazz Messengers Nica;s Dream

“Nica’s Dream”

Horace Silver, composer and pianist; Donald Byrd, trumpet, Hank Mobley, tenor saxophone; Doug Watkins, bass; Art Blakey, drums


© Columbia Records
nica's dream bk cvr


The Official Website
of Horace Silver




 © Francis Wolff | Mosaic Images

A Horace Silver Discography



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