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Horace Silver

From the perspective of the 21st century, it is clear that few jazz musicians had a greater impact on the contemporary mainstream than Horace Silver. The hard bop style that Silver pioneered in the '50s is now dominant, played not only by holdovers from an earlier generation, but also by fuzzy-cheeked musicians who had yet to be born when the music fell out of critical favor in the '60s and '70s.

Silver's earliest musical influence was the Cape Verdean folk music he heard from his Portuguese-born father. Later, after he had begun playing piano and saxophone as a high schooler, Silver came under the spell of blues singers and boogie-woogie pianists, as well as boppers like Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. In 1950, Stan Getz played a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, with a pickup rhythm section that included Silver, drummer Walter Bolden, and bassist Joe Calloway. So impressed was Getz, he hired the whole trio. Silver had been saving his money to move to New York anyway; his hiring by Getz sealed the deal.

Silver worked with Getz for a year, then began to freelance around the city with such big-time players as Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Oscar Pettiford. In 1952, he recorded with Lou Donaldson for the Blue Note label; this date led him to his first recordings as a leader. In 1953, he joined forces with Art Blakey to form a cooperative under their joint leadership. The band's first album, Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers, was a milestone in the development of the genre that came to be known as hard bop. Many of the tunes penned by Silver for that record -- "The Preacher," "Doodlin'," "Room 608" -- became jazz classics. By 1956, Silver had left the Messengers to record on his own. The series of Blue Note albums that followed established him for all time as one of jazz's major composer/pianists. LPs like Blowin' the Blues Away and Song for My Father (both recorded by an ensemble that included Silver's longtime sidemen Blue Mitchell and Junior Cook) featured Silver's harmonically sophisticated and formally distinctive compositions for small jazz ensemble.

Silver's piano style -- terse, imaginative, and utterly funky -- became a model for subsequent mainstream pianists to emulate. Some of the most influential horn players of the '50s, '60s, and '70s first attained a measure of prominence with Silver -- musicians like Donald Byrd, Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, and the Brecker Brothers all played in Silver's band at a point early in their careers. Silver has even affected members of the avant-garde; Cecil Taylor confesses a Silver influence, and trumpeter Dave Douglas played briefly in a Silver combo.

Silver recorded exclusively for Blue Note until that label's eclipse in the late '70s, whereupon he started his own label, Silveto. Silver's '80s work was poorly distributed. During that time he began writing lyrics to his compositions, and his work began to display a concern with music's metaphysical powers, as exemplified by album titles like Music to Ease Your Disease and Spiritualizing the Senses. In the '90s, Silver abandoned his label venture and began recording for Columbia. With his re-emergence on a major label, Silver once again received a measure of the attention his contributions deserve. Certainly, no one ever contributed a larger and more vital body of original compositions to the jazz canon. Silver died in New York on June 18, 2014 at the age of 85. ~ Chris Kelsey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers (Remasterd)

Comments

One of my primary hard bop influences, and a favorite composer. One of the pillars of hard bop, he influenced everyone who listened to him. Thanks for everything, Horace.
Rest in peace
Horace practices what he preaches from music to organic food. Long life.
what a lovely soul was horace silver, and so encouraging to his sidemen always. He'd sweat thru a suit every set and change clothes before the next one. I think he became more percussive later on due to limitations of some arthritis diminishing his hands maneuverabil i t y . every combination of musicians he came on stage with seemed to fashion finely. how funny and funky he was from Blakey on...
Wonderfully full and funky
What a cool session at the Village Gate & Blue Mitchell's horn outstanding
Dont read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on atleast 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lover's name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works!
sstjohn88
this song... for daaaaays...
Silver is the shilizit!
I LOVE THIS SOOONNG!!!!
Horace played an afternoon show at Suffolk community college in 75 or 76 with the Brecker Bros. No way to describe it. Very giving. An experience.
A true giant of the american jazz in it's infancy.
sampay310
awesome love
scottspinola
I'm very proud to share a home town with Mr. Silver: Norwalk, CT.
Wait til'u hear it!
Silver n voices
aldersonw
Horace is the world jazz god......lon g e v i t y and creative spirit, unbelievable ! Look at the great cats he brought up....surrou n d e d by the best. His music is truly a blessing.
A fellow capeverdean that got me to love jazz even more. I don't have a favorite album of Horace, I love them all!
The most consistantly innovative artist of our time, we still have not caught up to United States of Mind I II III
Silver and other musicians like Thelonius Monk were big influences on the Dan. Donald Fagen has acknowledged that SD lifted the Rikki bass line from Song For My Father.
cantbuyathri l l 1 2
The intro reminds me of Rikki Don't Lose That Number by Steely Dan. I would assume they were inspired by this awesomeness as well.
and snap
dig
People ask me why I listen to jazz, and I tell them...becau s e I don't like people telling me what to do through my music. Especially if it aint what I want to hear...So you "throw ya hands up" "get down" and whatever they tell you to do...cause I aint doin it
"Sophisticat e d Hippy" is ma jam...And whenever he Lee, and Andy Bey got toghether it was excelent. You can put all of Silver's albums in the jammer and let it all play out!!!
Without a doubt one of my favorite jazz musicians. My introduction to Horace Silver was the classic album Blowin' the Blues Away. Listening to it I was blown away and have been hooked on Horace Silver's music ever since. I am just amazed whenever I listen to him. What a talent!
Horace Silver is the man - if you like"Song for my Father" - check out Leon Thomas's vocal rendition... . .
onecomdiver
Aw man so good to connect again an American Jazz Treasure.
Forgot how good it sounded.
WOW .
Horace is the founder of what would later be called acid jazz if you ask me. I hope I get to see him again before he passes.
I agree with Rebecca Williams totally. It is so relaxing and romantic.
royaltee005
Please excuse my ignorance in not knowing alot of these great artist, however,I greatly appreciate the old school jazz sound. It creates an atmosphere of pure elegance in its presentation .
One of the first Jazz artists, along with Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant, to define the sound of "Soul Jazz".
Just before jazz jumped off a cliff and killed itself..
Where is his "United States of Mind" series with Andy Bey and the Bey Sisters?
One of my favorite artist of all time. Just check out the full length version of "Song for My Father".
The album Tokyo Blues is my favorite with Junior Cook on tenor and Blue Mitchell on trumpet. Dig it.
Smoooov...
shockerincri m e
What about 'In Pursuit of the 27th Man'?
What about the album "FIVE PIECES OF SILVER" ? This album really exposed him to the public. It may be his first under his leadership, but I'm not certain. Any help here??
The most original and distinctive sound in be-bop!
dancehike
Please add "Jazz Has a Sense of Humor"
Perhaps some of his Tokyo Blues could be played as well? It's a very good album, especially "Too Much Sake" the vibes are nice to listen to, and his groove with the band is smooth.
who's better?

only 'T'........U NO,MONK BY NAME.

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