Pianist-Composer-Bandleader Horace Silver Has Passed at Age 85

Jun 18, 2014

Credit Photo Mosaic Records

NPR has reported and family sources confirm the death of modern Jazz pianist and composer Horace Silver.  He was 85.  Following considerable sideman experiences in his home state of Connecticut and New York City with Stan Getz, Milt Jackson and Miles Davis, Silver became a co-leader, along with drummer Art Blakey, of the Jazz Messengers.  Breaking with Blakey in 1956 to lead his own group, the Silver Quintet and the Jazz Messengers came to define the "hard bop" and later "soul" Jazz sound of the mid-fifties through the sixties.  Over the course of his nearly thirty years with Blue Note Records, Silver contributed dozens of standard tunes to the modern Jazz book, including "The Preacher", Doodlin'", "Home Cookin'", "Senor Blues", and "Song for My Father".  Many of his own sidemen went on to become important bandleaders in their own right: Blue Mitchell, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, the Brecker Brothers and a great many others all spent formative years as members of the Silver Quintet.  His legacy is great, his shadow long.  As Jazz fans we're fortunate to have had this time with him on earth and are poorer for his absence.  Though the man is gone, his music will live on.  Peace!