Horace Silver

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Biography

Born: September 2, 1928; Norwalk, CT   Died: June 18, 2014; New Rochelle, NY  
From the perspective of the late '90s, 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. After Stan Getz played a concert in 1950 with a Read more pickup rhythm section including Silver, he was so impressed that he hired the whole trio. Silver worked with Getz for a year, and first recorded for Blue Note in 1952 with Lou Donaldson. One year later, he joined forces with Art Blakey to form a cooperative group 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. By 1956, Silver had left the Messengers to record on his own. The series of Blue Note albums that followed established Silver for all time as one of jazz's major composer/pianists, featuring harmonically sophisticated and formally distinctive compositions for small jazz ensemble. His piano style -- terse, imaginative, and utterly funky -- became a model for subsequent mainstream pianists to emulate. After Blue Note's eclipse in the late '70s, he started his own label, Silveto, but abandoned his label venture in the '90s to record for Columbia. Read less

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