RIP Horace Silver

WELL, this time it seems to be for real: Jazz pianist, songwriter and founding Jazz Messenger Horace Silver has died at 85. Silver’s recordings, under his own name and in his 1950s group with Art Blakey, were some of the first jazz I got into, and I’ve been marveling at his genius all over again since I’ve learned to play his “Song for My Father” on guitar.  220px-Horace_Silver_and_the_Jazz_Messengers

Here is the NPR report.

I don’t love the sound on this, but I’ve linked to a live performance from Copenhagen. My band will tackle this one in the garage later this week.

What struck me originally about Silver’s music is his soulfulness — his style comes out of the church and the blues, as well as Cape Verde — and his effortless melodicism. He’s one of the key figures of hard bop — perhaps its founder.

The great Horace Silver will be missed!


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  1. regina islas says

    He will be missed! I heard The Jody Grind as a kid, and never forgot it. Finally bought it for myself a few years ago. He is indeed the founder of “Hard Bop’.
    Thanks for yours-

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