Horace Silver, RIP

Word has just come in that Horace Silver died today at the age of 85.

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For details, see Peter Keepnews’ obituary of Silver in The New York Times. Tomorrow, we will have reflections on Silver’s career and importance to music.

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  1. Terence Smith says

    A genius of the highest order, a genius of simplicity, honesty,
    and clarity. Such diverse works, arrangements, and interpretations,
    and always with his personal Silver stamp, immediately recognizable
    by all. Horace Silver had an infinite fund of beautiful musical thoughts,
    each so simple that it’s amazing no one else could have thought of them.

    So many greats did their best work using his material, and so many
    honed their skills in his bands.

    When you hear one of his tunes, you can’t get it out of your mind. And that’s a good thing.

    Thank you, Horace Silver.

  2. says

    “Strollin'” is my favorite. I did a piano chart of it in 1999 and sent it to Horace when he lived in Malibu, CA. He remarked that it was too hard, man, the cats won’t be able to cut it! So I proceeded to do a simplified version of which he approved. Piano Today, a now defunct monthly journal, published both versions that same year. They even put his picture on the cover and interviewed him for that issue. I was thrilled. I played it a lot in concert but sorry to say, never recorded it.

    Your obit on Horace and the Times article brought back many memories of the days I studied with Hall Overton who incorporated Horace’s recordings into my lessons. I had to copy his voicing style and play like him. It was a thrilling beginning for me on my journey to the never-ending study of piano voicings.

    Thank you Horace.

    I also did a piano chart on Horace’s “SUMMER IN CENTRAL PARK”.
    End of stories.

    • Doug Ramsey says

      In case there’s a Rifftides reader who can’t bring it to mind:

      Horace Silver, piano; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Junior Cook, tenor saxophone; Gene Taylor, bass; Roy Brooks, drums, 1960. From the Horace-Scope album on Blue Note.

    • says

      Thanks for posting my reply. BTW, your photo of Horace epitomizes his warm and outgoing personality which is reflected in his playing and improvising.

  3. Greg Ellison says

    We were having a music appreciation class at my elementary school way back in 1965 and a Jazz Messengers record was played. It totally changed my life and hooked me on jazz when I heard Horace Silver”s playing. Thank you Horace Silver for opening my eyes and ears.

  4. Rob D says

    Silver was one of many entry points to jazz for me…I found a used copy of The Cape Verdean Blues and my musician friend and I spent a weekend listening to it over and over again.I eventually bought each and every LP I could find by him, most of them at Jazz Record Mart in Chicago during a time in my working life when that was a city I visited semi annually. I don’t know why, but Horace’s records always fill me with optimism. God rest his soul…

    (I was looking at my framed poster of Art Kane’s “Jazz Portrait Harlem 1958″ last week and for some reason, Silver was the figure who captured my attention and I had to put on some of his music for a visiting friend. So sad to hear of his death)