Jazz musician Horace Silver dies at 85

By Kyle Johnson,

Pianist and Jazz musician Horace Silver, who founded hard bop, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 85 at his New Rochelle, New York home.

His son Gregory Silver told NPR that he died from natural causes.

Horace, who grew up in Norwalk Connecticut, was a bandleader and also worked as a pianist with saxophonist Stan Getz in the 1950s during his prolific career.

He said in a 1996 interview that he found himself drawn to Jazz after seeing Jimmie Lunceford's swing band when he was 11.

"And I saw all these black guys getting out of the bus with their instruments, and I said, 'Dad, can we stay and just hear them play one number? Just one number.'" Horace said it took awhile, but he finally swayed his father who let him watch three songs.

According to Reuters, Horace spent nearly three decades with Blue Note Records creating music, before he founded Silveto Records.

Horace is best remembered for the album Song for My Father and for working with Miles Davis, especially Walkin'.

Throughout his career, Horace always managed to stay contemporary as he continually incorporated a variety of influences, including gospel, blues and other stylings, into his music.

"As far as playing, composing, band leading, arranging, Horace Silver's got to be one of the most influential musicians in the history of jazz," bassist Christian McBride said, notes the Los Angeles Times. "No matter what style of jazz that you tend to gravitate toward, Horace Silver always touches you."

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