Jazzman Horace Silver has died at the age of 85, National Public Radio (NPR) said on Wednesday.
NPR said Horace Silver’s son Gregory had called it directly with the news of his death.
One of the most highly regarded pianists and composers in jazz, Horace Silver was one of the pioneers of a rhythmic jazz style known as hard bop.
Horace Silver began his career as a tenor saxophonist in clubs in Connecticut. But after he moved to New York in the 1950s, he switched to piano and began performing at the Blue Note Jazz Club.
Many of his compositions became jazz standards, including Sister Sadie, The Preacher and Filthy McNasty.
His family came from Cape Verde, and Horace Silver was influenced by the folk music from the Portuguese-speaking islands off of Africa.
One of his earliest musical influence was his father, who played multiple instruments, including the violin, guitar and mandolin, according to NPR.
Horace Silver’s first album is regarded as a milestone in the development of hard bop – a style Silver continued to explore during his 25-year relationship with Blue Note records.
He also performed with many jazz greats such as Lester Young, Miles Davis and Art Blakey.
His bands have consistently been a training ground for great soloists, and his sidemen have included a host of subsequently famous names.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s he experimented with larger groups and a different style, but from midway through the 1980s he returned to hard bop, and in the 1990s created some worthy successors to the many classic albums he made during his 28 years at Blue Note.
Horace Silver’s piano style has been described as “involving sharply defined, bluesy right hand phrasing, over a grumbling left-hand bass unlike the style of any other player”.
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