RIP Horace Silver

18th June, 2014
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Horace Silver has passed away aged 85. The Pianist and composer who started out as a tenor saxophonist before switching to the piano made a string of classic albums for Blue Note Records, including Song For My Father, The Cape Verdean Blues, Horace-Scope and Six Pieces of Silver.

He was originally discovered by Stan Getz who encouraged Silver to move to New York in the 1950s, where he formed a trio, and began performing at the Blue Note Jazz Club. Silver first recorded for Blue Note in 1952, and in 1955 he recorded with with the Jazz Messengers; he made the last recording for the label in 1979 before Blue Note went into temporary hibernation.

Bassist Christian McBride told NPR in 2008 that Silver’s music had long been his favorite. “Horace Silver’s music has always represented what jazz musicians preach but don’t necessarily practice, and that’s simplicity. It sticks to the memory; it’s very singable. It gets in your blood easily; you can comprehend it easily. It’s very rooted, very soulful.”

Silver’s family came from the Cape Verde Islands and the folk music of his homeland influenced him in his compositions. Silver wrote in his autobiography, “Occasionally, they would give a dance party in our kitchen on a Saturday night. The women fried up some chicken and made potato salad. The men would get whiskey and beer and invite all their friends, Cape Verdean and American blacks, to come and have a good time.”

His music became known to a new audience through Steely Dan using the riff that opens “Song for My Father” on their top 40 hit, “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number.

Remember Horace Silver through his music with our newly curated playlist in his memory

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Comments (8)

Gary Vaughan June 19th at 1:10am

I gave "Song for my Father "to my Dad after my first Tour in Nam in 1969....I felt the strong connection and spirit Mr Silver must have felt when he wrote this for his Pops....Tho my Dad has been gone now for many years ,1976,..Whenever I hear this song it reminds me of him and the connection/friendship we had ....I gave this song to my son this past Fathers' Day ,as a tribute to him becoming a new Dad this past year ....RIP Mr Silver you left behind a work that will outlive us all......Thankyou!

Marc van Dongen June 19th at 7:02am

So sad ...

Bashir Ali June 19th at 7:51am

Horace Silver, my dad and I spent many of Sunday mornings together in the yard, we listening to him via the stereo or cassettes. He was and will remain one of my favorites. 'Song For My Father' became an anthem for me and my dad's relationship.

Cliff Helander June 19th at 10:05pm

Years ago I was standing by the packed bar at the Baked Potato in North Hollywood. I turned to my left, and standing right next to me was Horace Silver.

ARQ June 19th at 11:29pm

I know what music will be playing on my stereo for the next few weeks. Thanks Horace, for your wonderful music.

Sama-Blues-Funk June 20th at 6:01pm

Rip for one great. Chao Mister Blues-Funk.

zaldy June 21st at 11:24am

goodbye mr. soulful. you'll be long remembered...

Ms. Donna July 2nd at 5:24pm

RIP, Mr. Silver. I've only known your music for a few years; but I can tell you were one of the great ones. "Song for my Father" is a really classy piece. Thank you for sharing your talents.

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