Horace Silver passed away last week 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 the Jazz Messengers; he made the last recording for the label in 1979.
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.”
Here is a selection of music from his albums by way of a tribute
- Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Infra Rae – The Jazz Messengers
- Horace Silver – Room 608 – Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers
- Horace Silver Quintet – Shirl – 6 pieces of Silver
- Horace Silver Quintet – Pretty Eyes – Cape Verdean Blues
- Horace Silver – The Sophisticated Hippie – Silver ‘n’ Brass
- Horace Silver Quintet – Que Pasa – The natives are restless tonight
- Horace Silver Quintet – Ill Wind – Further Explorations By The Horace Silver Quintet
- Horace Silver – The Outlaw – Live at Newport ’58