Horace Silver

~ Person


A highly influential and early bop pioneer pianist, Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver was "discovered" by Stan Getz in 1950. Gifted with a natural funky style, Silver forever changed the face of Blue Note with nearly three decades of explosive sessions. From his impressive and extensive discography, beginners can possibly start by picking Song for My Father (Blue Note).

Annotation last modified on 2013-08-17 20:12 UTC.


Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver (September 2, 1928 – June 18, 2014) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, particularly in the hard bop style that he helped pioneer in the 1950s.

After playing tenor saxophone and piano at school in Connecticut, Silver got his break on piano when his trio was recruited by Stan Getz in 1950. Silver soon moved to New York City, where he developed a reputation as a composer and for his bluesy playing. Frequent sideman recordings in the mid-1950s helped further, but it was his work with the Jazz Messengers, co-led by Art Blakey, that brought both his writing and playing most attention. Their Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers album contained Silver's first hit, "The Preacher". After leaving Blakey in 1956, Silver formed his own quintet, with what became the standard small group line-up of tenor saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass, and drums. Their public performances and frequent recordings for Blue Note Records increased Silver's popularity, even through changes of personnel. His most successful album was Song for My Father, made with two iterations of the quintet in 1963 and 1964.

Several changes occurred in the early 1970s: Silver disbanded his group to spend more time with his wife and to concentrate on composing; he included lyrics in his recordings; and his interest in spiritualism developed. The last two of these were often combined, resulting in commercially unsuccessful releases such as The United States of Mind series. Silver left Blue Note after 28 years, founded his own record label, and scaled back his touring in the 1980s, relying in part on royalties from his compositions for income. In 1993, he returned to major record labels, releasing five albums before gradually withdrawing from public view because of health problems.

As a player, Silver transitioned from bebop to hard bop by stressing melody rather than complex harmony, and combined clean and often humorous right-hand lines with darker notes and chords in a near-perpetual left-hand rumble. His compositions similarly emphasized catchy melodies, but often also contained dissonant harmonies. Many of his varied repertoire of songs, including Doodlin', Peace, and Sister Sadie, became jazz standards that are still widely played. His considerable legacy encompasses his influence on other pianists and composers, and the development of young jazz talents who appeared in his bands over the course of four decades.

Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license



Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1955 Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers Horace Silver & The Jazz Messengers 5
1956 Whims of Chambers Paul Chambers Sextet with Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver & Philly Joe Jones 3
1959 Horace Silver Trio Horace Silver 4
1971 Total Response: The United States Of Mind Phase 2 Horace Silver 1
1975 Silver 'n Brass Horace Silver 1
1993 It's Got to Be Funky Horace Silver 1
1996 The Hardbop Grandpop Horace Silver 2
1996 Re-Entry Horace Silver 1
1997 A Prescription for the Blues Horace Silver 1
1999 Jazz... Has... A Sense of Humor Horace Silver 1
1999 The Baghdad Blues - 1959 Horace Silver 2
2002 In Pursuit of the 27th Man Horace Silver 4 1
2002 Paris Blues, 1962 Horace Silver 1
2008 Violin Concertos Beethoven; Mozart, Horace Silver; Nigel Kennedy 1
2012 In Pursuit of The 27th Man Horace Silver 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1988 The Best of Horace Silver Horace Silver 1
1989 The Best of Horace Silver, Volume 2 Horace Silver 1
1992 Greatest Hits Horace Silver 1
1994 Safari (1952-1954) Horace Silver 1
1997 Jazz Profile: Horace Silver (No.012) Horace Silver 1
1998 Senor Blues: 1955-1959 Horace Silver 1
1999 Retrospective Horace Silver 1
2000 The Story of Jazz Horace Silver 1
2003 Rockin' With Rachmaninoff Horace Silver 1
2004 Modern Jazz Archive: Horace Silver Horace Silver 1
2004 The United States of Mind Horace Silver 2
2005 Quadromania Jazz Edition: Horace Silver: Down Home Horace Silver 1
2005 The Very Best Horace Silver 1
2006 Music for Lovers Horace Silver 1
2007 Coleção Folha clássicos do jazz, Volume 10 Horace Silver 1
2010 Blue Note TSF Horace Silver 2
2012 Quintessence (1952-1956) Horace Silver 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2008 Live at Newport '58 Horace Silver 1
2014 Live in New York 1953 Horace Silver Quartet With Lou Donaldson 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Silver'n Percussion Horace Silver 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2012 Quintessence (1957-1959) Horace Silver 1

Showing official release groups by this artist. Show all release groups instead, or show various artists release groups.