Horace Silver Biography (BBC)
One of the most individual and distinctive pianists in jazz, Horace Silver is also a prolific composer, an accomplished bandleader, and one of the main originators of the styles known as hard bop and soul jazz. He grew up in Connecticut, and after accompanying Stan Getz on a local gig, ended up joining the saxophonist's band in 1950.
He made several recordings with Getz , proving that Silver's funky, bluesy style of piano was already well-formed in his early 20s. After relocating to New York in 1951, Silver worked with a wide range of musicians and played regularly at a number of Manhattan clubs. His big break came when Lou Donaldson abruptly cancelled a recording date, and Blue Note asked Silver to make the session instead with his own trio.
This began a long relationship with the label, and provided a platform for his playing with several other leaders, including Miles Davis and Art Blakey, as well as a chance to record many of his own compositions. From 1954-6, Silver and Blakey played in the co-operative Jazz Messengers, until Blakey took over the band and Silver formed his own quintet.
He has led his own groups consistently since 1956. Silver's first breakthrough as a composer came with pieces written for the Messengers, such as The Preacher, but on his own albums he went on to create a string of memorable pieces that similarly combined a catchy tune with a forceful gospel-inspired beat, such as Sister Sadie, Cape Verdean Blues and Song For My Father. 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 80s he returned to hard bop, and in the 1990s signed with Verve records, creating some worthy successors to the many classic albums he made during his 28 years at Blue Note. His piano style involves sharply defined, bluesy right hand phrasing, over a grumbling left-hand bass that is unlike the style of any other player, and remains his immediately identifiable musical signature.
Horace Silver Biography (Wikipedia)
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.
Horace Silver Tracks