Horace Silver, September 2, 1928 - June 18, 2014

The Blue Note Years 1970-78 [3/3]

From the perspective of 2014, it is clear that few jazz musicians have had a greater impact on the contemporary mainstream than Horace Silver. The hard bop style that Silver pioneered in the ’50s is now dominant, played not only by holdovers from an earlier generation, but also by fuzzy-cheeked musicians who had yet to be born when the music fell out of critical favor in the ’60s and ’70s. 

Silver’s piano style — terse, imaginative, and utterly funky — became a model for subsequent mainstream pianists to emulate. Some of the most influential horn players of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s first attained a measure of prominence with Silver — musicians like Donald Byrd, Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, and the Brecker Brothers all played in Silver’s band at a point early in their careers. Silver has even affected members of the avant-garde; Cecil Taylor confesses a Silver influence, and trumpeter Dave Douglas played briefly in a Silver combo.

Silver recorded exclusively for Blue Note until the label’s eclipse in the late ’70s, [whereupon he started his own label, Silveto] and his contribution to the Blue Note legacy is immeasurable. A pioneer of hard bop and original founder of The Jazz Messengers, Horace tempered bebop with elements of gospel, blues and R&B to create a soulful modern jazz concept that came to identify the “Blue Note Sound.”

1970: That Healin’ Feelin’

1971: Total Response

1972: All

1972: In Pursuit of the 27th Man

1975: Silver ‘n Brass

1976: Silver ‘n Wood

1977: Silver ‘n Voices

1978: Silver ‘n Percussion

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  • Jun 22,2014