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Horace Silver, 1928-2014

A peerless pianist and composer, he defined hard bop and nurtured many jazz greats

Horace Silver
Horace Silver
Horace Silver
Horace Silver

NEA Jazz Master Horace Silver, an extraordinarily creative pianist and composer who brought soulfulness, a rhythmic spring and what he called a “meaningful simplicity” to hard bop, died of natural causes this morning, June 18, at his home in New Rochelle, N.Y. Silver was 85.

A mainstay of the Blue Note Records label throughout the label’s heyday-the early-’50s until 1980-Silver leaves behind a sizable and highly cherished body of work, highlighted by his 1965 album (and its evocative and addictively catchy title track) Song for My Father, which continues to turn up on lists of essential jazz recordings nearly a half century after its release.

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