Horace Silver – Senor Blues

Pianist and composer Horace Silver was born on September 2, 1928 in Norwalk, Connecticut, 1928 he started in music playing tenor saxophone in a style influenced by Lester Young before switching to piano.. As a young child, Silver’s father taught him the folk songs of his native Cape Verde. In 1950, Silver gained attention as Stan Getz’s pianist and occasional composer. In 1952, he co-founded the Jazz Messengers with drummer Art Blakey. Their unique style, which emphasized composition and drew from R&B, laid the groundwork for hard bop.

Silver is best known for his numerous albums on the Blue Note label, including the 1965 LP, Song for My Father. The Horace Silver Quintet performs “Señor
Blues” at the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival.

The “Horace Silver Quintet” perform at the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival.


Horace Silver, piano
Junior Cook, tenor saxophone
Blue Mitchell, trumpet
Gene Taylor, double bass
Louis Hayes, drums

In 1950 Silver accompanied Stan Getz at The Sundown Club in Hartford and made his first recorded appearance as a member of “Stan Getz’s Quartet”. Moving to New York in 1951 he worked at Birdland with a slue of top player and co-founded the “Jazz Messengers” with drummer Art Blakey in 1954. After departing from the group two years later, Horace Silver formed his own quintet.

Over the years his bands would introduce a string of young jazz talent who later became bandleaders themselves such as Donald Byrd, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Michael Brecker, and Benny Golson. Long considered a pioneering figure of hard bop for his intriguing compositions and original playing style Horace Silver passed away in New Rochelle, New York on June 18, 2014.

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