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Horace Silver
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    (September 2, 1928-June 18, 2014)
    Born in Norwalk, Connecticut
    Jazz pianist and songwriter
    Pioneer of hard bop
    Co-founder with Art Blakey of the Jazz Messengers
    Recorded the albums ‘Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers’ (1956), ‘6 Pieces of Silver’ (1956), ‘Further Explorations’ (1958), ‘Horace-Scope’ (1960), ‘Songs for My Father’ (1964), ‘Serenade to a Soul Sister’ (1968), ‘Silver ‘n’ Brass’ (1975), ‘Silver ‘n’ Wood’ (1976), ‘Silver ‘n’ Voices’ (1976), ‘Silver ‘n’ Percussion’ (1978), ‘Silver ‘n’ Strings’ (1980), It’s Got to Be Funky’ (1993), and ‘The Hardbop Grandpop (1996)
    Wrote the songs ‘Opus de Funk,’ ‘The Preacher,’ ‘Doodlin,’ ‘Blowin the Blues Away,’ ‘Sister Sadie,’ ‘Nica’s Dream,’ ’Home Cookin,’ ‘Soulville,’ and ‘Senor’s Dream’
    Inducted into Down Beat’s Jazz Hall of Fame (1996)
    He had three middle names (Ward, Martin, and Tavares).
    He was originally a saxophonist, but he had an excessively curved spine that interfered with playing (and also resulted in his being rejected for military service).
    He composed a jingle for the diet soda Tab.
    His decision to add lyrics to his songs and start singing on his albums led to a major drop in sales.
    He was a believer in spiritualism who claimed that Louis Armstrong dictated a tune to him from the afterlife.
    He won the Down Beat critics’ ‘new star’ award for pianists (1954).
    He recorded for Blue Note for 27 years, the longest stay in the label’s history.
    He set up a foundation to award scholarships to aspiring jazz musicians.
    He was named a NEA Jazz Master (1995).
    He said, ‘Musical composition should bring happiness and joy to people and make them forget their troubles.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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