Horace Silver, jazz musician and composer, dies aged 85

The pioneering artist's notable works include Song For My Father and The Preacher

Jazz musician and composer Horace Silver, famed for pioneering hard bop, has died aged 85, National Public Radio said on Wednesday

Silver, who was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, was moulded by the Portuguese influence in the islands of Cape Verde, from where his family emigrated to the United States.

He played piano and saxophone alongside noted jazz musicians including bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Art Blakey, and recorded exclusively for Blue Note Records over three decades before founding his own label, Silveto Records

Silver composed music featuring percussive, hard-driving beats that was inspired by his philosophy of holistic self-help, jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote in his Encyclopaedia of Jazz.

His most notable works include “Song For My Father,” inspired by Cape Verdean folk music and gospel-driven “The Preacher.” His work also appeared on a number of Miles Davis' albums, including 1954's “Walkin'.”


NPR said Silver's son Gregory had called it directly with the news of his death. Attempts to reach Silver's family were unsuccessful.

Additional reporting by Reuters