Song For My Father

Horace Silver Quintet

Remembering Horace Silver September 2, 1928 – June 18, 2014

The “Horace Silver Quintet” perform on “Jazz Omkring Midnat” on Danish TV in 1968.


Horace Silver, piano
Bill Hardman, trumpet
Bennie Maupin, tenor sax
John Williams, bass
Billy Cobham, drums

Born in Norwalk, Connecticut Horace Silver started as a tenor saxophonist heavily influenced by Lester Young, but later switched to plying piano in a style similar to that of Bud Powell.

His initial success came in 1950 when Stan Getz invited Silver’s entire band to join him on the road.

The following year he moved to New York where he began playing Monday nights at Birdland and found work as a side man for Blue Note Records.

In 1954 he formed the “Jazz Messengers” with drummer Art Blakey and went on to organize his own quintet utilizing member’s from the group in 1956.

Like Blakey, Horace Silver was a driving force in the creation of the forceful style of jazz integrating elements of gospel music and R&B known as “hard bop.”

In 1963 Silver formed an new Quintet featuring Joe Henderson and Carmell Jones (later replace by Tyrone Washington and Woody Shaw) a group with whom he recorded his best known album “Song For My Father.”

During his later years he continued to be a productive artist releasing the orchestral collaborative album “Continuity of Spirit” (1985) and “It’s Got To Be Funky” (1993) his direct response to popular music built from his influence.

On June 18, 2014 Horace Silver passed away from natural causes in New Rochelle, New York.

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