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Horace Silver Dies

Horace Silver

Legendary jazz pianist Horace Silver dies at 85. 

Pianist and composer Horace Silver, who created a rhythmic jazz known as "hard bop" that combined R&B and gospel to go along with his eclectic style of piano playing, has died at age 85, his son confirms.

Silver began as a tenor saxophonist playing in clubs in his native Connecticut, where he was discovered by Stan Getz. He moved to New York in the 1950s, where he switched to piano, formed a trio, and began performing at the Blue Note Jazz Club. He eventually signed on with Blue Note and stuck with the iconic label until the 1980s. Silver performed not only with Getz, but also Lester Young, Miles Davis and Art Blakey.

Bassist Christian McBride told NPR in 2008 that Silver's music had long been his favorite.

"Horace Silver's music has always represented what jazz musicians preach but don't necessarily practice, and that's simplicity," McBride said. "It sticks to the memory; it's very singable. It gets in your blood easily; you can comprehend it easily. It's very rooted, very soulful."

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