Horace Silver, pioneering jazz pianist, dies at 85

By

Horace Silver, a pianist, composer and band leader with a tireless inventiveness who influenced generations of jazzmen with his distinctive hard bop sound, has died. He was 85.

The Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Silver died Wednesday in New Rochelle, New York, but had no other information.

The pianist was something of a prodigy and moved to New York at the insistence of Stan Getz in the early 1950s after the famed saxophone player hired a rhythm section that included Silver for a one-off in Hartford, Connecticut. Silver was just 21.

He played with Getz for a while and other towering pioneers like Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. He soon began a series of collaborations and recordings that remain highly influential in jazz a half century later.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.