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Horace was 83 on September 2nd so these wishes are a bit late. But he was such a hip, prolific & gregarious musician/composer/innovator/leader that IMO he deserves to have his birth and life celebrated every day of the year. I listen to his albums all the time and they are always a joy and inspiration.

Sadly, although Horace is still alive, he suffers from Alzheimer's and no longer appears in public. Whether or not he is still able to play, I don't know, but what is a sad fate for anyone is particularly cruel for someone with as much talent to share as he has. I can only pray that where ever he is in his mind it is in a place infused with the joyous that he put into the music he gave us.

By the way, something that a lot of people don't know is that Horace started out as a Tenor player and then switched to piano. There's a nice photo in his autobiography "Let's Get To The Nitty Gritty"of him playing tenor in a club in 1946.
 

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He also suffered a stroke some years ago, from what I understand that was the thing that knocked him out of playing. Check out "Hard Bop Grandpop" for some of his later years stuff. Includes Ronnie Cuber and Mikle Brecker if you're interested.
 

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Besides his prolific writing, he sure was one heck of a leader. So many great recordings from The Jazz Messengers days with Blakey, Mobley etc. up through the 70s stuff. Always with a deep groove, interesting tunes, great players. Generations of young jazz musicians came up through the school of Silver.

So many of his tunes became jazz standards, similar to Duke, Monk, and Wayne Shorter. Amazing body of work.

Shawn
 

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I've been listening to "Prescription for the Blues," which he did with the Breckers. He genuinely believes in the healing and peace-promoting power of music, especially jazz, and that conviction comes through strongly in his compositions and his playing. What a great gift he has shared with us.
 

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His piano playing is certainly important as well. Great study on the use of diminished scale based stuff and, of course, many different latin based tunes and vamps. Could go on and on, to me jazz just wouldn't be the same without him.
 
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