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Horace Silver (1928- )

Horace Silver (born September 2, 1928), born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva[1] in Norwalk, Connecticut, is an American jazz pianist and composer. His father was from Cape Verde and his mother was born in New Canaan, Connecticut and was of Irish-African descent. Silver is known for his distinctive humorous and funky playing style and for his pioneering contributions to hard bop. Silver was influenced by a wide range of musical styles, notably gospel music, African music, and Latin American music and sometimes ventured into the soul jazz genre.

from a review of the film 'A Great Day in Harlem (1995)' (see DVD cover right)

And what a day it was: nearly 60 jazz musicians, gathered on a Harlem street one morning in 1958 for what photographer Art Kane rightly, if immodestly, calls "the greatest picture of that era of musicians ever taken" (incredibly, it was also Kane's first professional shoot). Like Ken Burns's Jazz, this 60-minute documentary, an Oscar nominee in 1995, is a mixed-media affair: still photographs and 8 millimeter color footage (shot by bassist Milt Hinton and his wife) of the day itself are combined with interviews, background music, and performance clips of some of the players involved (from legends like Lester Young, Count Basie, Charles Mingus, and Thelonious Monk to lesser-knowns like Maxine Sullivan, Red Allen, and Vic Dickenson) to tell the story. There are anecdotes about 35-cent dinners, all-night jams, and film loaded upside down; about pianist Horace Silver's vegetarian diet and trumpeter Roy Eldridge's high notes; about old friends reuniting and what Hinton calls "just sheer happiness." Looking at the photo years later, Dizzy Gillespie sums it up simply: "There's a whole lotta people I like on there!"

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