Jazz pioneer Horace Silver dies at age 85

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jazz musician Horace Silver, a composer known for pioneering hard bop in the 1950s, died on Wednesday, said Blue Note Records.

"Horace passed away this morning at 85 years of age," said the famed jazz label in a statement on Wednesday.

National Public Radio, quoting Silver's son, said he died from natural causes.

Silver, a native of Norwalk, Connecticut, was shaped by the Portuguese influence in the islands of Cape Verde, from where his family emigrated to the United States.

Alongside playing with noted jazz musicians such as bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Art Blakey, Silver, who played piano and saxophone, recorded exclusively for Blue Note Records over three decades from 1952 before founding his own label, Silveto Records.

Silver composed music featuring percussive, hard-driving beats that was inspired by his philosophy of holistic self-help, jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote in his Encyclopedia Of Jazz.

His most notable works include Song For My Father, inspired by Cape Verdean folk music, and gospel-driven The Preacher.

His work also appeared on a number of Miles Davis' albums, including 1954's Walkin', NPR said.