Paul Horn (musician)

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Paul Horn
Born (1930-03-17)March 17, 1930
New York City, New York
United States
Died June 29, 2014(2014-06-29) (aged 84)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Jazz, new-age
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Flute, clarinet, saxophone
Associated acts R. Carlos Nakai

Paul Horn (March 17, 1930 – June 29, 2014) was an American jazz flautist, and an early pioneer of New Age music.[1]


Horn began playing the piano at the age of four, the clarinet at ten, and the saxophone at twelve. He studied the clarinet and flute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, earning a bachelor's degree. He gained a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music.[1]

Moving to Los Angeles he played with Chico Hamilton's quintet from 1956 to 1958 and recorded his debut album Something Blue in 1960. By now an established West Coast session player he played on the Duke Ellington Orchestra's Suite Thursday and worked with Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett and others. He scored the 1959 series Clutch Cargo.

In 1970, he moved with his two sons Marlen and Robin from his first marriage to Lilian Yvonne Jourdan, and second wife Tryntje Baum to Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. He formed his own quintet and recorded film scores for the National Film Board of Canada.[2]

He was known for his innovations on both metal and traditional wooden flutes. Best known of his albums are his "Inside" recordings, which feature airy, echoing sounds created in places of spiritual importance. Horn himself was a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.[3] The series began with Horn sneaking a tape recorder into the Taj Mahal during a trip to India in 1968, (released as Inside)[citation needed] He was also with the Beatles at Rishikesh in the same year and continued later with recordings inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a return to the Taj Mahal in 1989. Horn later made similar recordings in a cathedral, in the canyons of the Southwestern United States with Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, and with orcas[citation needed].

In 1998 he was able to record within the walls of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Horn was the first westerner to be granted permission to perform inside this massive structure, considered the spiritual nexus of Tibetan Buddhism. Horn returned to Tibet in 2003 to film on the holy Mount Kailash, where he scattered the ashes of his former travelling companion, Buddhist monk Lama Tenzin.[citation needed]

While well practiced as a jazz musician, many of his works defy such categorization. As well as the Inside series, he recorded other albums of jazz with musicians from a range of cultures and backgrounds including China and Africa.[4]

He lived in British Columbia and Arizona.He was most recently married to the Canadian singer and songwriter Ann Mortifee.[5] Horn died at the age of 84 on June 29, 2014.[3]


As leader[edit]

  • House of Horn (1957, Dot Records)
  • Plenty of Horn (1958, Dot)
  • Impressions (1959, World Pacific Records)
  • Something Blue (1960, HiFi Jazz)
  • The Sound of Paul Horn (1961, Columbia)
  • Profile of a Jazz Musician (1962, Columbia)
  • Impressions of Cleopatra (1963, Columbia)
  • The Jazz Years (1961–1963, compilation)
  • Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts (1964, RCA Victor) with Lalo Schifrin
  • Cycle (1965, RCA Victor)
  • Here's That Rainy Day (1966, RCA Victor)
  • Monday, Monday (1966, RCA Victor) arranged and conducted by Oliver Nelson
  • Paul Horn In India (1967, World Pacific)
  • Paul Horn In Kashmir (1967, World Pacific)
  • Inside (1969, Epic) (also known as Inside the Taj Mahal)
  • Inside II, (1972)
  • Visions (1974)
  • The Altitude of the Sun (1975)
  • Special Edition (1975)
  • Nexus (1975)
  • Inside the Great Pyramid (1976)
  • Dream Machine (1978)
  • Riviera Concert (1980)
  • China (1981)
  • Inside the Cathedral (1983)
  • Traveler (1985)
  • Sketches: A Collection, selections from the Golden Flute series (1986) (Lost Lake Arts/Windham Hill)
  • The Peace Album (1988) – music for Christmas
  • Brazilian Images (1989)
  • Inside the Taj Mahal, Volume 2 (1989)
  • Nomad (1990)
  • Africa (1994)
  • Music (1997)
  • Inside Canyon de Chelly (1997) – with R. Carlos Nakai
  • Inside Monument Valley (1999) – with Nakai
  • Tibet: Journey to the Roof of the World (2000)
  • Imprompture (2001)
  • Journey Inside Tibet (2001)

As sideman[edit]

With Lorez Alexandria

With Nat King Cole

With Buddy Collette

With Chico Hamilton

With Lalo Schifrin



  1. ^ a b "Early Years". Paul Horn Music. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "California Cool Jazz". Paul Horn Music. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Obituary in Times Colonist
  4. ^ "India and Beyond". Paul Horn Music. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Inside Paul Horn". Paul Horn Music. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 

External links[edit]