Paul Horn (March 17, 1930 – June 29, 2014) was an American jazz flautist, and an early pioneer of New Age music.
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.
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. In 1970, he moved with his second wife Tryntje and two sons Marlen and Robin from his first marriage to Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. He formed his own quintet and has recorded film scores for the National Film Board of Canada.
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. The series began with Horn sneaking a tape recorder into the Taj Mahal during a trip to India in 1968, (released as Inside) where he was with The Beatles at Rishikesh, 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 flautist R. Carlos Nakai, and with Orcas.
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.
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.
He lived in British Columbia and the American Southwest. He was married to the Canadian singer and songwriter Ann Mortifee.
- House of Horn (1957, Dot Records)
- Plenty of Horn (1958, Dot)
- Clutch Cargo soundtrack (1959)
- 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)
- Riviera Concert (1977)
- Dream Machine (1978)
- 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)
With Lorez Alexandria
- More of the Great Lorez Alexandria (Impulse!, 1964)
With Lalo Schifrin
- Gone with the Wave (Colpix, 1964)
- Sweet Smell of Success (1957) (w/ the Chico Hamilton Quintet)
- A Bucket of Blood (1959) (saxophone solo intro)
- The Rat Race (1960) (musician)
- The New Three Stooges (1965) (Main title and end credits theme)
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