Born in 1934 in Houston, Texas, Horace came from a musical family centered around his mother, Mary
Malone Tapscott, who worked professionally as a singer and pianist. When Horace was nine, the family
moved to Los Angeles. As a teenager in the late 1940's, Horace was surrounded by the music of Central
Avenue: Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, were among the many cats on
the set. Around this time, Horace also began to take music lessons from teachers Dr. Samuel R. Browne
and Lloyd Reese, whose other students included Eric Dolphy and Frank Morgan. Horace's musical
studies included trombone in addition to piano.
In 1952, Horace graduated from Jefferson High, got married to Cecilia Payne and went into the Air