Horace Silver: Song For My Father


Song For My Father


Horace Silver (piano)


Song For My Father (Blue Note 99002)

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Horace Silver (piano), Carmell Jones (trumpet), Joe Henderson (tenor sax), Teddy Smith (bass), Roger Humphries (drums).

Composed by Horace Silver


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, October 26, 1964


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

This is the title track of what is arguably Horace Silver's greatest album, and undoubtedly his biggest hit as well. It's from the first release by Silver's then-new quintet, formed after he broke up the band that had served him so well for five years (1959-64).

Silver wrote "Song For My Father" after visiting pianist Sergio Mendes in Brazil, and considering that Silver's father came from the Cape Verde Islands, the Portuguese/Brazilian connection was a natural. The opening vamp (later borrowed by Steely Dan for its hit "Rikki Don't Lose That Number") leads to one of Silver's most affecting themes, and then to perfect solos by, respectively, the leader and Joe Henderson. Henderson's is one of the great motivically based solos in recorded jazz—all derived from his three opening notes. And it's as soulful and exciting as it is ingenious.

Reviewer: Bill Kirchner

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