Song for My Father  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Song for My Father is a 1965 album by The Horace Silver Quintet, released on the Blue Note label in 1965. The album was inspired by a trip that Silver had made to Brazil. The cover artwork features a photograph of Silver's father, John Tavares Silva, to whom the title song was dedicated. "My mother was of Irish and Negro descent, my father of Portuguese origin", Silver recalls in the liner notes, "He was born on the island of Maio, one of the Cape Verde Islands."

A jazz standard, "Song for My Father" is here in its original form. It is a Bossa Nova in F-minor with an AAB head. On the head, a trumpet and tenor saxophone play in harmony. The song has had a noticeable impact in pop music. The opening bass piano notes were borrowed by Steely Dan for their song "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", while the opening horn riff was borrowed by Stevie Wonder for his song "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing". Earth Wind & Fire also borrowed the opening bass notes for their song Clover.

Allmusic reviewer Steve Huey praised the album:

One of Blue Note's greatest mainstream hard bop dates, "Song for My Father" is Horace Silver's signature LP and the peak of a discography already studded with hangs together remarkably well, and Silver's writing is at his tightest and catchiest.

The album was identified by Scott Yanow in his Allmusic essay "Hard Bop" as one of the 17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings.

Track listing

All compositions by Horace Silver, except where noted.

  1. "Song for My Father" – 7:17
  2. "The Natives Are Restless Tonight" – 6:09
  3. "Calcutta Cutie" – 8:31
  4. "Que Pasa" – 7:47
  5. "The Kicker" (Joe Henderson) – 5:26
  6. "Lonely Woman" – 7:02

Bonus tracks on CD reissue:

  1. "Sanctimonious Sam" (Musa Kaleem) – 3:52
  2. "Que Pasa (Trio Version)" – 5:38
  3. "Sighin' and Cryin'" – 5:27
  4. "Silver Treads Among My Soul" – 3:50

Recorded on October 31, 1963 (#3, 6, 7, 8); January 28, 1964 (#9-10); October 26, 1964 (#1, 2, 4, 5).


Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5
Tracks 3, 6-10

Cover versions

In 2003, hip-hop producer Madlib recorded his version of the title track for the Blue Note remix project Shades of Blue.

In 2008, pianist David Benoit performed his version of the song on his cover album Heroes.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Song for My Father" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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