Song for My Father (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition Remastered)
Horace Silver’s 1965 album Song for My Father is a classic of hard bop. The title cut, which draws on bossa nova, is among the most recognizable compositions in the jazz canon. (The Brazilian element makes sense: Silver’s father was from another Lusophone country, Cape Verde, and Silver was exposed to music from the islands as a child.) The cool groove established by Silver’s piano, Teddy Smith’s bass, and Roger Humphries’ drums is deep. It provides a perfect backup for the horn head performed by trumpeter Carmell Jones and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, who also plays a charged solo on the cut. “The Natives Are Restless Tonight” picks up the pace, and the soloists deftly ride the rhythm as they make statements that are both exciting and exacting. “Calcutta Cutie” features a different band, including trumpeter Blue Mitchell and saxophonist Junior Cook, and the song moves between lightly swinging and Eastern-flavored passages. Henderson’s “The Kicker”—the only track not written by Silver—drives fiercely, while the brooding and bluesy “Lonely Woman” is a piece for piano trio.