Horace Silver: Song For My Father

The Songs:

  1. Song For My Father
  2. The Natives Are Restless Tonight
  3. Calcutta Cutie
  4. Que Pasa
  5. The Kicker
  6. Lonely Woman
  7. Sanctimonious Sam (Bonus Track)
  8. Que Pasa [Trio Version] (Bonus Track)
  9. Sighin’ And Cryin’ (Bonus Track)
  10. Silver Treads Among My Soul (Bonus Track)


  • Horace Silver – piano

On Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5:

  • Carmel Jones – trumpet
  • Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone
  • Teddy Smith – bass
  • Roger Humphries – drums

On Tracks 3, 6-10:

  • Blue Mitchell – trumpet
  • Junior Cook – tenor saxophone
  • Gene Taylor – bass
  • Roy Brooks – drums

In the early 60’s, Horace Silver made a trip to Brazil that inspired him to learn more about his ancestry. His father, John Silva, was of Portuguese ancestry and had been born in the Cape Verde Islands, (which inspired another landmark Silver album, The Cape Verdean Blues). After leaving Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, (a group he founded), he released a series of classic albums for Blue Note. In the midst of several outstanding efforts, Song For My Father is the cream of the crop.

Aside from Joe Henderson’s “The Kicker” and Musa Kaleem’s “Sanctimonious Sam,” the rest of the album features Silver’s compositions. The title track may be his best known piece. It has been highly influential in pop and soul music. The opening riff has been borrowed by both Steely Dan, (for “Riki Don’t Lose That Number”), and Earth, Wind & Fire, (on “Clover”), while Stevie Wonder used the melody line on his hit “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”. The song was even covered by the Captain & Tenille on their 1980 album Keeping Our Love Warm. In addition, the title track is featured on Shades Of Blue,  jazz producer/arranger Bob Belden’s adventurous remake project for Blue Note.

Song For My Father features Silver’s solid writing with funky harmonies and rhythms. However, he expanded his stylistic palette by including the bossa-nova rhythms from Brazil on the title track, as well as the Eastern-influenced “Calcutta Cutie” and the Caribbean sounding “Que Pasa”. Solid playing from Silver and the horn soloists are found throughout the record. It remains a classic recording of the hard-bop era. (Buy it here.)

Suggested Reading:

Horace Silver. Let’s Get To The Nitty Gritty: The Autobiography Of Horace Silver.

Suggested Viewing:

Horace Silver Quintet. Song For My Father.