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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 7 June 2003
Interesting... if one of the main reasons for the great space and vast praise garnered by the reviews for Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" is that it combines brilliant musicianship with tunes that are "accessible" by a much wider audience than pure jazz aficionados then why such little comparative interest in a record with similarly good credentials ?

While the playing on "Song For My Father" may not rank up there with Davis' & Coltrane's quite exceptional virtuosity on "Kind of Blue", Joe Henderson's sax, Carmell Jones' trumpet and Horace Silver's piano breaks push the album into the same rarefied and rare league: high quality jazz with enormous popular appeal. The trick ?... catchy lead riffs and backing rhythms that drive the songs forward while allowing often highly complex instrumental breaks to emerge effortlessly from, and back into, strong underlying melodies. The result?... a suite of songs that will grab space on your CD player over and over again and, in "Song For My Father" itself one of the most unforgettable jazz tracks ever made.
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on 2 June 2001
Quintessential hard bop from the founding father of funk: an absolutely kicking album. Hugely influential, irresistibly swinging deep groove. Joe Henderson's saxophone is driven by waves of emotion and Silver's crisp composition and rhythmic left hand is at its most compelling. This is easily one of my favourite albums. I'm capable of playing it over and over again - the title tune is simply thrilling. The whole band exudes ebullience and optimism.
But the album is far more than mere entertainment: Silver's own trio piece, the closing "Lonely Woman" (not to be confused with the eponymous 1959 piece by Ornette Coleman, or the 1937 one by Benny Carter) is exceptional for its introspective lyricism. Silver's father was from Maio, Cape Verde, and his Portuguese origin (presumably Silva) explains the sub-title of the album: Cantiga para meu pai. No father could hope for a more heartfelt dedication.
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2006
It's the simpleness of his warm, infectious grooves that makes Horace Silver's music so enduring. The Bossa Nova infused title track is a typical example of his ability to pen catchy rhythms, "Song for my father," is notable for Joe Henderson's blazing solo and it remains one of those Blue Note signature tunes. Each track starts with a bass note and a single piano chord before gently building into a tumultuous ebb and flow. "Calcutta Cutie," has a slighly eerie, claustrophobic feel to it and it combines well with the snaking,"Que Pasa." The liner notes on this re-issued version give an interesting insight into the rag bag of musicians that Silver used in laying down the tracks. The rather lengthy recording time and the two quintets involved can only add to the record's allure

Some stuffy Jazz aficionados like to have a pop at this. Maybe the trumpets are a little blown away by the rhythm section but it remains one of my personal favourite Blue Notes and this is surely a must have in anyone's reocord collection.
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on 2 December 2009
If you've never heard of Horace Silver, this is the place to start. One of the greatest jazz pianists of the last 40 or 50 years, Silver recorded many albums for Blue Note in their trademark hard bop style, with all their great performers including Art Blakey, Blue Mitchell, Carmell Jones,Hank Mobley etc. The eponymous title track is one of the catchiest and most memorable numbers ever recorded on the label and is on a par with Lee Morgan's Sidewinder for instant classic status, but the album is packed with wonderful music. Hard to beat at this price.
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on 3 February 2006
The influence of Horace Silver is plain to hear on this evcellent album. This is accessable jazz but with plenty of bite. From the opening notes it sounds familiar and not just because the opening vamp was copied by Steely Dan. Silvers piano stlyle has been much copied and sampled so you will have heard him, or his style, on other artists songs many times without realising it. If you are looking for a place to start with a Horace Silver collection this is definitely where to start. If you are looking to get into jazz or to turn someone on to jazz then you could do no better than to start here. Also, if you like this then check out Art Blakey's "Moanin'"
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The Blue Note label is a wonderful thing: once you've discovered it, there are many years of joyful mining of an unbelievably rich musical seam to look forward to, and this is the kind of place many might want to start.

Kicking off with the bossa-influenced classic and title track, 'Song For My Father', so compellingly groovy that it prompted Steely Dan - a band in most respects, whilst unarguably deeply in the debt of Afro-American music as a whole, who've nonetheless prided themselves on a distinctively original musical voice - to lift it wholesale as the intro to their song 'Rikki Don't Lose that Number' (on their excellent Pretzel Logic album). A rock solid, yet gently understated gem, it bears many Silver hallmarks, so to speak: a joyful gritty soulful bluesiness, a splendid serpentine melody, wonderfully phrased, and a kind of raw joy that leaps out of the ensemble playing and the soloing, capable of bringing tears of ecstasy even after many repeated listening. This is really phenomenally powerful stuff!

'Calcutta Cutie' features another tremendously serpentine melody, and the drummer includes finger cymbals and tambourine is his set-up, along with mallet tom work, which, in the trio format of bass piano and drums, really expands the sonic palette in a pleasing manner. It's probably Roy Brooks, on this track. But both Brooks and Roger Humphries, the two drummers on these dates, are on superb form, and deserve more recognition as the top flight rhythm kings they were. This track is followed by 'Que Pasa', one of my personal favourites, initially ostensibly similar in feel to 'Calcutta Cutie', it's more of a meditation on a bass vamp, with a two note chordal stabbing phrase, and the rhythm trio are augmented by the horns, with another sinuous melody line. Silver takes a brilliant solo, and the band simmer the modal groove to produce a musical dish of intense flavour. Please Sir Silver, can I have some more?

Saxophonist Joe Henderson contributes one of the few non-Silver tracks, with his uptempo number 'The Kicker', which, as the name implies, is from the more energised end of the spectrum, on an otherwise predominantly mellow album, and it certainly kicks. Interestingly, even though this album marked a transitional phase in changing line-ups within Silver's band, you'd never know it: the music has a remarkable homogeneity of spirit and feel. After this rambunctious high energy turn, Silver and co. change down several gears for the sublimely beautiful Silver original 'Lonely Woman', another of my personal favourites from this tremendous album. The desolate haunting Spartan beauty of this number really is something, just Silver with bass and drums, breathing as one, musically speaking

Even the tracks that, by the standards of this monumental album, might be considered filler, for example 'The Natives Are restless Tonight', or 'Calcutta Cutie'... well, they're too good to be labelled as such. This is an album of a consistently high standard, punctuated by some moments of such musical magic that, after over twenty years of listening, they still pack a powerful for me, and remain as fresh as a beautiful spring flower: bloomin' brilliant!

A part of the excellent Rudy Van Gelder reissues series, which is excellent, one small quibble the aesthetic purist might have concerns the repackaging of the classic Reid Miles/Francis Wolff designs: you can't improve on perfection, so why interfere? It's back to that old adage: don't fix what ain't broke. Still, I guess they felt they needed to distinguish the series from the originals, and it's sensitively done, so that's not a major gripe. Plus the sound quality is improved, and there are bonus tracks... so I'm not really complaining!

A stone cold classic this is, right up there with the very best, like Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue, and Dave Brubeck's TIME OUT, a sublime mixture of sophistication and spirit that's wonderfully accessible, and, as my favourite philosopher of funk once said "If you've got any kinda soul, you gotta feel it"! Amen brother Brown, amen.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 May 2014
This 1965 recording by the Horace Silver Quintet (though, strictly speaking, there are two different quintets here) is the sort of album that almost defies genre – it’s obviously jazz (with a latin and be-bop feel), but its commerciality is so (for me, at least) all-pervading that I would have no hesitation recommending it (and, indeed, much of Silver’s work) to non-jazz fans. Silver has always had an ear for a catchy melody and the examples here, along with the album’s latin rhythms (no doubt partly deriving from the man’s own cultural heritage), make Song For My Father a totally intoxicating listen.

Strangely enough, though, the album had a rather chequered production history (as perhaps inferred by its ‘double quintet’ nature). At its core are four tunes featuring Silver’s 'new’ quintet, with Joe Henderson on tenor sax and Carmel Jones on trumpet. These are the bossa nova beat-backed title tune, The Natives Are Restless Tonight, the slow-burning Que Pasa? (all Silver compositions) and the blistering Henderson-penned number The Kicker – all are outstanding with (in particular) some great soloing from the emerging talent Henderson, and with one or two impressive solos from drummer Roger Humphries. Also included on the ‘original’ (1965 release) album are two Silver tunes with the man’s earlier quintet, featuring Blue Mitchell on trumpet and Junior Cook on tenor – Calcutta Cutie and Lonely Woman. These are more laid back (with less horns), but Lonely Woman (in particular) is a beautiful composition with some heartfelt piano from Silver.

The 1999 release also includes four extra tunes with the earlier quintet. Sanctimonious Sam is an infectious waltz written by the saxophonist Musa Kaleem, Sighin’ And Cryin’ is a moody, strolling number with some nice playing from Mitchell, Silver Treads Among My Soul is another catchy Silver tune with some nice piano and there is an abbreviated (but still infectious) trio version of Que Pasa? It’s an album which comes highly recommended.
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Ostensibly this is a "hard bop" album from 1963 / 1964, but the majority of the music is extremely melodic and often not in standard 4/4 time.

It features two quintets. The only downside to the album is that the two bands are distinctly separate and are intermingled to some extent. This is a minor criticism since every track is a real corker.

The first track is a bossa nova "Song For My Father" which must be one of the most beautiful tines in jazz. Later there are the more eastern sounds of "Calcutta Cutie" , more Latin (Que Pasa?..actually two versions, one quintet, one trio), Henderson's flag waver "The Kicker", and a slow contemplative "Lonely Woman" (not Ornette Coleman's tune), plus some more straight forward bop.

Every track is a masterpiece. The nine featured musicians are all on top form and all are featured (this isn't a Horace Silver showcase, except all the tunes are his compositions except two).

I have had this CD for many years and is, I think, the best of Silver's prodigious output, although I like "The Tokyo Blues" a lot.

I can only agree with the extensive comments made by other reviewers, only to add that the album was awarded a 5-star review from Allmusic upon its original release and is generally considered an essential album in the collection of any jazz aficionado, although I am sure it would appeal to any lover of quality music. The music is tuneful and endearing. It has stood the test of time having been recorded fifty years ago and still sounds fresh.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 4 June 2016
'Song For My Father' is probably the most well-known album by pianist/composer Horace Silver(1928-2014).
This CD features two quintets with Silver(piano); Carmell Jones(trumpet); Joe Henderson(tenor sax); Teddy Smith(bass) & Roger Humphries(drums) on tracks 1, 2, 4 & 5 recorded in New Jersey on October 28, 1964.
The second quintet has Silver(piano); Blue Mitchell(trumpet); Junior Cook(tenor sax); Gene Taylor(bass) & Roy Brooks(drums) on tracks 3 & 7 recorded in New Jersey on October 31, 1963 and tracks 9 & 10 recorded on January 28, 1964. Tracks 6 & 8 are piano trio performances.
The ten memorable numbers feature eight Silver originals(with quintet & trio versions of 'Que Pasa?') and one by tenorist Musa Kaleem.
This RVG Edition(1999) of 'Song For My Father' is an essential Horace Silver CD which should appeal to anyone who appreciates exhilarating and swinging hard bop with a touch of the exotic.
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on 18 January 2008
Cant believe no one has reviewed this album. Get it, its not just for the jazz purest. Iam going tru a jazzy vibe at the moment, this is in every jazz lovers top ten albums of all times but if you like music you will dig this.
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