Everyone at GearDiary – just like everyone else on the internet – is an actual person, and behind the scenes we share some of the joys and difficulties of making out way through life. Not surprisingly, I often reflect on my own issues in life through music in one way or another. These past couple of weeks my father has been going through some health issues, and while all is doing much better, one song has been in my mind more than most others, the Horace Silver standard ‘Song for My Father’.
The song was written as a reflection of Silver taking a trip to Brazil and seeing places there that were similar to where his father grew up on the Cape Verde islands. Way back in college, I found out about a nearly fatal heart attack my own father had while I was working on an electronic music project basing a harmonic structure around a transcription I did of Joe Henderson’s solo on this song. So it is not surprising that when the issue of my father and heart troubles comes up, this is the song that leaps into my mind.
Musically, Song for My Father is a Bossa Nova, but arranged and played in a firmly ‘hard bop’ style. The melody is very catchy, and the performances on the original are stellar. You might recognize the opening rhythm figure as the one Steely Dan used for ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’.