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Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father”, first recorded in October 1964 by Horace Silver’s Quintet, served as the title track for the album, released in 1965. As his website says, the song combined his father’s take on Cape Verdean folk music with a hint of Brazilian Carnival rhythms to produce an enduring F-minor jazz standard. The album was dedicated to his father, John Tavares Silva, whose photograph was on the cover. Silver’s unique combination of sharp, bluesy right-hand with grumbling left-hand bass formed an immediately identifiable musical signature.
Horace Silver (1928-2014) was born either in Norwalk, Connecticut, or on the island of Maio, one of the Cape Verde Islands, to a Cape Verdean father and Irish-African mother. Starting on the tenor saxophone, he switched to piano and formed a trio which backed up Stan Getz at a guest appearance in Hartford, CT in 1950. This worked so well that Getz took the trio with him on tour for a year. Shortly afterwards Silver moved to New York, met Art Blakey and began an association which lasted for years. Silver’s last album “Jazz Has a Sense of Humor” was released in 1999 and his last public performance was in 2004. In 2005 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) gave him the President’s Merit Award. His autobiography, “Let’s Get to the Nitty Gritty”, which came out in 2006, covers his life from childhood in Connecticut to life on the road with hard bop and the after-the-road years in California, and his spiritual awakening in the 1970s.