VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Song For My Father Mixtape”
Horace Silver wrote “Song For My Father” as a dedication to both his father and his Cape Verdean heritage. Since 1964 when he wrote “Song For My Father,” Silver’s song has gone on to become possibly the most popular father song of all time. There are literally hundreds of recorded versions. “Song For My Father,” has a distinctive bass line and a memorable and humable melody. It’s basic structure is simultaneously easy to play but strong enough to be interesting for instrumentalists to use as a vehicle for improvisation. Like last week with “Ain’t No Sunshine,” this week’s feature is covered in a myriad of styles, rhythms and tempos. Rather than the original recording, I choose a lesser known live recording of “Song For My Father,” featuring the tenor saxophone of Joe Henderson. Predictably, the jazz interpretations are the most varied, ranging from the ultra funky organ workout by Richard Groove Holmes to the sensuous mid-temp reading by tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, to a stunning duet with saxophonist JD Allen by pianist Orrin Evans. I also call your attention to the highly inventive re-arrangements of the song by both the New Directions crew of young Blue Note recording artists and from the veteran Clayton Brothers. The song was taken to another level of popularity by vocalist Leon Thomas, whom we include here from a Hamburg, German concert bootleg featuring trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. The song now has two sets of lyrics. Thomas employs the first set but some of the other vocalists use the second set, which interestingly refers to Brazil rather than Cape Verde, West Africa. Denise King sings the second set of lyrics but uses some of Leon Thomas’ vocal techniques. Perhaps the most inventive vocal interpretation comes from Portuguese/Cape Verdean-heritage vocalist Carmen Souza who sings in the Cape Verdean creole plus, in vocalese fashion, scats her solo based on Horace Silver’s original piano solo melody. Enjoy this two-hour, musical celebration of fatherhood. —Kalamu ya Salaam Song For My Father Mixtape Playlist 01 Re-Entry - Horace Silver 02 Love And Peace: A Tribute To Horace Silver - Dee Dee Bridgewater 03 One Night - In Concert - Malcolm Green 04 New Directions - New Directions 05 Protegid - Carmen Souza 06 Shades of Blue - Madlib 07 Testament - Ernie Ranglin & Pam Hall 08 The Jamaican Beat - Jazz Jamaica 09 Intrinsic - Typhanie Monique & Neal Alger 10 Painting The Town Red - Joe Thompson 11 Sometimes Forgotten, Sometimes Rembered - Mansur Scott Harlem Quartet 12 Expressions - The Clayton Brothers 13 Fever - Denise King 14 Shout For Trane - Joe Lee Wilson & Bond Street 15 Onsaya Joy - Richard "Groove" Holmes 16 Live in Hamburg, Germany - Freddie Hubbard & Leon Thomas 17 Dedicated To You - Von Freeman 18 My Funny Valentine - Rosalba Lazzarotto 19 Umbo Weti: A Tribute To Leon Thomas - Babatunde Lea featuring vocalist Dwight Tribble 20 Easy Now - Orrin Evans
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