When I was grooving on Oscar Peterson back in September, I found an excellent vintage clip of Horace Silver performing Senor Blues in the Netherlands in 1959. It sent me searching for Song for My Father. Although I didn’t find a performance by Horace himself, I stumbled on this quiet gem by fiveofsix. It introduced me to a completely unexpected genre of jazz performance: solo musicians recording themselves with a stationary camera. I refuse to say “amateur” here. fiveofsix clearly is a serious pianist, and he created and documented a compelling improvisation on Silver’s classic tune.
“Song for My Father” has always been a touchstone for me. It summons memories and feelings of my father Bob, who was a eager young jazz musician and band leader in his day. As I watched fiveofsix‘s hands glide across the Steinway, deep emotion welled inside me. I began to weep. If my father were alive today, he would be shooting digital video of his own expressive hands improvising “Stardust” and “Misty” on his beloved Hammond B2 organ. And I’d be posting them on YouTube.
So I saved this “Song for My Father” for today’s Mouffe to celebrate Bob Willis twenty years after his passing. To fiveofsix, thank you, and bravo!