While it’s normal for normal people to have a favorite Christmas song, it’s likely only a deranged but otherwise friendly, neighborhood Muser who has a favorite Fathers Day song. That song is One for Daddy-O on the album Somethin’ Else by Cannonball Adderley. Recorded and released in 1958, this excellent album is widely regarded as being necessary to include on any list of great jazz albums. The song itself is an ode to Chicago DJ Daddy-O Daylie. And while those facts matter, they are not why I consider One for Daddy-O so special.
This song has personal significance for two reasons (besides the fact that it’s a great song). First, My Daughter Diandra is fond of calling me “Daddy-O” and I’m fond of her calling me that.
Second, it was my introduction to Miles Davis. I first heard One for Daddy-O in my car while listening to the local jazz station. By this point in the early onset of my jazz addiction appreciation, I had heard of Miles but hadn’t actually heard Miles. Yet when I heard the trumpet solo that was so luscious, so clear, so sublime (it comes in at the 2:32 mark), I said to myself, “This must be Miles Davis.” That said-to-myself intuition was validated when the show’s host cited Miles as playing trumpet on the song.
At that precise moment, an obsession with Miles Davis was born resulting in 20-something albums in his name (mostly from the ’40s and ’50s) plus whatever number of others’ albums he’s on as part of their ensembles.
And, yes, I play it every Fathers Day.