Horace Parlan (January 19, 1931 – February 23, 2017)[1] was an American pianist and composer known for working in the hard bop and post-bop styles of jazz. In addition to his work as a bandleader Parlan was known for his contributions to the Charles Mingus recordings Mingus Ah Um and Blues & Roots.

Horace Parlan
Born(1931-01-19)January 19, 1931
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedFebruary 23, 2017(2017-02-23) (aged 86)
Korsør, Denmark
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
LabelsBlue Note, SteepleChase

Early life Edit

He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.[2] In his birth year, Parlan was stricken with polio, resulting in the partial crippling of his right hand. The handicap contributed to his development of a particularly "pungent" left-hand chord voicing style, while comping with highly rhythmic phrases with the right.[3]

Later life and career Edit

Between 1952 and 1957, he worked in Washington, D.C., with Sonny Stitt, then spent two years with Mingus' Jazz Workshop.[3] In 1973, Parlan moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. He later settled in the small village of Rude in southern Zealand. In 1974, he completed a State Department tour of Africa with Hal Singer.[3]

His later work, such as a series of duos with the tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp included the album Goin' Home (1977),[2] steeped in gospel music.

Parlan received the 2000 Ben Webster Prize awarded by the Ben Webster Foundation.

He died at a nursing home in Naestved, Denmark at the age of 86. He had been suffering from multiple ailments, including diabetes and failing eyesight.[4][5]

Discography Edit

As leader/co-leader Edit

Recording date Title Label Year released Notes
1960-02 Movin' & Groovin' Blue Note 1960 Trio, with Sam Jones (bass), Al Harewood (drums)
1960-04 Us Three Blue Note 1960 Trio, with George Tucker (bass), Al Harewood (drums)
1960-07 Speakin' My Piece Blue Note 1960 Quintet, with Tommy Turrentine (trumpet), Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax), George Tucker (bass), Al Harewood (drums)
1960-12 Headin' South Blue Note 1961 Some tracks trio, with George Tucker (bass), Al Harewood (drums); most tracks quartet, with Ray Barretto (congas) added
1961-03 On the Spur of the Moment Blue Note 1961 Quintet, with Tommy Turrentine (trumpet), Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax), George Tucker (bass), Al Harewood (drums)
1961-06 Up & Down Blue Note 1961 Quintet, with Booker Ervin (tenor sax), Grant Green (guitar), George Tucker (bass), Al Harewood (drums)
1963-02 Happy Frame of Mind Blue Note 1986 One track quintet, with Johnny Coles (trumpet), Booker Ervin (tenor sax), Butch Warren (bass), Billy Higgins (drums); other tracks sextet, with Grant Green (guitar) added; originally released as part of Booker Ervin's Back from the Gig; released in Parlan's name in 1986[6][7]
1973-12 Arrival SteepleChase 1974 Some tracks trio, with Hugo Rasmussen (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums); some tracks quintet, with Idrees Sulieman (flugelhorn), Bent Jædig (tenor sax) added
1975-12 No Blues Steeplechase 1976 Trio, with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass), Tony Inzalaco (drums)
1977-02 Frank-ly Speaking Steeplechase 1977 Quintet, with Frank Foster (tenor sax), Frank Strozier (alto sax), Lisle Atkinson (bass) Al Harewood (drums)
1977-04 Goin' Home Steeplechase 1977 Duo, co-led with Archie Shepp (tenor sax, soprano sax)
1978-02 Hi-Fly Steeplechase 1978 Trio, with Doug Raney (guitar), Wilbur Little (bass)
1978-11 Blue Parlan Steeplechase 1979 Trio, with Wilbur Little (bass), Dannie Richmond (drums)
1979-11 Musically Yours Steeplechase 1980 Solo piano
1979-11 The Maestro Steeplechase 1982 Solo piano
1980-02 Trouble in Mind Steeplechase 1980 Duo, co-led with Archie Shepp (tenor sax, soprano sax)
1981-02 Pannonica Enja 1984 Trio, with Reggie Johnson (bass), Alvin Queen (drums)
1983-03 Like Someone in Love Steeplechase 1983 Trio, with Jesper Lundgaard (bass), Dannie Richmond (drums)
1983-06 Jazzbühne Berlin '83 / Jazzbühne Berlin '79 Repertoire 1991 [2in1 CD] album shared with Mal Waldron; Solo piano
1984-07 Glad I Found You Steeplechase 1984 Quintet, with Thad Jones (flugelhorn), Eddie Harris (tenor sax), Jesper Lundgaard (bass), Aage Tanggaard (drums)
1987-03 Little Esther Soul Note 1987 Quartet, with Per Goldschmidt (baritone sax), Klavs Hovman (bass), Massimo De Majo (drums)
1987-05 Duo Reunion L+R 1987 Duo, co-led with Archie Shepp (tenor sax)
1988-01 Keep Your Hands Wide Open Olufsen 1988 Most tracks duo, with Soren S. Eriksen (alto sax); one track trio, with Thomas Helmig (vocals) added
1991-09 Swing Low Plainisphare 1993 Duo, co-led with Archie Shepp (tenor sax, alto sax, vocals); in concert[8]
1994-04 Joinin' Forces Olufsen 1994 Duo, co-led with Jan Kaspersen (piano)
1997-06 We Three Baybridge 1998 Trio, with Mads Vinding (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums)
1998-08 The Horace Parlan Trio
also released as Kōjō no Tsuki (荒城の月)
M&I 1999 Trio, with Jesper Lundgaard (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums)
1999-01 Voyage of Rediscovery Storyville 1999 Solo piano
2001-09 Behind the Blues Leafage Jazz 2002 Some tracks trio, with Mads Vinding (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums); some tracks quartet, with Staffan William-Olsson (guitar) added
2003-12 Relaxin' with Horace Stunt 2004 Trio, with Jesper Lundgaard (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums)
2007-03 My Little Brown Book Stunt 2007 Trio, with Christina Von Bulow (alto sax), Jesper Lundgaard (bass)

Main source:[9]

Documentary, released on DVD: Horace Parlan by Horace Parlan[10]

As sideman Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Jazzlegenden Horace Parlan er død". Sn.dk. 25 February 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1911. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  3. ^ a b c Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (18 November 1999). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-19-972907-4. Retrieved October 3, 2021 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Horace Parlan, Jazz Pianist Who Overcame Disability, Dies at 86". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  5. ^ "Horace Parlan, jazz pianist who overcame disability, dies at 86 - the Washington Post". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2020-10-22. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
  6. ^ "Blue Note Records Catalog: 4100 series". jazzdisco. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomans. "Happy Frame of Mind: Horace Parlan". AllMusic. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  8. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Swing Low: Archie Shepp". AllMusic. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  9. ^ "Horace Parlan Discography". jazzdisco. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  10. ^ "Horace Parlan by Horace Parlan". loc.gov. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  11. ^ "A Moon Of Roses (1994, CD)". Discogs.com. 1994. Retrieved October 3, 2021.

External links Edit