Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Horace Parlan: The Complete Blue Note Horace Parlan Sessions

Parlan cut the selections on the five-CD set The Complete Blue Note Horace Parlan Sessions between 1960 and 1963. The sessions include three with him and rhythm sections (one includes Latin percussionist Ray Barretto), two quintets with Pittsburgh’s Turrentine brothers, saxophonist Stanley and trumpeter Tommy and two others with various combos, including Booker Ervin and Grant Green and, on one, trumpeter Johnny Coles. Drummer Al Harewood’s authoritative but spare sounds are heard on all sessions but the last, on which Billy Higgins replaces him. Bassist George Tucker appears on five dates; the others are Sam Jones and Butch Warren.

Given Parlan’s right-hand limitations, it’s not surprising that his solos are spare. On the piano-plus-rhythm selections he likes to employ medium tempos that are comfortable to groove on. He constructs his spots patiently and injects them with a strong blues feeling. His work also has a strong gospel influence; in fact, you’d have to go a long way to find a jazz pianist who uses gospel elements so effectively, as his work on “C Jam Blues” illustrates. Parlan’s influences are Ahmad Jamal’s economical playing, Horace Silver’s funk and Jamal and Red Garland’s chord voicings.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published