Horace Parlan

~ Person


Yet another Mingus protégé success story, Mr Horace Parlan is a talented, bluesy and energic pianist, born under the influence of Bud Powell.
First gravitating in and around the Mingus posse (playing with Booker Ervin, Roland Kirk...), Parlan then took a flight on his own, recording a serie of excellent Blue Note, then a number of impressive and acclaimed sessions for Steeplechase after he moved to Europe.

Beginners who want a soft start may begin with the late and excellent Glad I Found You on Steeplechase, while hardbop over-eaters who tasted Parlan in Mingus formations will just grab everything. ;)

Annotation last modified on 2006-06-12 13:19 UTC.


Horace Parlan (born January 19, 1931, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American hard bop and post-bop piano player.

He is noted for his contributions to the classic Charles Mingus recordings Mingus Ah Um and Blues & Roots.

In his birth year, Parlan was stricken with polio, resulting in the partial crippling of his right hand. The handicap, though, has contributed to his development of a particularly "pungent" left-hand chord voicing style, while comping with highly rhythmic phrases with the right.

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

His later work, notably a series of duos with the tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp, including the album Goin' Home, is steeped in gospel music.

He was recipient of the 2000 Ben Webster Prize given by the Ben Webster Foundation.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1960 Movin' & Groovin' Horace Parlan 1
1960 Us Three Horace Parlan 4
1961 On the Spur of the Moment Horace Parlan 1
1961 Headin' South Horace Parlan 1
1961 Up & Down Horace Parlan 2
1975 No Blues Horace Parlan 1
1977 Goin’ Home Archie Shepp & Horace Parlan 4
1986 Happy Frame of Mind Horace Parlan 2
1986 Trouble in Mind Horace Parlan & Archie Shepp 2
1987 Mama Rose in Concert Horace Parlan & Archie Shepp 1
1994 For Lester and Billie Monica Zetterlund, Nisse Sandström, Horace Parlan, Red Mitchell 1
Duo Reunion Horace Parlan & Archie Shepp 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 The Complete Blue Note Horace Parlan Sessions Horace Parlan 1
2015 Joe Meets The Rhythm Section Joe van Enkhuizen, Horace Parlan, Rufus Reid, Al Harewood 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 First Set Archie Shepp & Horace Parlan 1
Swing Low, Live in Zurich Horace Parlan & Archie Shepp 1

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