January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Horace Parlan!

Trouble In MindHorace Parlan was born in 1931 in Pittsburgh. As a child, he had polio, which resulted in a damaged right hand. It is all the more remarkable then that he became a hard-bopping jazz pianist, although his bluesy style does emphasize rhythmic left-hand bass chords. “I was not equipped to speak musically in the manner of [Art] Tatum or [Oscar] Peterson or any of the pianists I admire,” said Parlan in 2001. “I had to find a groove of my own. I think simplicity is the thing." He recorded with many jazz greats in the 1960s, playing on classic albums by Charles Mingus, Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrentine, and others. He's also recorded albums under his own name. Particularly noteworthy are a couple of recent albums of slow blues with Archie Shepp, Goin' Home and Trouble in Mind.

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